Dear Hong Kong: Photobook project shines light on city’s cultural diversity

Photos via Instagram/Dear Hong Kong
Photos via Instagram/Dear Hong Kong

Where east meets west, a melting pot, a fusion of cultures—there are endless cliches used to describe the the diversity that Hong Kong boasts. But behind these cliches are individuals with stories to tell.

For the past year, a team of volunteers for non-profit project, Dear Hong Kong, have been interviewing and photographing Hong Kong residents from around the world. The work in progress? A bilingual photobook—in Chinese and English—that will spotlight 150 people, each from a different country, who have moved to Hong Kong and made the city their home.

“By documenting stories and humanity, we hope that the book can be a platform to give voice to the voiceless, break stereotypes and promote mutual understanding,” project co-founders Oskar Valles and Aggie Lam said.

The team has so far created the first mock-up of the Humans of New York-esque book and aims to start editing, proofreading and translating the interviews this summer.

Featured in the book are Jeff Rottmeyer, the Canadian founder of charity ImpactHK, Michael Manio, a Filipino professor at the University of Hong Kong who also leads social projects to empower domestic workers and Bobsy Gaia, the Lebanese founder of plant-based cafe Mana.

“We may come from different places. We may have different jobs, but we are all the same. We have the same dreams. We have the same struggles. So I think if people get to that realization, we’ll be super happy,” Valles said in an RTHK interview

The book is expected to be published in November and will also be distributed to schools and universities as learning materials to educate students about cultural diversity in Hong Kong.

The team is hoping to raise HK$200,000 (US$25,800) to cover the production costs. Click here to support the project’s fundraising efforts.

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