A Chinese former farmer cares for her granddaughter in a housing block
A former farmer transports her son on a bicycle inside a "replacement housing block" in Hebei province, just outside Beijing, built for people like her who has lost their farmland to a new phase of state-driven urbanisation. Because of the speed of the construction roll-out across China, they follow mostly the same blueprint.
For generations, Chinese farmers picked vegetables on family plots in China, a mainly agrarian society right up until the 20th century.
Faced with slowing exports, Communist leaders are pushing ahead with a historic plan to move 100 million rural residents into towns and cities by 2020 to create a new middle class and boost demand.
As a non-resident Chinese, Justin views the situation both as a concerned citizen and a questioning outsider. As he crisscrosses the country talking with farmers, he gets a feeling the government’s maths might be right, but wonders at the long-term consequences for society.
What happens to humanity -- and the earth -- when millions of subsistence farmers clamor to join the consumptive middle class in half a decade?
This series for Sony is shot in Hebei province, just outside Beijing, as part of his bigger project.
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- 2014 by Justin Jin. All rights reserved.
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