The poorest 100 000: Cage people of Hongkong


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Regardless of how much good money is made, one can always imagine earning more of it. One’s own desires are hard to bring into accordance with one’s possibilities. As a result, we always feel much poorer than we actually are. But what is it like to really be needy, and I don’t mean our European, quite generously defined notion of poverty. Photographer Benny Lam answers this question.

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© Benny Lam/AFP

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© Benny Lam/AFP

Every day, we are exposed to a sheer flood of pictures that purport wars and natural disasters. I realize, therefore, that compared to starving in the driest places in Africa, a tiny flat in Hongkong may feel like winning the lottery. It is probably also because I am slightly claustrophobic, but I can’t seem to recall any photo-series of recent years that evoked such a terrible feeling inside of me. This is probably a good thing, for how else would we ever have a break and think about how well off we actually are?

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