An award-winning set of photographs shows a slice of life aboard China’s slow trains and a side of the country forgotten amid the fanfare over high-speed progress.
When Qian Haifeng set out to see the country on the cheap, he began photographing his fellow passengers and captured an intimate, sympathetic portrayal of the country’s poor migrant classes.
As China’s new high-speed rail network made headlines around the world, nobody really noticed the old green trains that freight the poor from first-tier cities to the countryside and back again, says Qian. Many of these older locomotives, to this day, lack basic amenities such as air conditioning and heating.
The photographer said the third-class-carriage tables were piled high with sunflower seeds and peanut shells. Some long-distance commuters were trying to sleep, heads propped awkwardly against window frames with a rolled towel or bunched-up T-shirt for a pillow.
Although Qian initially intended to document his nomadism for his own pleasure, his images have won him national and international recognition. Head to the link in our bio to read more. .
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