In order to counteract the problems generated by Beijing’s unrelenting urbanization, the central government devised a series of aggressive policies seeking to forcefully disperse clusters of migrant workers in the city. When these measures proved ineffective, the Beijing Bureau of Education opted for a less confrontational approach in 2014 that administratively prevented the children of migrant workers from enrolling in local public schools. Many of the workers were brought to submission when the future of their children was held hostage.Against the backdrop of this rampant violation, an even greater injustice is the systematic and persistent exploitation of rural economies by the megacities. As much as the workers are excluded from the city, their only chance of survival is to dwell obstinately within it.
What emerges can only be described as an interplay between haunting and exorcism. The workers are tossed to and fro as they try everything in their power to maintain their beleaguered families, curbing the direct blows of power by simply making ends meet on a daily basis. The temporal nature of both the oppressor and the oppressed intimates the advent of a coming struggle of which we know nothing, yet.
[The Migrant Workers Video Collective]
Founded in 2016, the Migrant Workers Video Collective is an activist group that consists of artists, grassroot activists, and white collar corporate employees. Its recent productions include “After Us, the Deluge” and “A Migrant’s Ballad: Second Generation.”
The Collective seeks to reflect the tension between the inner driving forces and the external circumstances by which the subjectivity of a new generation of migrant workers is coming into being. In addition, it also wants to function as a conduit to the nodal collaboration among grassroot organizations through socially engaged image production.