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2012/03/13

twenty-six days : the people and places of Made In China

-Let's make this work! Get her the money! 
"Crossing the border, after cutting our photographic teeth on China-Lite, herded through the tight chaos of unsmiling, efficient guards, of migrants, of commuters, we’re finally in the Mainland. And to me, it felt different somehow. Immediate and surreal. China proper as opposed to former British colony. The signs of commerce still existed, only now with the feeling of a certain type of dreariness, of quiet oppression, the cracks in the veneer wider, the machine churning undaunted." --excerpt from speech given after returning


In May 2006, I traveled to China for twenty-six days on a photography/design trip. Before this time, China was not on the top of my list for places I would like to see. Yet after hearing my professor (an amazing photographer from Hong Kong) speak about the country, I could not resist. This trip changed my life. It challenged me, confused me, made me see the world in a whole new light, viewing firsthand these topics I had so often grandstanded about. Globalization, marketing, Westernization, cheap labor, and consumerism, it was all there. But there was something else, a human connection, people living their lives, another "great leap" into the future. An economy accelerating so fast that some were left struggling and some saw city life for the first time, the biggest human migration in history. The people we met on this trip were amazing. I love China like I love my adopted home of New Orleans, and it is, at the core, due to the people. I carry both of these places with me daily and thank my lucky stars I was able to see so much of this country at this time in history.

After returning from China, an exhibition was held at the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, KS , the Mulvane Art Museum in Topeka, KS, and the Lianzhou Photo Festival in Lianzhou, China. Since then, thanks to a full-time job, many of my images have sat unedited and unseen. It has always been a dream of mine to do books based on my photography and writing and I would like to start with this one.




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Updates, printed postcard featuring an image from the book, an 8x10" photo of one of five selected images, and of course, my eternal gratitude. *If outside the U.S., please pledge an extra $5 to help cover shipping!

Here's her personal site Jill Ensley
Originally found at Buzzfeed


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