As a result of violent events led by Uyghur’s separatist forces that have been frequently taking place in China since 2009, the Chinese central government is providing the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with several aid projects, including investments, construction, labour exports, etc. Kashgar is one of the cities in China’s far west border area, neighbouring Pakistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Guangzhou, the coastal city in southeastern China, is one of Kashgar’s sister cities, which aids Kashgar in developing its infrastructure and social stability. The aid project includes two parts: investments come into Xinjiang and labour goes out to inner China. I spent 2015 and 2016 travelling around Kashgar to take these images. This project aims to explore how policies impact a region and its residents, and discusses whether it is possible to solve a tense social problem with an economical method.
Yuyang Liu was born in 1991 and graduated from the Department of History at East China Normal University in Shanghai. He is a freelance photographer for Getty Images Reportage Emerging Talent and The New York Times based in Beijing, China. When he was a high school student, he started to love taking photos and decided to become a photographer. His images focus on social justice, environment and urbanisation in China. He has won the Magnum Foundation Human Rights & Photography Fellowship, the Ian Parry Scholarship and the Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography. His work has been published in TIME, The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR and BBC World Service, among others.