HONG KONG - A Filipina domestic worker in Hong Kong who takes breathtaking street photography has been awarded the prestigious Magnum Foundation Human Rights scholarship to New York University.
Ms Xyza Cruz Bacani on Thursday wrote on her Facebook page where she has almost 7,000 followers: "All dreams are valid! I'm one of the 2015 magnum fellows! I'm going to see new york and finally get a formal education! I'm literally crying when i received the news."
The New York Times in an article in June last year reported that the 27-year-old grew up in Nueva Vizcaya, the Philippines. She went to Hong Kong as a maid because the employer of her mother, also a domestic helper, wanted another live-in helper to care for her.
Ms Bacani joined her mother and her boss in Hong Kong nearly nine years ago. When she was in college in the Philippines, her passion for photography blossomed, but only managed to afford a camera a few years after she had moved to Hong Kong. Her first camera was a Nikon D90, bought with money borrowed from her boss.
Then she fell in love with the art. "I just go down and I have subjects," she said. "I have something to shoot," she was quoted as saying in the New York Times. She documents her mostly black-and-white work on xyzabacaniphotography.com.
According to its website,the Magnum Foundation supports, trains and mentors the next generation of photographers and champions in-depth, independent documentary photography that fosters empathy, engagement, and positive social change.