Book Talk: Backpacker-photographer shows China through unfiltered lens
A: "It's like watching a child mature and grow, but on fast forward ... I think progress and change is inevitable. You can't lament it. But I think the way the Chinese government has gone about it has been a little bit shameful. (It is) like they're purposefully trying to erase swaths of history and culture because they want to catch up with America and Japan.
"What they do now is say, 'We understand some people want to see that traditional villages still exist, so we'll build a new old village.' They turn it into a tourist zone and it's all fake, it just looks old and they think that's good enough. It's not."
Q: How do you think the Chinese are adapting to the changes?
A: "Everything is off-balance and that doesn't really make a lot of sense to anyone, especially to the villagers who are still living in poverty out on the other side of the country. Meanwhile, people are driving Ferraris down the street in Shanghai. These aren't rich people. These are middle class people who can afford a Ferrari ... You can't have that much economic disparity and regional disparity without consequences."
Q: From your travels, how do India and China compare?
A: "I think that India is about a century behind China still as far as infrastructure and modernization. I think I can say that with relative authority having traveled on the ground all over - north, south, east and west. It's a really, really
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