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In the last two decades, countless thousands of factories have sprung up across Shanghai’s outlying
districts and suburbs. The majority of the young workers who fill their assembly lines are migrants from
other parts of China. Despite being young – typically in their early 20s – many are already married when
These couples face many challenges living in the city. On low wages and denied the social benefits
granted to native Shanghainese, they live squashed into dormitories, single rooms or tiny f lats. If they
have a child, she or he is often left behind with their parents or other relatives in their hometown or
Unable to afford the cost when they married, most of them don’t have wedding photos. Jia Daitengfei
offered to take pictures of a few of them for free if they would pose in the factories where they worked.
Six months later, he returned to take follow-ups and see if the lives of these couples had changed in any