After freelancing almost two years in China I decided to return to Copenhagen, Denmark, where I’ve been offered a job as staff photographer at Berlingske Tidende, one of the leading Danish newspapers.
It’s been some exiting and unusual years for both China and myself. Dramatic events that I covered such as the Tibetan unrest, the Sichuan Earthquake, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the poor state of the country’s environment all left me deeply affected.
What triggered my initial interest in China was the last decades of amazing development and growth. I was fascinated and curious about this blooming superpower and the Chinese who have undergone so much. But also frightened and worried about the conditions and the consequences of all this.
And though I’d already read and heard much about China’s rise before, I guess I had never expected it to be so overwhelming – in a both fascinating and frightening way. I’m grateful that I could experience and document a glimpse of this historic moment and I sincerely hope that my images left you just a little wiser and feeling closer to the millions of ordinary Chinese who with clenched teeth are struggling to move upwards.
China is not the easiest place to work as a photojournalist, but despite putting themselves in danger many people opened their homes to me and my camera. Many thanks to all of you.
Mads Nissen, 2009