The soundwalks on this site will guide you through places that might be new or familiar to you. Each walk includes a map or instruction, and a soundtrack that you can listen to through headphones while you do the walk. Through your headphones, you’ll hear the voices of the migrant domestic and care workers who chose to take you to this place.
Go for a walk with sounds made by migrant domestic and care workers
Making and accessing the soundwalks
Making a soundwalk begins with a migrant domestic or care worker choosing a place that is meaningful to them. After going for a walk and recording a conversation there, we work together to edit the recording for listeners. This involves the collaborator learning how to use a free-to-use sound editing software, and being fairly compensated for their time and creative work.
A soundwalk expresses just a fragment of a person’s experiences and perspectives. As listeners, it asks us to acknowledge the limits of our understanding, as well as our points of affinity, alliance or empathy. This collection of soundwalks aims to centralise migrant workers’ own decision-making about what story to tell; not to fully capture an individual’s life story or an experience shared by an entire population. Processes of making the soundwalks were also shaped by the realities of time, labour, precarity, unpredictability and transience.
Information about access is given with each soundwalk, along with customisable alternatives and transcripts are provided.
If you would like to take part in the project and share your perspective as a migrant domestic or care worker, please contact Ella here.
Urban expertise in the Philippine diaspora
‘Home-Makers: Urban Expertise in the Philippine Diaspora’ is the name of a three-year research project led by Dr Ella Parry-Davies at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, funded by the British Academy. Along with a forthcoming book, this website is the result of research done by Ella with migrant domestic and care workers in the UK and Lebanon.
The project explores how domestic and care workers from the Philippines create a sense of home while living and working abroad, and how the cycle of migration shapes how returnees re-make their homes in the Philippines. While the research project has focussed on the experiences of Filipinx workers, those from other countries of origin have also collaborated on the soundwalks on this site.
Domestic and care workers labour in other peoples’ homes, often with precarious and limited domestic space of their own. Yet as migrants, they also have to become experts at creating a sense of home ‘on the move’. This research proposes that home-making is a kind of everyday performance: embodied, creative and inherently collaborative.
Ethics and equity
A soundwalk doesn’t tell the whole story
‘Home-Makers’ began with a months-long process of reflection on ethics, equity and inclusivity, and formal ethics review was undertaken at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and by Conservatoires UK before the research began. Key issues included:
- Protecting participants’ anonymity and data
- Compensating participants appropriately for their time and creative work
- Facilitating participant’s own decision-making about how they wanted to represent themselves and share their experiences
- Creating an inclusive and safe experience for speakers and listeners
- Ensuring that participants gave informed consent and could withdraw at any time
A theatre-based workshop on research ethics took place at the start of the project to explore these issues. The workshop was led by John Lumapay, a woman who worked professionally in community advocacy and Forum Theatre in the Philippines, and subsequently relocated to the UK as a palliative care nurse. The workshop was described by participants as “intimate,” “empowering” and “reparative”, and was key in shaping how ethical practice was approached throughout the subsequent research.
This website is powered by 100% renewable energy.
Favicon by Roy & Co
All other images by Ella Parry-Davies