Writing on the Wall by John Brooks

This is a series of images sourced in southern China in the Province of Guangdong, formerly known as Canton. At the outskirts of the city of Shaoguan in the old part of the peasant area lies a cultivated area bounded by the wall from which these images are derived. The wall divides the cultivated land from the small houses where the peasants live, and is constructed from brick which has been rendered with a lime plaster and then painted. The wall has been there a long time and in parts the render is falling of exposing the brickwork underneath. During the Cultural Revolution political slogans were added to the wall for propaganda purposes for the peasant population. In more recent times this wall has been subject to modern graffiti with mobile phone numbers added and other unofficial messages which have to some extent been removed leaving in places a ghostly outline of the original message but leaving in tact the Political writings. This wall may be considered to represent the lives of the peasantry whereby over the years they have been subjugated and worn down by the effects of the cultural revolution and its' propaganda and the impact of modern life now tries to impose its' messages on them.

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