Much media attention surrounds Xyza Cruz Bacani’s inspiring tale as a Filipino domestic worker-turned-photographer who just won the prestigious 2015 Human Rights Fellowship from the Magnum Foundation. On hearing the news the 27-year-old wrote on her Facebook page, “All dreams are valid!” and “I’m going to see New York and [I’m] finally [going to] get a formal education.” Bacani will leave her domestic helper job to embark on the photography programme at New York University.
Aside from Bacani’s formidable talent, the FCC had a helping hand in her success just before she got this big break. In the summer of last year, the FCC’s Wall Committee invited Bacani who was already garnering attention at the time for her street-life photography to have an exhibition at the Club. Subsequently, the self-taught photographer showcased 25 images of her latest work titled Shooting Streets on the walls of the Main Bar. The exhibition, which was covered by major media outlets, showed images of day-to-day urban life as well as pressing social issues such as the abuse of domestic helpers.
Celebrated veteran photographer Sebastião Salgado, who spoke at the Club in December about his Genesis exhibition, met with a star-struck Bacani and praised her exhibition.