Chinese Workers In Africa Record Its Beauty, Bounty, On Camera

Chinese Workers In Africa Record Its Beauty, Bounty, On Camera

Chinese engineers, project managers and others working across Africa have formed an amateur photography group to share photos of African life and bust stereotypes they say are held by many Chinese citizens back home, according to according to a report in ChinaDaily.

The group, named HSH, was established in 2012 by Chinese workers in Africa to share photographs of the continent. The name stands for heishehui, which literally means a group taking photographs in Africa. Membership has risen from four people a year ago to 83 today, the report said.

“We don’t want to just take photos of nature and animals like most tourists do,” says Zi Ran, one of the group’s founders. “We live and work in Africa, so we have more time and energy to get to know the people, the history and the culture here. That’s what we want to show to the world.”

Zi said many Chinese people accept incorrect stereotypes of Africa because they know very little about the continent, and think of it as being hot and poor.

“Through our photos, people will find Africa is the same as China,” he said. “The temperature in Nairobi is comfortable all year round. It has rich guys and poor guys. Young people have the same dreams as those in big cities in China.”

Three months ago, Zi uploaded photos taken by HSH members to the photo and design website zcool.com.cn. Their work attracted more than 1,100 followers and received about 600,000 hits in a short period, the report said.

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A web engineer at a Chinese media company in Nairobi, Zi has lived in Kenya for three years. He says he has gone from knowing little about Africa to becoming deeply immersed in the culture of different African countries.

Qi Lin, who helped to found the group,  is a project manager with AVIC International, an aviation technology corporation. He has been in Kenya for two years, and says as soon as he set foot in the country he felt at home.

Qi has photographed the daily life of a boxer growing up in the slums, young artists from Kenya and Masai runners. To capture flamingos in flight Qi once waited at the edge of a crater lake in Kenya in the early hours of the morning holding heavy camera gear, scared he might be confronted by hippos.