text long

female open space invaders

Ellas filipinas

In Hong Kong, China, 120.000 to 200.000 Filipino women work as domestic helper.

In their only day off, Sundays, they invade the down town financial and commercial district, where they transform and occupy the streets, bridges, parks, plazas, shopping centre, the main commercial street, and also the emblematic building the HSBC Bank. These women change the meaning of the commercial public space, where they transport their habits and traditions through leisure, rest, religion and culture. The luxury down town city on Sundays becomes a domestic space where they meet, rest, eat, dance, play cards, pray. ..

They are women that have sacrificed their personal life to give their own family, their children, a better life and education. They do not have private life. They suffer racism, and in many cases exploitation.

They are emigrants, which left their country, their families, and their habits to live in a hostile environment.

They impose different codes into the space, building a new and unique human cartography. Their location is precise, constant.

-Invading literally the down town

-Creating its boundaries

-Delimiting their own territory

-Imposing their culture

Creating new habits

Same space offers different activities and ways of living depending on the day of the week.

Hong Kong has two absolutely different cultures that they superimpose, do not   co exist at all.

They are giving rise to new ways of perceiving human space.

We must re examine the notion of territory, the cultural use.

They turn nomad, during their day off.  They transform ideas, ways of living and signs, and transport them to this town only once a week.

The contradiction in use between the weekdays life and the weekend and holidays life. 

Instead of emptiness or abandonment, it happens the opposite. It is generated an invaded space full of new live.

A territory that was created with a specific urbanist purpose as financial and commercial centre of the city, is rebuilt, refocused and transformed into a small town,  “ in the town centre plaza of their villages, as a meeting point , as their own territory.

Their traditions, habits and beliefs are new codes implemented by them and accepted by the locals on Sundays. It is a unusual and unique use of the city, a pilgrimage in time and space that has as background the main streets of the city and its emblematic buildings such as Norman Foster's HSBC Bank.

Their population density generates the development of production systems like over seas deliveries, associations and unions, a parallel economy of exchange and transactions, leading to a social system well organized and autonomous.

H K experiences every Sunday an unusual, unexpected transformation generated by them of these characteristics:

- Mechanisms of appropriation and invasion of the territories.

-Differences between the financial landscape and the popular migrants use

- Buildings decoded

-Different types of colonization

-Dwellings that are outdoors domestic units

-Transposition of habits

-Simultaneous activities of rest, culture and leisure

-The development of structures, activities and organized logistics for their daily needs.

The project female open space invaders

consists of photographs, videos and a one-hour documentary entitled "Ellas Filipinas," that record and recreate the spaces created by this crowd of domestic helpers through multiple interviews with their testimonies, made in Hong Kong to them and to their families in the Philippines.


    TINAG Festival    Female open space              

       invaders 2010


Ellas filipinas 2010



data and testimonies

      past exhibitions

             1971 / 2010