In this world, we is an exhibition exploring visual representations of Chinese rural migrant workers through videos, printed images, reports, and an installation, all produced in the past two decades. Since China’s economic reform in the 1980s, hundreds of millions of people from rural areas moved to cities to earn their living—a change in population that constitutes one of the largest internal migrations of the contemporary world.
Dominant media representations portray these workers as a generic mass of former peasants, who appear interchangeable, while also casting them as symbols of dreams and upward mobility in big cities. In this world, we challenges this homogenous field of representation by bringing together works of art by Liu Chuang, Li Jinghu, Antje Ehmann and Harun Farocki, alongside investigative materials from the non-governmental organization China Labor Watch. Together, they draw attention to the migrant workers’ subjectivity and their lives as individuals.
In this world, we invites viewers into the workers’ personal domains, not usually accessible to the public, through an assembly of fragments–the only way in which their everyday activities can be glimpsed.