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Beijing 'Rat Tribe' Photographs Exhibited at Auckland Photo Festival

Event Date:

June 2 - 20, 2016 | 10:00 AM EDT
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Living beneath Beijing's skyscrapers and residential blocks are an estimated 1 million migrant...

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Jing Ranming, 18, an actor and performer from Liaoning, sits in his room in an underground residence in Beijing. Image by Sim Chi Yin. China, 2015.

Photographs from photographer Sim Chi Yin's Pulitzer Center-supported project "Beijing's 'Rat Tribe'" will be exhibited at the Auckland Photo Festival in New Zealand from Thursday, June 2, 2016 through Monday, June 20, 2016.

"Beijing's Rat Tribe" intimately explores the lives of low-waged migrant workers who live in the catacombs of former nuclear bomb shelters and windowless rooms under Beijing's high-rises.

These waiters, karaoke hostesses, hairdressers, chefs, security guards, domestic workers and kitchen helpers are the backbone of Beijing's service industry. In this city of 21 million where property prices have skyrocketed, underground housing is all many migrant workers can afford. But they have been unkindly dubbed the "rat tribe" for making a home in the basements, and Beijing authorities have announced they will close down these basement dwellings, citing safety concerns.

Chi Yin's photography will be arranged in a digital presentation at Silo Park in the Wynyard Quarter.

"Rat Tribe" at the Auckland Photo Festival
Thursday, June 2, 2016 to Monday, June 20, 2016
SIlo Park, Wynyard Quarter
Beaumont Street and Jellicoe Street
Auckland, New Zealand


teal halftone illustration of a family carrying luggage and walking


Migration and Refugees

Migration and Refugees