SECRET SOUTHWEST by Maxi Battaglia
Guizhou Province, 2017
Much has changed for me since I took these photographs in 2017. I lived in China for six years and my time there remains to this day the biggest adventure of my life- one that was an evolving experience that changed me day by day. I regret not having written about my trip to Xijiang Miao Village right after it happened. Years later, the memories of who I was and how I perceived the movement of life in the village have all become a blur. Revisiting these photographs, I see a modern-day traditional village (oxymoronic as that may be) struggling with its identity and authenticity.
The photographs were taken in the Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village, 22km from Kaili City in Guizhou Province. The village is inhabited by the biggest community of the Miao minority in China. It is a popular tourist destination known for its natural landscape, traditional housing structures, and cultural preservation of the Miao minority lifestyle.