Invisible: Migrant Workers in Singapore

19 Jul 2018 2018 OUTDOOR

ArtWorks for Freedom and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting present Xyza Cruz Bacani’s powerful works illuminating the often invisible struggle of migrant workers in Singapore.

Featuring: Xyza Cruz Bacani

Presented by

ArtWorks for Freedom and The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting







Hidden behind a shelter in Singapore are hundreds of distressed migrant workers of different nationalities waiting for their cases to be heard and hoping to move on. These people are victims of human labor trafficking, child labor, and emotional, psychological and physical abuses.

Women are most vulnerable to these types of abuses, but even male migrant workers are subject to exploitation. Migrant workers from China, Bangladesh, India, and other Asian countries go to Singapore to work as construction workers with little protection from local labor laws.

In this project, which was supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center, photojournalist Xyza Cruz Bacani documents the lives of migrant workers in Singapore who left their home countries to seek a better economic future for their families but ended up being exploited.


Xyza Cruz Bacani (b.1987) is a Filipina Street and Documentary Photographer based in Hong Kong. Having worked as a second-generation migrant domestic worker in the city, she used photography to raise awareness about under-reported stories, focusing on the intersections of labor and human rights. She is one of the Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellow 2015, has exhibited worldwide, won awards in photography and is the recipient of a resolution passed by the Philippines House of Representatives in her honor, HR No. 1969. Xyza is a WMA Commission grantee, a Pulitzer Center, and Open Society Foundation Moving Walls 2017 grantee, she is one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the World 2015, 30 Under 30 Women Photographers 2016, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2016, and a Fujifilm Ambassador.

Website | Instagram


ArtWorks for Freedom uses the power of art to raise awareness about modern-day slavery and human trafficking. Working locally and globally and engaging art in all its forms, we are transforming public perceptions, educating individuals, communities, and policymakers, and inspiring action to put an end to modern day slavery.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is an innovative award-winning non-profit journalism organization dedicated to supporting in-depth engagement with underreported global affairs through our sponsorship of quality international journalism across all media platforms and a unique program of outreach and education to schools and universities.

Website | Twitter | Instagram