me and my cute dog

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name: tessie / age: 39 / profession: domestic helper / location: singapore / weekday: every sunday off / reference: I love my dog so much, even though i have lots of work i still find time to play with her, cos she needs love and attention.

boating for beginners

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name: margarita / age: 27 / profession: untitled / location: amsterdam / weekday: sunday / reference: this is my father rowing around a group of children, somewhere at a dacha near minsk (belarus). when i showed him this picture he said that this was one of the things he liked about living in a communist (socialist?) country… that when the weekend came you had complete freedom from work…you weren’t thinking about it seven days a week, there were moments to just let go.

Under construction

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name: hanna / age: 22 / profession: student / location: Belgium / reference: We were very lucky when we got this house because of the privacy we had. Most of these other social houses are in-between other ones or even closed in at the garden too. We live in the house at the end of the street so until now we had the privilege of having a nice open view from our terrace and at the side of our house. unfortunately now they started building houses there too so our terrace and the the view from our big window at the back of our house won’t be that private anymore.

big foot

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name: Realizza / age: 25 / profession: domestic worker & visual artist / location: london / weekday: saturday / reference: saturday night is my bedtime story night with the big boys i’m taking care after to. photo taken in singapore.

kitchen

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name: Sarah / age: 23 / profession: student / location: amsterdam / weekday: wednesday / reference: Amsterdam City Archives, typically old-fashioned household in Amsterdam, woman cooks for the family.

terrace

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name: yule / age: 21 / profession: illustration student / location: antwerp / reference: The terrace is the space between public and private, it’s a ‘happy place’. people only go there when the weather is good, when they feel good and usually with other people. because people don’t want the outside world to see the negative.

In Memory of Athiraman Kannan

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name: trenton / age: 30 / profession: publisher / location: london / weekday: wednesday / reference: on the 11th may 2011 news reached jeddah that a man, later to named athiraman kannan, had the previous day, jumped to his death from the 147th floor of the world’s tallest building; the burji khalifa. from india, he came to dubai to work. he cleaned the newly opened building. in an attempt to honour athiraman kannan, and his courageous call for attention to the lives of migrant workers, that afternoon i photographed what i had in previous weeks started to describe as a ‘pop out city’. these spaces were described to me by the domestic workers as an attempt at permanency, comfort and retreat in an always vulnerable and precarious life as a migrant worker. unlike the families they worked for, whose life exists almost entirely behind these walls, their lives exist on the street, which is forging new notions ‘the public’ in city largely concerned with ‘privacy’. (image taken the 11th may 2011 in al naeem, jeddah.)

being a prop bitch pays, untill the paint fumes kill

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name: Laura Jane / age: 23 / profession: cinema worker & print maker / location: hackney / weekday: monday / reference: we worked last summer for a prop design company in brixton, we had to trim 1000 giant paper roses that were made in china and then shipped over to us to trim and style and then be painted because they had been made in the the wrong colour. The roses painted the roses in the same room as us which had no ventilation but we were not allowed to open the roll up door because the warehouse backed onto coldharbour lane which we got told by a man walking by when did rebel and open the shutter that this was murder mile, but everywhere in london has there own murder mile. this was a horrible job but it was the best paid job ive had since i graduated with a fine art degree.