Video 00:05:00. Prato, Italy. 2011-2012
This video is documenting a long-term interaction with a family-based community of Chinese farmers in Tuscany.
The farmers are living in a former rural house, abandoned after the end of the share cropping system and restored for housing and business purposes by Chinese immigrants. Since the economical crisis harshly hit the Tuscan Chinese economical activities, mainly consisting in fabric manufacturing and “fast fashion”, many of them stepped back to agricultural activities. Many Chinese immigrants in Tuscany come from the rural areas of the province of Zhejiang and their skill in agriculture is outstanding.
The presence of Chinese people, however perceived as an invasion by local people, is on the contrary revitalizing the local agriculture, impoverished, also in terms of bio-diversity, by decades of detachment from rural activities. This self-subsistence agriculture is paradoxically rescuing the pre-industrial Tuscan social landscape.
Chinese farmers, suspended in the existential stasis of nostalgia for the lost motherland, are unwittingly showing us a possible alternative for the close future.