Xiaoxiao Xu embarks on a journey of 25,000 kilometres to document the lives of the people along the foot of the Great Wall of China. Contrary to popular belief, the wall is not a single, continuous structure, but rather a collection of walls and fortifications built during various Chinese dynasties. Her images show that, despite its decline in some of these parts, a lively relationship remains between the wall and local populations who honour and protect it.
Xu tried to discover the impact of fast-growing China on this historic site. What does the wall reflect today? Which elements have disappeared and which remnants have survived? She discovered that the villages at the foot of the Great Wall are some of the last places where people still live according to old traditions, but here too, these are gradually disappearing. Her work focuses on the visual transformation of this process. From place to place she tries to catch a glimpse of the past.
The book contains an essay by Maria-Caterina Bellinetti (US). She is a writer and art historian specialized in photography, Chinese visual culture and propaganda. In her essay she writes about the wall as a symbol and connections the work of Xiaoxiao to the history of the wall.
Specifications: The Eriskay Connection ・ 2020 ・ Softcover ・ 23,5 x 33 cm. / 112 pages ・ English ・ 978-94-92051-48-6