The “hidden” nature of domestic work is what first drew Ellen Jacob to begin her photo series, “Substitutes.” For the series, Jacobs photographed and interviewed nannies living and working in New York City, increasing the visibility of work that is too often relegated to the privacy of individual homes. What follows are some beautiful images of daily life while caring for the children of others.
This kind of visibility is essential for domestic labor rights. In September we all celebrated the day that California joined Hawaii and New York in enacting a Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights, implementing basic labor protections for this often marginalized population. This victory was largely due to the hard grassroots work of organizations like the National Domestic Worker’s Alliance, and Domestic Worker’s United.
The success stories of California, New York and Hawaii are exciting, but more importantly they serve as motivation to keep pushing. The domestic workers movements is working towards implementing similar legislation in every state, with Massachusetts, Illinois, Connecticut and Oregon well on their way towards doing so.
Juliana probably dresses up like Frida Kahlo a little too often.