Dreaming Singapore: A Migrant's Journey

Collection with 50 media items created by Ruom

12 Mar 2014 10:06

Looking down upon blue waters and tiny islands, on a plane from Indonesia to Singapore, Istiana will soon exchange a world she knows for one she doesn’t. She’s a domestic worker – and the moment she stepped on the plane her life changed forever.

Each year, 700,000 migrant workers leave Indonesia for countries like Hong Kong, Qatar, and Malaysia. The overwhelming majority are women, and like Istiana, most are domestic workers. Indonesian domestic workers form one of the largest labour diasporas in the world. They are also one of the most exploited. According to the ILO, "75 percent of Indonesian female workers endure “isolation, underpayment, long working hours, forced labour, human trafficking and violence”. Their stories are never far from the news. Each week dozens of articles appear, detailing difficult working conditions, excessive debts, and human rights abuses.

This project investigates the movement of migrants from Indonesia to Singapore, one of the busiest migratory pathways in Southeast Asia. It follows three different women at various stages of their journey: from training centres in Indonesia, to daily life in Singapore, and the return home.

The project is enriched with in-depth interviews, video reportage, and photographs taken over a 4 month period. It weaves the experience of migrant workers with the people they meet during their journeys: social workers, employers, recruiting agencies, and government officials.

Singapore Migration Labor Migrants Workers Work Indonesia Multimedia R...

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Interview with Tutik
Singapore
By Ruom
19 Oct 2014

Interview with Tutik, an Indonesian migrant worker, about her time in Singapore, where she is too busy to have time to socialise with friends.

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Interview with Jolovan Wham
Singapore
By Ruom
20 Oct 2014

Interviews with Jolovan Wham, Excutive Director of HOME, one the NGOs that help migrant workers in Singapore. Domestic workers are excluded from the employment act.

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Interview of Istiana
Semarang
By Ruom
20 Oct 2014

Interview of Istiana where she talks about the pressure that is put on the women during the training process to accept working overseas without access to a mobile phone, and working without a day off.

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Interview with K. Ahmad Diman
Semarang
By Ruom
20 Oct 2014

Interview with K. Ahmad Diman, one of the sponsor who works in Kendal province, recruiting domestic workers.

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Training centre
Semarang
By Ruom
20 Oct 2014

Preparing future domestic workers to work in Singapore in a training center in Indonesia. Learning how to count and sing.

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Singapore
By Ruom
11 Mar 2014

Tutik works full time looking after Izzati (7), in the evening after school Tutik will pick Izzati up from the school bus which drops her off at her grandparents house. She will feed her before taking her back to her parents' house.

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Dreaming Singapore
Kendal, Indonesia
By Ruom
01 May 2014

Aspiring domestic workers sign the contract to start their training in a centre in Kendal.

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Dadap, Indonesia
By Ruom
27 Apr 2014

Anida who recently returned from working in Singapore as a domestic worker, works harvesting rice near her home. Dadap is well know in the region for having a high migration rate.

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Jakarta, Indonesia
By Ruom
24 Apr 2014

Aspiring domestic workers wait to sign their contracts and start their training.

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Kendal, Indonesia
By Ruom
01 May 2014

The billboard of a recruitment agency for migrant domestic workers can be seen along a main road.

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Jakarta, Indonesia
By Ruom
24 Apr 2014

Aspiring domestic workers practice in a training centre on the outskirts of the capital.

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Jakarta, Indonesia
By Ruom
24 Apr 2014

Aspiring domestic workers practice in a training centre on the outskirts of the capital.

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Kendal, Indonesia
By Ruom
29 Apr 2014

Aspiring domestic workers study english in a training centre in Kendal.

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Jakarta, Indonesia
By Ruom
24 Apr 2014

Aspiring domestic workers practice in a training centre on the outskirts of the capital.

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Kendal, Indonesia
By Ruom
29 Apr 2014

A baby doll is used to teach aspiring domestic workers about child care in a training centre.

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Kendal, Indonesia
By Ruom
09 Jun 2014

Aspiring domestic workers relax in their bunks at training centre.

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Kendal, Indonesia
By Ruom
29 Apr 2014

An aspiring domestic worker during a Skype conversation with a possible future employer in Singapore.

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Salatiga, Indonesia
By Ruom
03 May 2014

Istiana starts packing her stuff together with her sister and nephew. She will leave to work in Singapore the following day and she will not be able to see her family for the next two years.

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Salatiga, Indonesia
By Ruom
02 May 2014

Istiana in her home, she will leave to work in Singapore the following day and will not be able to see her family for the next two years. Istiana has has been working abroad as domestic worker for almost 10 years, this will be the first time she goes to Singapore.

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Salatiga, Indonesia
By Ruom
02 May 2014

Saffira cares for her grandfather. Istiana, Saffira's mother, is leaving to work in Singapore the following day. Istiana will not be able to see her for the next two years.

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Semarang, Indonesia
By Ruom
06 May 2014

Istiana along with other migrant workers prepare to board a plane to Singapore. The women will not be able to return home for the next two years.

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Semarang, Indonesia
By Ruom
04 May 2014

Future migrant workers attend a mandatory day of classes at BP2TKI before leaving to work overseas. BP2TKI is the regional regulation office for overseas migration in Indonesia.

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Semarang, Indonesia
By Ruom
10 Jun 2014

A domestic worker returns to work in Singapore after attending her mother's funeral at her home in Indonesia.

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Singapore
By Ruom
07 May 2014

A view of the port and high-rises of the CBD.

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Singapore
By Ruom
18 Mar 2014

Migrant workers are picked up by 'runners' who will take them to do the necessary steps to work in Singapore.

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Singapore
By Ruom
11 May 2014

Maid agency with domestic workers at Katong shopping centre.

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Singapore
By Ruom
09 May 2014

Agencies advertising maids for hire, and show their skills in display centre at Bukit Timah shopping plaza.

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Singapore
By Ruom
09 May 2014

Images advertising the work of migrant workers on the wall of a maid agency in Bukit Timah shopping plaza.

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Singapore
By Ruom
21 Mar 2014

Maids are lined up to be taken back to a waiting van who will drive them to their shelter from Bukit Timah shopping centre.

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Singapore
By Ruom
09 May 2014

Istiana waits for a taxi with her new employer. She was picked up from Bukit Temah Shopping Centre by her employer to be taken home.

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Singapore
By Ruom
07 Jun 2014

Anandha recites the Koran during a contest organized by local Humanitarian organizations.

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Singapore
By Ruom
11 Mar 2014

Anandha works six days a week doing house work and taking care of two boys (2 and 5 years old). Here the boys are seen at the swimming pool, twice a week the boys go to swimming lessons.

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Singapore
By Ruom
13 Mar 2014

March 13, 2014 - Singapore. Anandha does the shopping for the family, after packing everything in the fridge she notes down her expenses her a note book. This is not at the request of her employer, but just because she likes to be organized. © Nicolas Axelrod / Ruom

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Singapore
By Ruom
22 Mar 2014

Sulastri during her wedding with Mohd. Intially a migrant worker to Singapore, Sulastri worked as a domestic helper with her employer for many years before getting married to her boss.

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Singapore
By Ruom
14 Mar 2014

Tutik works full time looking after Izzati (7), in the morning they will go to the park together after lunch Tutik will take Izzati to the school bus which picks her up at her grandparents house.

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Singapore
By Ruom
23 Mar 2014

Tutik works full time (7 days a week) looking after Izzati (7), in the morning she will take Izzati to the school bus which picks her up at her grandparents house.

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Indramayu, Indonesia
By Ruom
26 Apr 2014

Tursini, a domestic worker who was abused while working in Singapore sits in her home. She was recently flown back to Singapore by a Humanitarian Organization to receive compensation from her employer, she did not file a complaint about the physical abuse but only for the salary she had not been paid.

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Singapore
By Ruom
14 Mar 2014

Tutik works full time (7days a week) looking after Izzati (7), in the morning they will go to the park together after lunch Tutik will take Izzati to the school bus which picks her up at her grandparents house.

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Singapore
By Ruom
22 Mar 2014

Domestic workers and other migrants meet up at Payar Labar to pic-nic and catch up with friends on their day off. Though Sundays are meant to be days off for domestic migrant workers, employers can request that they work 7 days a week.

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Sumber Sari, Indonesia
By Ruom
30 Apr 2014

Devita (16) talks with her grandfather and cousin. Since her mother left the village to work in Singapore 3 years ago, she has been living with her grandparents together with her sister, Ika (18).