The Winged and the Wronged


Chinese media reported in mid December 2012 that a migrant worker living under a bridge in the city of Zhengzhou died of exposure to the cold, the second such death of a rural migrant worker (农民工) in China within days. The news prompted debate over the predicament facing migrants from the countryside working (or looking for work) in China’s cities. In the above cartoon, posted by artist Kuang Biao (邝飚) to Sina Weibo, a worker, his body cracked and broken, huddles on the ground to support a naked human figure trying in vain to take flight on feeble wings — a comment on the stark contrast between the official triumphalism of China’s current development and the hardship often suffered by the migrant workers fueling much of China’s development. Kuang Biao reported on Sina Weibo that the cartoon nearly made the cut for his newspaper, Southern Metropolis Daily, but was later left out for unexplained reasons.

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