Home Work: Domestic Labour in the Suburbs and Villages in and Around Hanoi, Vietnam

Home Work: Domestic Labour in the Suburbs and Villages in and Around Hanoi, Vietnam

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As Vietnam moves towards urbanisation, the country’s agricultural labour force faces losing its land to urban projects – and its way of life. The country’s growing population is reducing the availability of farming land and rural families, no longer able to sustain themselves from the land, are turning to the creation of various products. These ‘craft’ villages have become the meeting place between rural and urban, agriculture and industry. During the last decade, along with rapid national economic development many craft villages have increased production up to five fold through small-scale industrial development. However, the consequence of this shift is increased waste and environmental pollution with the resources of the landscape becoming overused. Tessa Bunney spent two six month periods in Vietnam and visited many of these villages. The traditional village house is typically single storey and consists of three rooms. The large central room is a multi-purpose living, sleeping and working area and it is in this room where many of Tessa’s images are taken, the mix of work and everyday objects fascinating her visually. Interspersed with images from daily life in the rice fields and in the villages, these photographs depict ‘working from home’ in an unromanticized sense, where their subjects, mostly women, balance childcare with the routine work necessary for survival.

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