Day Three Hundred Sixty, January 17, 2012

overpopulated

I used to live in New York City and always thought: too many people, too little space, overcrowded, claustrophobic. And then I moved to China.

It is quite difficult to describe in words and even in photos the amount of space people have to fit their lives inside of in a city like Shanghai. It is even more difficult to perceive if you have lived part of your life in a western standard home with a garden and space. I have seen some homes in city lanes, where a whole family lives in one small room with barely any room to move. Sinks and bathrooms are shared outdoors and naturally laundry is hanging in any space that is left over in the lane, on trees, on fences, electric wires, and on light poles of street intersections. Yes, overpopulated for sure…

 

Day Eighty Eight, April 20, 2011

One fifth of humanity lives here

Almost 1.4 billion humans live in China. This is almost 20% of the whole world population. It baffles the mind to think of it. I come from a tiny country of 4 million so these numbers take a lot of getting used to. There is so little space allotted to the majority of Shanghai’s 18 million residents, that they find themselves needing to extend their space to the street. Washed laundry hangs on pavements all across the city streets, so do lounge chairs and dinner tables in the summer time. This makes street photography such a fantastic exercise in this amazing city where the unusual abounds.