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Minimum “housing”: Hong Kong’s sarcophagi

This week we have decided to stay in the Asian world, after the previous publication, to bring to Patio de Sombras a somewhat darker vision of Chinese society today.


China is a country that stands out for its population density, where cities have become overcrowded. By immersing ourselves in the Hong Kong region, competition in the industry seems to be crushing a lower class struggling to offer cheap labour in order to achieve an acceptable lifestyle.

The result on society is a lowering of the requirements of this standard of living, looking for sustainable expenses against wages that do not allow the Western standard of living. Rising house prices are one of the biggest drawbacks, forcing workers to live in tiny spaces.

This is how the so-called “sarcophagi of Hong Kong” appear: claustrophobic spaces that house, with a background of 90cm and a height of no more than 150cm, a bed and the possessions that the “inhabitant” considers necessary, such as small electrical appliances, televisions, clothes…


It is estimated that 200,000 people currently live in these conditions in the Hong Kong region alone, either due to lack of budget or income altogether (many of the residents are unemployed), hosting a wide range of ages, from young people who want to immerse themselves in the world of work without overspending for their families, to unemployed elderly people who have decided to spend their last days in this way.

Faced with such a desolate panorama, many journalists, photographers and writers have taken to the streets in search of showing the world the truth about the oppression that exists due to the lifestyles of these great cities, in a final cry for help.


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