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.)

electricity breakdown

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name: Aitziber / age: 27 / profession: cultural worker & filmmaker / location: barcelona / weekday: monday / reference: october 21st: electric breakdown for 2 days at my apartment in Barcelona. 45 square meters attic in the old part of the city for 441€/month, half of my wage including the expenses. The electricity was never renewed and i thought the breakdown was due to its age. i was afraid of calling Fecsa -the electric company- since they have no record of the existence of this electric system at this address and i´ve never paid any bill. julio, the owner of the bar downstairs came to have a look at it and also youness, a friend. i thought i´d have to pay for a new installation in order to fix it and have light again. 2 days later, pablo, the neighbor from the 1st floor knocked my door to ask me if i had light. we called the real state emergency telephone and surprisingly a man came two hours later to fix the electric box at the entrance of the building. he said that the electric system was too old and could burn at any moment. this was the last of many problems that the apartment had given me, so i decided to leave 10 days later. I’ve also migrated to the Netherlands.

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.)

In Memory of Athiraman Kannan

Posted on

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.)

In Memory of Athiraman Kannan

Posted on

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.)

In Memory of Athiraman Kannan

Posted on

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.)

The fruit of my Labour

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name: Jena / age: 38 / profession: Domestic worker / location: Singapore / weekday: thursday / reference: While working as a domestic worker, I also think of my future and family even with my little salary, I always make sure that I save every month. So far I have now farmland with fruits  and rice fields. I also managed to build my own house bit by bit. I am looking forward to settle back home with my 2 children and husband waiting for me. I am only few among my fellow domestic workers whose Family is not torn apart by surviving urgent needs only to go home with broken family. domestic workers have to leave our family back home in the hope of better life and future of our children and families. Many do not understand us that we have to leave them but for us it is a matter of love and responsibility with strong hope that one day we can be reunited again.

In Memory of Athiraman Kannan

Posted on

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.)

In Memory of Athiraman Kannan

Posted on

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.)

domestic worker visa

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name: Marissa / age: 41 / profession: domestic worker & coordinator / location: london / weekday: saturday / reference: Domestic worker visa is the life of migrant domestic workers. without rights and protection the more abuse, exploitation and trafficking. Domestic worker visa is the prevention of trafficking, it is a medicine that cures that disease. Justice for domestic workers (j4dw) fights back to restore domestic worker visa with rights.

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.)

Indonesian training centre for domestic helpers

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name: atherine / age: 44 / profession: teacher / location: Swansea / weekday: friday / reference: In 2005, Isabella stayed in a training agency in Jakarta – with over 700 other girls, all waiting to be sent to Singapore, Malaysia or Hong Kong as a domestic helper. Such training centres are compulsory, as Indonesian agencies claim all their applicants are given cooking and hygiene classes. Most importantly, the girls are also required to learn English. However, Isabella experienced very harsh living conditions in the centre. The days were very long, the girls had to wake up at 5 am, and they could only rest at 11 pm. There were not enough beds, the food was scarce and very basic, with little nutritional value. The centre was locked, and the girls were not allowed outside. They were not allowed to use their phone either. This training centre has been closed recently because it was also found out that under-aged girls were being contracted as a domestic helper. Isabella stayed in the centre 40 days before being sent to Singapore. As she started working, she was then charged 2280 Singapore dollars by the Indonesian agency, which means that for the first 6 months of her employment, her full salary was sent back to the agent and she did not receive any money.

In Memory of Athiraman Kannan

Posted on

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.)

frames and bears

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name: Realizza / age: 25 / profession: domestic worker & visual artist / location: london / weekday: saturday / reference: “bears are kept and memories are framed” as we leave our own children and our own country in exchange  of money and job and a greener pasture, we missed the so many moments we supposed to share with them and that is the high cost of migration.

A Dedication of Life

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name: Marissa / age: 41 / profession: domestic worker & coordinator / location: london / weekday: wednesday / reference: (when domestic worker’s sacrifice is too much to bear and fighting to survive is the only way) / “Oh, God! Please Let our sister Live…..”, 6 Months she may survive, 1 year maybe or even 5 years she may reach, A last stage of cancer she is so determine to defeat, Going Home to Philippines seems hell and bitter, As she found sweet refuge in UK as her Home / A smiling face greeted me as I open the door, Full of life with no trace of fear and sorrows, Dying is too near and yet too far to embrace her, Strength within I wonder where it from, As I hold her to feel her warm heart again / A family and life she would live to fight for, Unfulfilled dreams she may have had, Oh, our loving God, her thoughts are so founded and real, As she whisper her wishes through the air, Like an arts of life wandering around / Oh, God! Please let her life be spare, When would that be, please not too soon, Powerless I may to you, I dare not challenge you, You alone and only you would let us live, Oh, not let death be the short vengeance, When living could be her penance of fulfillment.

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.)