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Curating Development




Beyond Myself is a travelling exhibition that derives from arts based workshops with Filipino migrants in London and Hong Kong.  The exhibition is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK as part of the project, Curating Development.

The Curating Development project explores Filipino migrants’ aspirations for and investments in their own and others’ futures in the Philippines. Specifically it draws on and curates art works and visual images produced mainly through a series of participatory workshops with Filipino migrants living and working in London and Hong Kong. The arts based workshops enabled participants, mainly Filipino care and domestic workers, to reflect on the different meanings of development and their contributions to that.

Reading Room

Deirdre McKay and Padmapani Perez

July 2019


An article on the ways Filipinos mobilise social media to cope with natural disasters. The article develops insights from our work on the circulation of digital images among Filipino migrants overseas.

Deirdre McKay

December 2017

A report on digital diasporas for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Deirdre McKay

Routledge Handbook of Migration and Development



An article on the Philippines-Hong Kong migration corridor in the Routledge Handbook of Migration and Development (2019).

Deirdre McKay

25th May 2017, The Conversation

An article based on the Curating Development research. It was republished by The Independent (UK and Singapore) and reached over 8,000 readers.

Care and Control in Asian Migrations

Mark Johnson
29 March, 2019, Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology

Beyond the ‘All Seeing Eye’

Mark Johnson, Maggy Lee, Mike McCahill & Ma. Rosalyn Mesina
29 March, 2019, Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology

Project Team
Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is Professor of Anthropology, and Dean of the Graduate School at Goldsmiths, University of London.  He is Principal Investigator and co-director of the UKRI GCRF GlobalGRACE project and previously  of the AHRC funded Curating Development project and of the British Academy project investigating migrant experiences of surveillance in Hong Kong. He has long term research interest on the Philippines including migrant and diasporan Filipinos living and working in different parts of the world.   His research interests are shaped by his own personal history having grown up in Sulu and Zamboanga in the southern Philippines. Read more >

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Deirdre McKay

Dr Deirdre McKay (Keele University) researches indigenous peoples, development and migration. She is the author of Global Filipinos (Indiana, 2012) and An Archipelago of Care(Indiana, 2016). She has worked with CIDA and AusAID-funded projects in the Philippines and with Filipino migrant communities in Canada, Hong Kong, London and online. She is interested in personal stories of development, migration strategies, and people’s sense of self, and how these phenomena are being reshaped by social media. She’s interested in development, media and creative approaches more broadly - her other projects explore upcycled plastic arts and crafts and ‘private aid’ after natural disasters. Read more >

Maggy Lee

Maggy Lee is Professor of Criminology at the University of Hong Kong.  She has published widely in sociology and criminology especially in the field of migration and human trafficking and is Co-Investigator on the AHRC Curating Development project and on the British Academy project investigating migrant experiences of surveillance in Hong Kong. Read more >

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Gabriela Nicolescu

Gabriela Nicolescu is Associate Lecturer in Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London and postdoctoral researcher in the AHRC funded Curating Development project. Gabriela’s primary research interests are with material culture, visual anthropology and present museums and exhibitions engaging with debates in medical anthropology, politics, economics and social change. Read more >

Nathalie Dagmang

Nathalie Dagmang is a Filipino artist who works in collaboration with Curating Development and a lecturer at Ateneo de Manila University. Her recent art projects make use of ethnographic practices and involve a riverine community in her hometown Marikina City, Philippines, communities of Overseas Filipino Workers in the UK and most recently, food vendors and homeless women residing along a heritage street in Manila. She has exhibited her works in various galleries and community spaces in the Philippines, Hongkong, Singapore, Taiwan and the U.K.  Read more >


Kanlungan is a UK-registered charity consisting of six Filipino community organisations working together for the welfare and interests of Filipinos in Britain. Having just implemented "Migrants Empowerment Project" from 2013 to December 2016, Kanlungan is pleased to partake in "Curating Development" through participant co-ordination with the Filipino Domestic Workers Association UK; organising and facilitating all UK-based workshops; and planning and preparing the final exhibitions.


The project will be anchored by Kanlungan Trustees Susan Cueva & Rafael Joseph Maramag. Susan is a founding member of the charity. She works as a National Officer in UNISON, UK's biggest public sector union with a large Filipino membership; Rafael is Kanlungan's current Secretary. He also works as a Language Teacher in Tagalog & Spanish at SOAS University of London.  Read more >


Enrich is the leading Hong Kong charity promoting the economic empowerment of migrant domestic workers and project partner for Curating Development in Hong Kong.  The executive director of Enrich is Lucinda Pike who brings a wealth of research experience and training expertise to the project leadership team.  Read more >

Scalabrini Migration Center

The Scalabrini Migration Center (SMC) is dedicated to the promotion of the interdisciplinary study of international migration, with a specific focus on migration questions in the Asia-Pacific region.  Directed by Graziano Battistella, C.S., the Scalabrini Migration Center is project partner for Curating Development in Manila working in conjunction with Maruja M. B. Asis, SMC’s director of research and publications. Read more >

Vargas Museum

A center for Philippine art and culture, the Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center’s main thrusts are research, exhibition and education. Directed by Prof Patrick Flores, it enjoys the distinction of being one of the art repositories in the country embracing the entire range of Philippine artistic creativity from the 1880s onwards. Through its collection of oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, drawings, and sculptures, Vargas Museum aims to contribute towards the appreciation of the country’s artistic heritage and to foster an awareness of the history of Philippine art. More >

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