EOC Teams with NGOs to Launch Virtual Exhibition of over 130 Photos from Underrepresented Communities
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) announced today (22 December 2020) the launch of a new online campaign entitled “The Way We Are” (www.eoc.org.hk/s/thewayweare/en/home.asp), a virtual exhibition of over 130 original photographic works contributed by marginalised groups, including people living with depression, deaf people, people with visual challenges, ethnic minority students, foreign domestic workers, carers, immigrant women from mainland China, and the LGBT community.
With the support of 14 organisations, the campaign seeks to offer a platform of self-representation for disadvantaged groups, and to address prejudices and stereotypes through authentic portraits of their everyday life.
“COVID-19 has posed grave challenges to marginalised communities, with foreign domestic workers getting asked to work on their rest days, working-class women overwhelmed by caring responsibilities, and people facing mental health issues not being able to go to therapy as usual… the list goes on,” said Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin, EOC Chairperson. “Many of these are an exacerbated version of the hardships they had been enduring well before the pandemic, and it is time they get their voices heard. Indeed, our campaign aims to empower underrepresented and stigmatised communities to tell their stories in their own words, or in this case, images. Through their works they have displayed a humbling resilience and hopes for a better life that we all share.”
The campaign also sees a first-time collaboration between the EOC and Hong Kong-born Indian YouTuber New Dellily, who has interviewed some of the contributing photographers in a three-part video series. The first episode, featuring migrant worker Leeh Ann and two local university students from ethnic minority backgrounds Macx and Kawaljot, has been released today on the campaign website. Their works share a common exploration of themes about home and belonging, and the elusive question of “who is local”.
Subject to the developments of the pandemic, the EOC will stage exhibitions across the city, including at 1/F Atrium, The Mills, Tsuen Wan from 29 January – 26 February 2021 and at G/F Gallery, Run Run Shaw Tower, The University of Hong Kong from 6-23 March 2021. The EOC may reschedule or cancel the exhibitions as and when required by social distancing rules and venue policies. Relevant announcements and updates will be posted on the campaign website.
The exhibition features a total of 14 photographers, and is divided into four sections, namely “Different and Equal”, “Where We Belong”, “Voices of Womanhood” and “Battling Stigma”. The Appendix highlights some of these works. Details about the photographers are available at: www.eoc.org.hk/s/thewayweare/en/photographers.asp.
Part of the EOC’s celebratory programme for its 25th anniversary in 2021, the campaign has garnered enthusiastic support from civil society, specifically 14 Supporting Organisations including: Association for Transgender Rights; Association of Women with Disabilities Hong Kong; The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong (Project Touch); Committee on Gender Equality and Diversity, Faculty of Arts, The University of Hong Kong; Gay and Grey; Hong Kong Federation of Women’s Centres; The Hong Kong Society for the Deaf; KELY Support Group; Lensational; Les Corner Empowerment Association; Mental Health Photographic Society; PrideLab; Sightfeeling; and The Society for Community Organization.
Equal Opportunities Commission
22 December 2020