Scattered Sand: The Story of China's Rural Migrants (CANCELED)


This program has been cancelled. For a ticket refund, please call the Box Office: 212-517-ASIA (M–F, 1 PM–5 PM)

Each year, 200 million workers from China's vast rural interior travel between cities and provinces in search of employment: the largest human migration in history. This indispensable army of labor accounts for half of China's GDP, but is an unorganized workforce — "scattered sand," in Chinese parlance — and the most marginalized and impoverished group of workers in the country.

For two years, the award-winning journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai travelled across China, examining the exploitation of workers. She visited laborers on Olympics construction sites, in the coal mines and brick kilns of the Yellow River region, and at the factories of the Pearl River Delta. She witnessed the outcome of the 2009 riots in the Muslim province of Xinjiang; saw towns in rubble more than a year after the colossal earthquake in Sichuan; and was reunited with long-lost relatives, estranged since her mother's family fled for Taiwan during the Civil War. Scattered Sand is the result of her travels: a finely-wrought portrait of those left behind by China's dramatic social and economic advances.

Hsiao-Hung Pai is a freelance journalist, who has written for the Guardian, Chinese Weekly, UK Chinese Times, Feminist Review (UK), Open Democracy (UK), Southern Weekend (China) and Mass Age (Taiwan), among others. She covered the Morecambe Bay cockle-picking tragedy for the Guardian, which was made into the film Ghosts. Her book on undocumented Chinese immigrants in Britain, Chinese Whispers: The True Story Behind Britain's Hidden Army of Labor, was shortlisted for the Orwell Book Prize in 2009.

*Followed by book sale and signing.

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Event Details

Tue 16 Oct 2012
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
725 Park Avenue (at East 70th Street), New York, NY
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Members: $10; students/seniors: $12; nonmembers: $15
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