(Roughly) Daily

Walking the line…

3.28 Renminbi (about 49 cents)-- the per capita poverty line in China-- in peanuts

Beijing-based photographer Stefen Chow has produced an arresting series of photos illustrating the tangible reality of poverty:

This body of work explores a simple question. What is the poverty line in a country?

We decided to generally calculate a per-person, per-day rate of a national poverty line, and to create a visual portrayal of items found in that country that could be bought by a person living at the poverty line.

 This is not an emotional analysis of what it means to be poor. It is an examination of the choices one would face being poor. This is an ongoing project, with the first series understanding China, Japan, Nepal and Thailand. We have since expanded this project and have gone to five continents. We are not trying to compare different countries’ poverty, but rather to have a starting point to understand poverty within a country’s context.

Everything else is left up to interpretation.

… though the viewer notes that the local newspapers that provide the background for each shot (and their enticing advertisements) offer an ironic counterpoint to the sparse reality of life on the poverty line.

See samples of the collection here. And then check out  Jonathan Blaustein’s similar project, Value of a Dollar.

[TotH to GOOD]

As we count our pennies blessings, we might recall that it was on this date in 1972 that Richard M. Nixon arrived in China to begin the historic 8-day visit that ended 25 years of separation between the two countries; it was the first time a U.S. president had visited the PRC.

 Mao Zedong and Nixon (source)

Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 21, 2012 at 1:01 am

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