The Ye FamilyAdd to Lightbox
Dinner with Mrs. Ye's brother. Ye Mingfa and Ye Saiqin are a migratory couple, travelling from one building site to the next with their son. As so many others, both left the countryside, following the call from the cities to find work and escape the dullness of rural life. Mingfa has laboured at some of Beijing's largest construction sites and Saiquin worked in the factories of southern China. Today they mostly live in Wuhan, a megacity in Central China; four of them to a small room of 8 sqm, together with Saiquin's brother. Mingfa works mainly as a bricklayer at one of the many sites in the city. Saiquin looks after their two-year old son Wenjie.
Every two months, when Mingfa is hired at another site, they change their lodgings. Only once a year, at Chinese New Year, can they go back to visit their home village. Like many migratory workers, Mingfa has no education or training and remains at the very bottom of the building site's hierarchy. His irregular wages average at 2,000 Yuan a month, about 200 Euros. Often however, workers aren't paid for months. At the end of a hard day's work, the two of them take their son and go spend the evening in the dormitory of one of Mingfa's colleagues from the building site, where he plays Mahjong and she chats with the labourers' wives.
How do they imagine their future?
"The most important thing is to earn enough money to pay for our son's education. We want him to live a better life than us!"
- Benjamin Haselberger
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- The Ye Family