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One in a Billion

One in a Billion is a podcast about Asian values, culture and society – one person at a time. We interview Asian writers, producers, entrepreneurs and entertainers about what they do, and what drives their choices and decisions. Hosted by Mable Chan (former ABC News producer), “One in a Billion” gives the stage to the young and the bold with a voice and a view that is rarely heard. Learn more at https://www.oneinabillionvoices.org/
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Now displaying: Page 1
Aug 7, 2016

Muyi Xiao first caught my eye with her urgently captivating photo collection titled “Married Young.”

It’s a story about teenage parents in China.

One photo shows a 16 year-old mother, gazing adoringly at the sleeping infant in her arms.

Another photo caption says Jian and Mei are expecting a baby in a few months. They were 15 and 16 when they got married.

I was scratching my head going…what? Why? Why so young? What about school? What’s the story here?

As I kept clicking more pictures for clues, I stopped asking questions. I started seeing each photo through the eyes of these children. The camera has turned my focus to the happy faces, thin bodies and tiny bed, projecting a reality that is immediately pure and profoundly provocative. They seem to be speaking back to me through these photos, saying “I’m a mother and I am happy.” “We’re having a baby. We are going to take care of each other.”

These touching images left me in awe.

Who’s behind the camera? That led me to Muyi Xiao .

Born in Wuhan, China, 24 year-old Muyi has worked for Reuters and Tencent for a couple of years before moving to New York for a Magnum fellowship, and a new media training program at the International Center for Photography.

I tracked down Muyi for a cup of coffee in New York. We talked like old friends for an hour, and I knew, I had to interview her for my new podcast.

Muyi’s story is about a girl who knew early in life that growing up in a rural family with no money, no connection, and parents with no college education or exposure to the West, she has to be independent, persistent and positive.

But still, how does a girl who’s failed the college entrance exam in China, notoriously known as Gaokao move on with her life? Where could she go? How did she end up in Beijing? Why did she pick up a camera and how did that become her passion and calling in life?

Let her story inspire you.

Music Used:
Angel Lam's Eyes in the Sky 2
Song of the Deep
Qi Gang & Chang Jin's Blueness
Mitch Hanley's The Dhingy, Bow
Mitch Hanley's Heroin
Mitch Hanley's The Dhingy, Stern

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