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Dec 16, 2013
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The teachings of Mao

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Sitong, China

By Carlos Barria

In a remote farming area of China’s central province of Henan, kids are roused from their warm beds at 5 a.m. as revolutionary songs play over the loudspeaker system. In the freezing morning they gather around a cement courtyard for their morning exercises.

Mr. Xia Zuhai, principal of the Democracy Elementary and Middle school — where the curriculum stresses the teachings of China’s late Chairman Mao Zedong — blows his whistle and encourages the students while they run around in the darkness for 20 minutes.

Dec 16, 2013

In rural China, teacher upholds Mao Thought to save the world

SITONG, China (Reuters) – In a remote part of China, the day starts at the Democracy Elementary and Middle School with a pre-dawn jog, some revolutionary songs and then an activity long-since forgotten at other schools: reciting quotations from Mao Zedong’s “Little Red Book”.

While the ruling Communist Party that Mao led holds him in esteem as the leader of the Communist Revolution, his radical policies and teachings have been largely shelved since his death in 1976 in favor of a pro-market approach that has turned China from a backwater into the world’s second biggest economy.

Aug 29, 2013
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The most wanted photograph in China

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Jinan, China

By Carlos Barria

As the morning approached, reporters, photographers and cameramen from national and foreign media organizations gathered outside the Jinan Intermediate People’s Court to cover the final chapter in the trial of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai.

The stage for this story was Jinan, in the northeastern coastal province of Shandong. This story had all the elements of a great thriller: power, corruption, romance and murder. With no access to the courtroom itself, the foreign media and the general public relied on images provided by the court for glimpses of the trial. Also, for the first time China’s judicial system provided court transcripts, published on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

Aug 7, 2013
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Inside Mongolia’s Ger District

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Ulan Bator, Mongolia

By Carlos Barria

As the sun tucks behind the hills near the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator, Baljirjantsan Otgonseren, 32, walks out of her “Ger,” a traditional Mongolian tent, looking for her daughter. The girl is watching the last sunbeams of the day stretch over the settlement known as the Ger District — a sprawling residential area that has grown so fast in ten years, it has evolved from a transient slum to a legal residential zone.

Like many other residents, Otgonseren and her family migrated from the grasslands to the capital looking for better opportunities. They left behind a traditional nomadic lifestyle in favor of city life and a shot at participating in their country’s rapid economic growth. Recent natural disasters have played a part too. For example, the 2010 “Zud,” a Mongolian term for an extremely snowy period, helped convince many to settle in one place for good.

Jul 2, 2013

Mongolia neo-Nazis announce a change of tack – pollution control

ULAN BATOR, July 2 (Reuters) – A Mongolian neo-Nazi group
has rebranded itself as an environmentalist organisation
fighting pollution by foreign-owned mines, seeking legitimacy as
it sends Swastika-wearing members to check mining permits.

Tsagaan Khass, or White Swastika, has only 100-plus members
but it is one of several groups with names like Dayar Mongol
(Whole Mongolia), Gal Undesten (Fire Nation) and Khukh Mongol
(Blue Mongolia), expanding a wave of resource nationalism as
foreign firms seek to exploit the mineral wealth of the vast
country, landlocked between Russia and China.

May 13, 2013
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China’s easy riders

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Qian Dao Lake, China

By Carlos Barria

“They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to them.”
“Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.”
“Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.”

– from the movie Easy Rider

A girl arrives at the parking lot wearing tiny leather shorts and sits on the back of a bike with a horse power of more than 1,000 CC. Next to her a man gets ready to ride, wearing a skeleton mask. It’s more than a fashion show, it’s an extravaganza on two wheels along Chinese roads.

Apr 23, 2013
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Muscle men of China

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Shaoxing, China

By Carlos Barria

Feng Qing Ji, 69, and his younger brother Yu, 61, look at themselves in a mirror. Li tries to help Yu with his pose. He tells him to straighten his back.

They are not in a park, hanging around with other Chinese seniors, who typically meet up to play Mahjong or dance. They are covered in oil and wearing tiny speedos as they prepare for an amateur bodybuilder competition in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province.

Feb 1, 2013
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The long trip home

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Shanghai, China

By Carlos Barria

There was not much emotion left after crossing central China on a 50-hour train and bus journey. Just a soft touch on the face and a forced hug was all that Li Jiangzhon and his sister Li Jiangchun got from their parents after a long year of absence.

They are just one story among millions of Chinese migrant workers, who have to leave their loved ones behind to look for a better future for themselves and their families.

Nov 18, 2012
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A wider view of China’s Congress

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Beijing, China

By Carlos Barria

China’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition was for me a great opportunity to photograph an event that, although it all happens behind closed doors, still offers an interesting kind of visual access.

GALLERY: PANORAMAS FROM THE CONGRESS

For example, the 18th Party Congress, where China ordained its new leadership, was a unique opportunity for journalists to wander around – with fewer restrictions than normal — in the Great Hall of the People. As a first-timer, I found the building itself imposing, and full of details and un-explored corners.

Sep 27, 2012
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Big shoes to fill

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By Carlos Barria

Eight years ago, Chen Mingzhi quit his factory job and became a shoe designer. But it was slow going at first, so he passed the time honing his skill by making smaller and smaller shoes.

A couple of years later, a neighbor challenged him to do something outside his comfort zone — to create a giant shoe.

    • About Carlos

      "After six years in Miami, Carlos, 31, has been assigned as photographer based in Shanghai, China. He was born in Patagonia, in the south of Argentina, and studied photography in Buenos Aires. He has covered breaking news, sports and features in the Americas, the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In 2007 Carlos was named Photographer of the Year by Reuters."
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