The Other Hundred Stories from Around Asia

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The Other Hundred is a unique photo-book project aimed as a counterpoint to the Forbes 100 and other media rich lists by telling the stories of people around the world who are not rich but who deserve to be celebrated. Its 100 photo-stories move beyond the stereotypes and clichés that fill so much of the world’s media to explore the lives of people whose aspirations and achievements are at least as noteworthy as any member of the world’s richest 1,000. Selected from 11,000 images shot in 158 countries and submitted by nearly 1,500 photographers, The Other Hundred celebrates those who will never find themselves on the world’s rich lists or celebrity websites.

Visit www.theotherhundred.com for more info

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The Other Hundred Stories from Around Asia

  1. The Other Hundred is a unique photo-book project aimed as a counterpoint to the Forbes 100 and other media rich lists by telling the stories of people around the world who are not rich but who deserve to be celebrated. Its 100 photo-stories move beyond the stereotypes and clichés that fill so much of the world’s media to explore the lives of people whose aspirations and achievements are at least as noteworthy as any member of the world’s richest 1,000. Selected from 11,000 images shot in 158 countries and submitted by nearly 1,500 photographers, The Other Hundred celebrates those who will never find themselves on the world’s rich lists or celebrity websites. Visit www.theotherhundred.com for more info
  2. In Bangladesh, a society where marriage is still regarded far more as a merging of two families than as a union of two people, love can be a complicated, even dangerous thing. Religious, economic and social factors are the conditions that count – hard terms for young people who dream about love and freedom of choice. Many sweethearts meet in secret to escape the disapproving eyes of their parents or even their friends. Parks are a favoured location for their encounters.
  3. Arif Mahmud, 26 and Rashna, 21, both students at the University of Liberal Arts, have been together for two years. Their families are aware but do not approve of them dating. The couple hope that given time their families will eventually accept and support their relationship.
  4. Born and raised in Aceh, at the far western end of the Indonesian archipelago, Mahdi Abdullah has had much of his adult life shaped by the threedecade war fought between separatists from the province and government forces. Now 53, he came of age as the conf lict started in 1976. Three years later, after graduating from high school in 1979, he moved to Yogyakarta to study art. He returned to Aceh in 1984 shortly before the war reached its peak through the late 1980s and early 1990s. Its violence remains a major inf luence on much of his work. Through the following years he continued painting and also working as a journalist, lecturer and cartoonist contributing work to both national and Aceh magazines and other publications. In 1990 he held his first solo exhibition, paying for it by selling his motorcycle. He now exhibits both in Indonesia and other countries, most recently with a show titled “Picturing Pictures” held at the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Art Museum in Vietnam. The early 2000s saw two brief pauses in the Aceh insurgency. But the final catalyst for peace came from nature, and the devastation caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, after which both sides declared a ceasefire. The tsunami, however, also devastated Mahdi’s home, killing his parents and two younger siblings, and destroying his entire collection of 40 paintings along with many sketches, drawings and photographs. Since 2009, Mahdi has lived in Yogyakarta, enrolling at the Institut Seni Indonesia, the country’s leading art school, and opening a studio. He paints daily for around eight hours, sometimes longer.
  5. “When I wake up in the morning, there are only seven things on my mind – my children. I know they depend on me. I am their only pillar,” says Mila. Earning less than US$800 a month as a washroom cleaner, Mila has to support her family in one of the world’s most expensive – and most unequal – cities. An extensive social welfare system helps to some extent: some 85 percent of Singapore’s resident population lives in public housing. But income equality, albeit less than in Hong Kong, its Asian rival, is greater than in the US or UK, and widening. In 2011, Singapore had 188,000 millionaire households – about 17 percent of the total, a higher proportion than anywhere else in the world.
  6. “Everywhere I go, I try to show the human side of a country. What’s behind the headlines that you see or read in the media,” writes Eric Lafforgue. “I’ve been six times to North Korea. Every time they’ve opened new places to visit, and I’ve kept on meeting local people. “My contact with them has always been good. On my first visit in 2008, they wanted to see the pictures on my camera screen. Nowadays, especially in parks and at funfairs, they often ask me to pose for them and take a picture of me with their camera. “In Jung Pyong Ri, a small seaside village, tourists are allowed to share food and sleep in the homes of local fishermen. For sure, these people are more privileged than many, and propaganda may be everywhere, but they have kept a warm side if you make the effort to discover it. “North Koreans aren’t the robots they are often portrayed as in Western newspapers and magazines.”
  7. In the last two decades, countless thousands of factories have sprung up across Shanghai’s outlying districts and suburbs. The majority of the young workers who fill their assembly lines are migrants from other parts of China. Despite being young – typically in their early 20s – many are already married when they arrive. These couples face many challenges living in the city. On low wages and denied the social benefits granted to native Shanghainese, they live squashed into dormitories, single rooms or tiny f lats. If they have a child, she or he is often left behind with their parents or other relatives in their hometown or village. Unable to afford the cost when they married, most of them don’t have wedding photos. Jia Daitengfei offered to take pictures of a few of them for free if they would pose in the factories where they worked. Six months later, he returned to take follow-ups and see if the lives of these couples had changed in any way.
  8. In the tiny alleyways of Ka Farushi, Kabul’s bird bazaar, a merchant from one of Afghanistan’s Tajik population sells everything from spices and f lower seeds to bird food and shampoo. The Johnnie Walker Red Label bottles at the front of his stall, however, are not quite what they seem, being filled with cooking oil not Scottish whisky. In 2012, to bring the country into line with Sharia law, Afghanistan’s parliament passed a bill stipulating fines, imprisonment or whipping for anyone caught buying, selling or consuming liquor or other alcohol. But with non-Muslim foreigners largely exempt from this ban, a black market for spirits and other drinks f lourishes, albeit discreetly. Once emptied, the bottles are collected, cleaned and recycled with other liquids inside. It is unsurprising that bottles with Johnnie Walker labels often turn up – the brand is the most widely distributed and best-selling Scotch whisky worldwide, with annual sales of more than 130 million bottles.
  9. Mohammed Komrulhoda, 57, works as a rickshaw puller in the streets around Kolkata’s New Market area, starting before dawn and usually carrying on until nine o’clock at night. From Purvi Champaran, a small village in northern India’s Bihar state, he averages around six or seven customers a day, each paying between 10 rupees and 30 rupees for a journey – US$0.15 to US$0.50. His total daily earnings range between 50 rupees and 100 rupees, from which he has to pay 30 rupees for the rental of his rickshaw. At night he sleeps in a room shared with a dozen or so other men, paying 90 rupees a month for his bed. Two or three times a year he travels by train to visit his family in Bihar, journeys which each cost him around 5,000 rupees. Any money he has left after paying for food and his other living costs he sends to relatives in Bihar. He has five children, two of whom – his youngest daughters – remain unmarried because he cannot save enough money to give them dowries big enough to attract suitable husbands.
  10. The Global Institute For Tomorrow – GIFT – is an independent pan-Asian think and do tank dedicated to advancing an understanding of: The evolving social contracts that exist between the public, private, and civil sectors; The shift of economic and political power from the West to the East; The reshaping of the rules of global capitalism. We ask the question - what does this mean for Asia? GIFT engages with future leaders through an exceptional approach to executive education. Our unique action-learning programmes equip participants to lead effectively and succeed in a rapidly changing and globalised world. Visit www.global-inst.com for more details

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