Singapore has relied on the labour contributions of guest workers since its early years. Although these workers are very much part of our nation – having played significant roles through building our infrastructure and contributing to industries with labour shortages – their struggles may often remain invisible to us.
To bring light to their contributions and stories, the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO) partnered with SowCare and the Alliance of Indian Ministries – both ministries of the Bible Society of Singapore – to organise the Walking in Your Shoes exhibition at Far East Plaza from 20-29 September 2019. The exhibition was launched with an opening ceremony on 19 September, which was graced by the Guest of Honour, Mr. Zaqy Mohamad, then-Minister of State in the Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of National Development. The exhibition, which had drawn hundreds of visitors over nine days, showcased replicas of the living spaces of guest workers in Singapore. Through these installations, the visitors were able to experience the routines of guest workers at work and in their dormitories. The untold stories and lesser-known trivia about the guest worker community were also featured – inviting Singaporeans to understand them beyond their occupational role.
Visitors could also learn words of appreciation in the native languages of guest workers – to engage them in conversation and breach social divides. Key phrases such as “how are you?” and “thank you!” were available in Bengali, Burmese, Hindi, Mandarin, Sinhala, Tamil, and Thai.
The exhibition was made possible through the generous sponsorship of Far East Organisation and Far East Plaza.
- Alliance of Indian Ministries
- Far East Organisation
- Far East Plaza