Stories of Hong Kong’s refugees, past and present

What is #SharedPasts?

#SharedPasts is a storytelling project, the result of a collaboration between Justice Centre Hong Kong and photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani.

In May 2015, Justice Centre interviewed 16 individuals: refugees currently seeking protection in Hong Kong as well as descendants of refugees. Each interviewee was photographed by Xyza in a location they chose to reflect their story and their message. Their individual stories share a similar theme; a common narrative of resilience and survival in the face of persecution and conflict. Today, the #SharedPasts stories, accompanied by a travelling photography exhibition, honour these common narratives shared by refugees, both past and present.

Hong Kong’s refugee history

Hong Kong has a rich refugee history; from those who fled here during the Chinese Civil War or Cultural Revolution to the Vietnamese “boat people” fleeing the aftermath of the Vietnam War. How many Hong Kongers today have a refugee family history?

Despite its history, the discussions about refugees in Hong Kong today have become worryingly negative. They are filled with misconceptions about who refugees are, often leading to fear and hostility.

Through the #SharedPasts stories, learn how refugees are more than just the people you read about in the news; they are survivors, professionals, students, neighbours or friends. In other words, they might be just like you – and might once have been your family.

Travelling exhibition

To invite the travelling #SharedPasts exhibition to your workplace, organization or school, and to organise a talk or an interactive workshop on the exhibition, please contact Melanie McLaren at melanie@justicecentre.org.hk.

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