Photographer's Note

For my 101th China picture, I chose this metal worker working on the Bund tunnel.

The title refers to the Bruce Springsteen endorsed new American Dream. This is an altogether different one. Only time will tell whether these dreams will not turn out to have been mere illusions.


Some personal thoughts on the location...

SHANGHAI, which means 'onto the sea'(上海), has always been China's most modern city and traditionally in China it has also been the city most orientated towards the west.
(orient...west...haha, get it?)

And this was for the good, the bad and the ugly. At times being referred to as the whore of the far east, then again being lauded as the most dynamic place on earth. Shanghai can be both, and often has been both.

After years of communist-inspired ascetism, Shanghai has now shed off its Mao vest for good and boldly goes where no Chinese city has ever gone before. The eyeliners are out and drinks will be served to all who can afford it.

The tunnel under the historic Bund is part of yet another serious 'upgrading program', the upcoming 2010 world expo providing the alibi this time.

And migrant workers are welcome to come, work and save some money if they can. And then continue working. The population of Shanghai is estimated at about 20 million, including some 6 or 7 million migrant labourers, give or take a few.

As Deng Xiaoping said, it is no longer always a bad thing to try and be rich in the People's Republic. But it's a hard life, it's a hard life, it's a very hard life, it's a hard life where ever you go.


An alternative crop in the WS shows more of the Bund buildings in the background. First this is the one I wanted to upload, but then I changed my mind and went for this closer square crop, as this shot is about builders, not about buildings.


"It seems to me
I could live my life
a lot better than I think I am
I guess that's why they call me
they call me the workin' man"

Rush, Working Man (1974)


with one love and ISO-400

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2813 W: 35 N: 5734] (30600)
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