Introductory Text

The Most Familiar Strangers

By Lorac, journalist, audience and spectator


Domestic helpers are arguably the most familiar strangers to many. They are the ones in the know of our daily routines, domestic trivialities and even worshipping rituals, but they remain almost a blank sheet to us: Who’s there in their family? What are they interested in? What faith and customs they observe? They are strangers who look after our life day in and day out.

For this project, Macau Experimental Theatre made its way to Indonesia for face-to-face interviews with parents and children of the performers, documenting in videos with an attempt to smash our stereotypes of the hometown of these “strangers”. In addition to the performers’ monologues on stage, this production integrates poems by migrant workers, physical dance and exotic music presented in the form of documentary theatre. There are no emotionally charged twists and turns, just simplicity and sincerity. When the media only focus on neglecting children and thefts by some migrant workers and when employers only see domestic helpers running into debt and trying to get sacked intentionally, perhaps we should try to bear in mind that they are also human beings who, just like you and me, are good at not only household chores but also artistic creation.


This article is excerpted and translated from Chinese