China is undergoing the largest urbanisation process in world history. Most growth is seen in metropoles of more than 5 million inhabitants. Authoritarian bureaucracy, evictions and the forced displacement of rural populations to cities have been measures used by the Chinese government to accelerate urbanisation.
In central China, the construction of China’s Three Gorges dam, the largest hydro-electric power station in the world, meant relocating over a million people as the land they lived on at the time would be consumed by swelling reservoirs. A great number of those farmers, villagers, and small-town residents were suddenly thrust into Chongqing, a heaving industrial giant carved up by rivers and mountains. Hundreds of thousands of residents—young and old alike—had to find out how to exist in a city when many of them had never been to one before. And Chongqing’s population skyrocketed, to over 30 million people. Metamorpolis is exploring the effect of ultra urbanisation and its social impact.
Tim Franco has documented those changes using a photographic process for over five years. Through his images, he observes how a largely rural population still struggles to find its place in a fast developing megapolis. This accelerated urbanization also raises issues relevant to every developing city around the world: the preservation of cultural heritage , the transformation of social networks within a high-rise environment, pollution and sustainability in urban life. It is within this context that Tim Franco will present his photographic essay and talk about his experience as a witness to those rapid changes.
Tim Franco is an Asia-based photographer, whose works have been published in prestigious global publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, the Financial Times, and Le Monde.