A film based sharing cultural photo project for 2013. 11 pics from 8 people making 88of8. 8 people from China and 8 people from UK. Comparing and contrasting life today. I send out an olympus trip loaded with 36exp B&W film. You shoot the roll and return the film to me here in Devon, England. You then reload the camera and await instructions as to where next it should be sent.
It is a project involving a lot of trust but I am hopeful the results will out way the risks of losing my entire olympus trip collection. Anyway I want to try and do something photo project based to inspire my daughter who is doing A level photography in Exeter. She has agreed to assist me with developing the contact sheets and prints in our darkroom here at home. Will, in Shaghai, has agreed to develop the films from China and then forward the results.
A 70's icon the trip is a small engineering diamond
How do you begin to tell the story of the seemingly unrestricted surge from communism to capitalism going on in China today. Articles written yesterday will be swallowed like the huts and hovels. Lost as the present erases the past. Business types and rag pickers fight for survival in what has become the rawest form of naked capitalism on the earth today. The old china is being ‘dismantled’, scrapped and then replaced. Private companies, developers and landlords jostle to secure their own flags on the land that once belonged if only in principle to everyone. There must be an elite in China that are stupendously incomprehensively wealthy. An elite that need to extend their arms and those of the state to soften the blow of the disaffected and weak as they fall inevitably by the wayside in such a bare knuckle fight, or face a populas that will one day explode into chaos. The ‘regular’ people in China are no different from those here in the UK. Family , friends, work and play, forging a better life for ourselves are what both hold as life goals. China seems like a Britain at the height of our own industrial revolution in the late 19th century. Hopefully, just as in Britain , a few altruistic individuals and even companies will step forward to correct the viscous uncaring and ruthless free market and produce a society that cares for the weak, the poor and the vulnerable. We cannot all be tigers.
The china man needs to raise his head up, even if weighed down by the memory of humiliation hats of 66., confront the juxtaposition of a runaway dismantling of the old china with the unchanging unmoving retention of an impregnable hierarchy. In a truly free country, bringing awareness of an opinion or documenting the life of a single individual can be undergone without fear. Modernisation is not just about economies, it is about people. Nobody should live with this fear. The man on the street pays no heed. He has not the time or energy left after providing for his family to concern himself with any radical change. We in the west congratulate ourselves on having free elections, the opportunity to vote for our masters. But as turn out figures continue to fall, are we not both the same? What difference does it really make who runs the council in whichever city you live in? As long as it done justly, without prejudice and corruption, most would be happy.
Indeed it seldom the fault of any system that produces corruption but the individuals who exploit there position. It is fallible man not fallible ideology. No system is perfect as a consequence of this fundamental flaw. Drums and placards will not scratch the surface of the new biggest boy in the playground. What will happen to towns like this one? What will become of the people in them? China will become a living time machine.