Photographic Alphabet: Q is for Q. Sakamaki
China Outer Lands
China’s Outer Lands is about people’s identity in Outer China, covering its North, Northeast, West, and Southwest regions. These lands consist of a multitude of ethnic groups, such as Uighurs, Manchus, Bais, Mongols, and Tibetans, whose mother tongues and religions are very different from Han-Chinese; many of them practice Islam and stricter Buddhism.
Each region has its own tumultuous history. A small change of the power balance creates a new wave of migrants looking for a better life in a safer place, often resulting in wars. Their lands are now considered a part of China, and they are facing another historical phenomenon – China’s massive economic development, fortified by tens of millions of ethnic Han-Chinese migrants into the regions. These developments have created enormous economic disparity, as well as conflicts between the old guards (including among the Han-Chinese), and the newcomers.
With the historical context in mind, modern-day people in the provinces of Outer China struggle with redefining their identity, and consciously or unconsciously seek feelings of belonging or exclusiveness, conformity or uniqueness and/or the thirst for power or dependence. This isn't an isolated occurrence: similar, conflicted desires are rampant all across the globe.