Accepted Paper:

Indonesian Women Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong: an Ethnofiction  
Alberto Gerosa (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Paper short abstract:

The paper offers an account of the nine-months long weekly acting-improv workshop conducted in Hong Kong with a group of Indonesian women migrant domestic workers. Re-enacting scenes of domestic violence suffered in Hong Kong by the participants, the group eventually scripted and produced a film.

Paper long abstract:

The precarious life conditions of women migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, which account for 10% of the local workforce, are being increasingly scrutinised and criticised as tantamount to modern slavery.

This paper describes an ethnofiction film laboratory conducted between 2018 to 2020 on the conditions of Indonesian female foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong. The project included a nine-months long acting-improv workshop conducted by a visual anthropology team and a group of thirty Indonesian women migrant domestic workers.

Re-enacting the scenes of domestic violence perpetrated by the local Hong Kong employers of the participants, the group eventually assembled a selection of scenes into the life-story of a fictional character, merging many episodes into one single script. After minimal funds were acquired from a local ngo, the group chose an Indonesian actress to play the title role, produced and starred in a low-budget feature film. The movie was directed at the mainstream Hong Kong market, to create awareness on the issue among local citizens.

The project offers an ethnographic account of the audiovisual resistance practices and activities of the group.

Film trailer:

Panel P06b
Worker's precarity: audio-visual representations of resistance
  Session 1