The New Silk Road piece in the New Yorker is a visually dominated piece. It features roughly 20 images taken by Davide Monteleone in China and captions with each, along with an intro written by Jiayang Fan the article contains very little other text.
The photos in the article illustrate and capture life along the Silk Road from the big cities to the far western regions. With a mix of portraits, landscape shots, and aerial photos the photographer was able to move the readers along the road and provide context on the people included, life on the road and what the future holds.
I’d describe this photo post as a photojournalism article. While it presents the life and people it also raises questions about the status and effectiveness for citizens the new Silk Road project will have.
“China hopes that by 2030 Lanzhou New Area will have a million full-time residents and an annual G.D.P. of forty-one billion dollars. But thus far relatively few pioneers have come to the development, and parts of the city still feel like a ghost town.” (Mantelone 2018) This caption accompanied two photos that showed desolate construction land and built freeways with only a few drivers. This was one of the ways the photographer was able to provide context and questions along with visuals of the project.
With portraits, the photographer explained the life of workers at the stops along the Silk Road and the new projects. “For the past three months, Ma Wei, twenty-five, has been working in a noodle shop in Lanzhou New Area. The restaurant makes three hundred bowls of hand-pulled noodles every day, mostly for laborers at a nearby construction site.”
Photo via NewYorker.com