I am a 2nd year PhD student at the School of Management, QUT Business School. My PhD thesis intrudes into the spa industry of Sri Lanka, which has become a social taboo in the wider Sri Lankan society due to its blurred fraternity with sex work. In such a context, work in the organisational spaces of spas is associated with a social stigma and the women who provide their labour as masseuses have become “societal misfits” in Sri Lanka. Inspired by this social phenomenon and informed by the socially produced theoretical tenants of space and identity, the thesis is focused on exploring the intersection of the social construction of the organisational space of spas and the identity of the masseuse in the broader socio-cultural environment of Sri Lanka.
Through this piece of artwork, I attempt to emphasise the way in which the masseuses in Sri Lanka are engaged in an ongoing (un)masking of their work identity in different spatio-temporal settings in their everyday life.