From December 1968 onward, millions of urban youth (secondary school graduates and students) were mobilized and sent "up to the mountains and down to the villages" (shangshan xiaxiang), i.e. to rural villages and to frontier settlements. In these areas, they had to build up and take root, in order to be reeducated by the poor and lower-middle peasants.

While some 1.2 million urban youths were sent to the countryside between 1956 and 1966, no less than 12 million were relocated in the period 1968-1975. In principle, the program called for lifelong resettlement in the rural areas, but toward the end of, and in particular after the Cultural Revolution, many were finally able to find jobs or to be transferred back to the cities. A great number of them, however, had resigned themselves to their fate and decided to remain.

Hei Ming, famous photographer and journalist, has been visiting the villages for 30 times in the past eight years and interviewed and recorded images of over 50 people, who were Beijingers and were sent down to the villages in Yan'an, loess plateau area of northwest China. Now some live and work in Beijing, but most others still live in the cave dwellings in Yanan. Each of them has their unique story. Mr. Hei Ming will show you his pictures and tell you the stories of the "sent down youth" over the past 40 years. At the end of the talk, he will also show his other collection of photographs of the Shaolin Temple and Tibetan monks.

Hei Ming has won the China's Best Academy Award of Photography and the Gold Medal for China's Photography Masters Awards.

The talk will be conducted in Chinese with English interpretation.

Venue: China Culture Center, Beijing, China.
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