People Power in China

Alex Pasternack
Living / Culture
May 14, 2009

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Despite a rash of closures due to shrinking demand and the global credit crisis, China's factories remain plentiful and packed full of people paid minimal wages to assemble everything from jackets to iPhones to cars by hand. To many, factory life can be an empowering alternative to village life, as Leslie Chang reminds us in Factory Girls. But the conditions can be grueling. The factory pictured here, which produces coffee makers and irons, relied on 21,000 resident employees when photographer Ed Burtynsky visited in 2005.

Edward Burtynsky. "Manufacturing #18, Cankun Factory, Zhangzhou, Fujian Province," 2005