Bertrand Meunier
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  • Ordinary peasants

    They represent nearly 800 million people. News reports from all over the world only mention the unspeakable poverty of these peasant-workers or their sporadic revolts against the local potentates of the Party. However those we encountered when walking along country paths in provincial China were ordinary people welcoming us with warm and communicative smiles. They are poor, that is a fact, but they are by no means miserable people.
    More than anything we were surprised to find that there are no more peasants in China; at least no more peasants working the land full-time. This is simply because since the Communist regime decided, during the 90s, to block allocations of cultivable land from a rural population which is constantly increasing, it is now mathematically impossible for each family to live on the sole produce of the land. Consequently, what is happening these days is that men and women peasants, from the age of 16 to 60, all leave – at one point or another – to work on the building sites or in the factories of so many of these Chinese cities in which the economy is booming.

    Project done in collaboration with the journalist Stephanie Ollivier and carried out thanks to the support of the photography Nicéphore Niépce Museum.

    More information about the exhibition.