One of China’s 55 minority races. They call themselves water people (shui ren) since the Ming dynasty and have a population of over 430,000. The people of Shui ethnic minority group live in compact communities in the Sandu Shui Autonomous County in Guizhou Province. The Shui people are one of the poorest minorities in one of the poorest provinces in China.
In Indonesian ‘Trotoar’ means sidewalk. Born too poor to pay for identity registration, these children are without identity cards. They live off the streets, under bridges, by the railway tracks, by riverbanks and among garbage dumps. They perform, beg, scavenge, sell their services, to survive and try supporting their families. Yet, they smile, and from the corner of their eyes, give us an amazing lesson of courage and humility.
“If a photographer is a painter using a camera in place of a brush
I will paint a child’s forgotten world with shining colors
I will turn the grey blanket of society hiding them from our sight
Into a transparent kaleidoscope of lights
I will drop a few splatters of color into the cracks of their broken childhood
To heal their scars
I will build a bridge of bricks, red, green and yellow
On which they can climb, proud and strong.”