“Made in China: Cities and the People that Make Your Shoes” is funded by HRC’s Doc Lab as part of Doc Lab’s ongoing “Requests for Proposals: Documentary Projects.”
Project members: Cici Cheng (Media and Arts) and UG student (TBD)
Project summary: China continues to have the world’s largest footwear industry. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the country faced quarantines and closed factories, including most of the shoe manufacturing facilities. The pandemic had an impact on both domestic and global manufacturing and distribution operations within these businesses, disrupting an already fragile supply chain. With inflation in the United States and many other countries at its highest level in more than 20 years, the cost of clothing and shoes has risen because of the global supply chain crisis linked to China’s lockdowns.
This project takes place within shoe factories and retail establishments in cities that are major shoe-producing hubs in China. It investigates and documents through photography the current state of these cities and the businesses that rely on shoe manufacturing for both domestic and foreign markets. The intersection of economics, culture and people of these communities are also examined in this work.
Cici Cheng is currently a Visiting Senior Lecturer in Media and Arts at Duke Kunshan University