Storytelling project Hong Kong Shifts puts the spotlight on shift workers whose invaluable contributions often go unnoticed, from street cleaners to dockhands to chefs. Founded in 2019 by Cynthia Cheng and Maxime Vanhollebeke, the project aims to promote empathy, social inclusion and engagement in the city.

Jean, a buffalo whisperer in South Lantau who works seven-hour shifts. Photo: Hong Kong Shifts.

“Throughout Covid, we have been whizzing around all corners of Hong Kong – cargo ship to fishing dinghy, buffalo fields to floating village – to connect with and source stories from the people who tirelessly keep this city ticking,” Cheng said.

Siddhesh, a seafarer trainee who works 12-hour shifts. Photo: Hong Kong Shifts.

Through a three-day community event, Hong Kong Included, from January 12 to 14 at Soho House, Hong Kong Shifts will be sharing the stories of the city’s shift workers through photography, fireside chats, drinks, and a “meet a stranger” activity.

Tsan, a styrofoam box collector in Tsing Yi who works 18-hour shifts. Photo: Hong Kong Shifts.
Yuk, a rice dumpling maker in Yuen Long who works 11-hour shifts. Photo: Hong Kong Shifts.
Ming, a public toilet cleaner on Lamma Island who works nine-hour shifts. Photo: Hong Kong Shifts.
Tak, a village vehicle driver who works eight-hour shifts. Photo: Hong Kong Shifts.
Ho, a cardboard collector in Sham Shui Po who works five-hour shifts. Photo: Hong Kong Shifts.
Kwong Chuen, a cook in Wong Chuk Hang who works 11-hour shifts. Photo: Hong Kong Shifts.
  • Date: January 12-14, 2023.
  • Location: Soho House, 33 Des Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan.
  • Times: 6 p.m. – 12 a.m. on January 12, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on January 13, 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on January 14.
  • Tickets: From HK$100.
  • Full details here.

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