The poorest 100 000: Cage people of Hongkong


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.


© Benny Lam/AFP


© 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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