Archive for April 22nd, 2014

cramped-apartments-from-above-hong-kong-soco-4I showed some photos yesterday of the high-rise apartments of Hong Kong, shot in a way that used their repetitive nature to form almost abstract imagery.  It was interesting but the thing that stuck with me was how those people in these environments adapt in their day to day lives.  On the page with these images, there was a link to some birds-eye views of cramped apartments in Hong Kong.  These gave me an answer in part.

Cage Homes in Hong Kong

Cage Homes in Hong Kong

It turns out, that while there is great wealth and luxury amid the soaring skyline of Hong Kong, there is a huge housing crunch especially for the less than affluent.  The Society for Community Organization (SoCO) in Hong Kong took these images to convey a sense of the less than perfect living conditions there.  They estimate that there are over 200,000 names on the waiting list for public housing with over 100,000 people living in sub-par housing such as cagehomes, which is where you basically live in a  dog cage stacked among groups of other cages.  They are large enough for you sleep in and hold a few possessions.  During the day, you can close the cage and lock it to protect your things.  There is a common bathroom and some of these cage communities in old tenement buildings can house up to a thousand people.  The average rent for a cage is about $170 per month with the lower cages costing the most.  Location, location, location.

These images are fascinating in an anthropological way but I can’t help but put myself in the place of some of the people shown here, to feel great empathy for their situations.   Though I have great faith in the adaptive powers of humans, I don’t know how well I would fare in such an environment.

These images make me appreciative of the good fortune that has allowed me the open space around me and the life I currently enjoy.  I hope seeing these images makes you think of yourself in them and makes you feel an appreciation for your own good fortune.

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