Passepartout is all about documentaries and visual stuff I find worth seeing.

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Beijing to Sankt Petersburg: a surreal trip made and documented by Dee O’Connell

Hey, you know what? I almost decided to show you some photos of Iceland, with that kind of isolated landscape and towns with 5 inhabitants. But then I thought: it’s almost summer and you’re probably thinking of holidays and new places to see. So I picked Dee O’Connell’s old school and charming series of a trip she made from Beijing to Sankt Petersburg. With the Trans Siberian. My kind of holiday.

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An image of all your posessions – Huang Qingjun’s photos of people and everything they own

Huang Qingjun traveled through China and took these photos, meant to be a look at the impact of modernization on rural Chinese families. The project is called ‘Family Staff’.

I don’t think they speak much about the impact of modernization, at least not to someone from outside that context. That is mainly because I don’t have the means to judge whether they are doing well or a term of comparison to understand change in their lives as a result of modernization. They are probably better situated than previous generations. But I think more information would help make more sense of these images. Still, they are interesting for different reasons.

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Watch Online Documentary: China Blue (2005, directed by Micha X Peled)

If the jeans you are wearing are made in China, then they might have been made by Jasmine Li (she’s the one with the blue sweater in the photo above). China Blue tells the story of this 17 year old girl who lives and works in the Lifeng Clothes Factory in Shaxi, Guangdong. She shares her room with others like her, young migrant workers – some of them with fake ID’s making it seem they are older – who leave the safety of their villages and families to earn some money. Jasmine makes 7 cents per hour.

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Michael Wolf The Real Toy Story

Michael Wolf’s ‘Real Toy Story’

Michael Wolf‘s photos are sad and human and show a reality without framing it. The juxtaposition of these simple and modest people with the uncharming factory procedures the toys go through, speaks for itself. This is what happens in the back of the lighted colourful toy shops. The fantasies these shops sell have nothing to do with how the toys come into being.

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