Since the 1990's, China's migrant workers have been responsible for the country's big economic growth. They were the massive workforce that arrived from the countryside to the economic centers on the Chinese coast, where they were employed by the millions, usually for very little money. They are responsible for what we know today as 'Made in China', and the reason that we enjoy lower prices for anything coming out of the Chinese factories. As years went by, the migrant workers' work conditions improved, and they manage today, more than ever before, to make a living and even save money. If you visit villages all over the country, you'll often see newly built houses, replacing the older, much smaller ones. The biggest houses in the villages usually belong to those who have worked in the cities for the longest time.
The much improved financial condition does come with a price.
Most families are not able to bring their children along with them to the cities. For many years, the kids were not allowed to go to school in the city, but even though it's different now, most parents still can't afford to make the move as a whole family.
It's hard to get an accurate number, but tens of millions of children still grow up in the Chinese countryside without their parents. Most stay with grandparents or other relatives, and some of them live on their own.
This project aims to explore the world of China's left-behind children, through photos, videos and text, and try to dive deep into a human phenomenon that affects us all.
This project started in early 2019, and has been on halt since mid-2020, due to Coviid-19 and the strict restrictions that still exist in China. It will resume once the borders open again.
*This page is still in the work, and will be updated soon.