Vietnamese refugees were allowed to disembark at the Government Dockyard at Canton Road; c. 1979
Hong Kong has a long, if often forgotten, history of taking in refugees. The end of the Japanese occupation and start of the Chinese Civil War in the 1950s prompted a surge of refugees to flee to the city. Though once here, those who fled their countries were (and are) often ignored; forced to live in poverty with few, if any, rights.
This October, local NGO Centre for Refugees is staging a photographic exhibition to remind people of Hong Kong’s history as a place of refuge, and to provide a view of the city as seen by some of its most vulnerable residents. The Under Our Shelter exhibition displays images from the Centre’s extensive archives, dating back to the 1950s.
Highlights include works by photographer Alexander Treves, whose widely published work has documented the plight of displaced people around the world, and a contribution by a talented Somali photojournalist who has found refuge in Hong Kong after being forced to flee from his home country. These photos evoke a powerful story not only about Hong Kong’s forgotten past, but also the situation that many in the world currently face. Learn more about the exhibit here, and get to know some of Hong Kong’s refugees in a #legend exclusive.
From 19-22 October the exhibition can be viewed at Loft 22, California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong; from the 23-28 October it can be viewed at St Andrew’s Church, 138 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.