In August 2014, we partnered with H.K.S.K.H Lady MacLehose Centre – Services for Ethnic Minorities, to train ten Pakistani girls aged 13-18 years old. Through photography, the girls were encouraged to express their thoughts and showcase their multiple identities.
This project was particularly important for Lensational, as while our roots are in Hong Kong, we also ran a project in Pakistan working with adolescent girls of a similar age to the girls in this programme.
The 10 Pakistani girls who participated – Imaan, Fatima, Kirin, Esha, Mehvish, Aisha, Shua, Smra, Nemra, Shamsa and Kinza – were aged 13-18 years old. During the workshop they had the opportunity not only to learn photography techniques but also to share their perspectives with the mainstream Chinese populations. Our training culminated in a walk, during which the girls took photographs on three themes: Hong Kong In My Eyes, Pakistan In My Eyes, and Friendship.
Spending their formative years in both Pakistan and Hong Kong also led to interesting cross-cultural observations. Smra, 14, took a photo of people on an escalator to illustrate that “Hong Kong people are following instructions I am sure some Pakistanis won’t follow”.
When we shared our work in Pakistan with these girls, they then told us while they do miss Pakistan, they know they are fortunate to be entitled to an education here in Hong Kong. Nemra observes that the Hong Kong government also takes care of its citizens with their housing problems, with her photo of high-rise public housing estates.
While our core focus in Hong Kong is on foreign domestic workers, we hope to continue projects like this one to help create an inclusive Hong Kong and to shed light on the multiplicities of migration.
Browse the girls’ photographs in the programme gallery and purchase their work on our online gallery photos.lensational.org