The visionary and ambitious vs the displaced and exploited.
A new collection of photos shows the winners and losers of the Olympics boom in China. Will the Games be a blessing or a disaster for Beijing? The answer may not be known for months or even years. (Pics)
A migrant worker peers through a poster-covered fence on an Olympics construction site in Beijing. An estimated 5 million workers from other parts of China helped whip Beijing into shape for the Games. With construction now complete, they have been told to leave the city.
A number of old city quarters in Beijing, the so-called Hutongs, have fallen victim to the wave of modernization.
“Qianmen’s historical roots are too deep, too valuable,” says neighborhood resident Ma Zhengqiang. “But now no one cares.” His family lived in this 37 square meter house for four generations. His neighborhood — and house — was torn down for the Olympics.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Xiu Yue rests in the Qianmen neighborhood. The site was cleared for the Olympics and two days after this image was taken, her family’s hut in the background was gone.
“One World, One Dream” is the slogan for the Beijing Olympics. Photographer Chua Chin Hon says the saying is naive in light of religious intolerance and global terrorism.
To usher in the Olympics, Beijing embarked on a seven-year construction boom unlike anything seen in its long history. New roads, highways, airport terminals, subway lines and sports facilities were built as part of the government’s $40 billion renewal.
Fourteen billion dollars were invested in cleaning up Beijing’s air — part of the promise to deliver a “green Games.” But a thick gray pall continues to hang over the city on many days.
Like much of the country itself, the Chinese capital is at the crossroads of the old and the new, the rich and the poor, and the banal and the radical. Here, lowly-paid scavengers haul bricks away from the site of the multi-million dollar Water Cube stadium.
The sci-fi looking Laoshan Velodrome, which will host the indoor cycling events, is built next to several blocks of crumbling residential buildings in western Beijing.
While the two sharply angled towers of the new CCTV headquarters reach into the sky, life on the ground is an incongruous mix of the old and the new, the rich and the poor.
Via der Spiegel