Paolo Woods: "China Africa"
China's presence in Africa over the past few decades is a subject that has largely flown under the radar of the mainstream media. Thirty years ago, China's support for many African countries was primarily through a shared ideological heritage, Marxism. But after China began to turn towards a capitalist, market-based economy, its presence in Africa began to change accordingly. China's economy is booming; people are buying cars; oil consumption is increasing exponentially. To quench China's thirst for natural resources -- oil, copper, uranium -- China has turned to the "dark continent:" Africa. Unlike their European predecessors, the Chinese are a new kind of colonist: they bring roads, infrastructure, economic activity. But their relationship is often strained, always unequal, and raises many questions about what exactly "development" means in poor, often autocratic, resource-rich countries.
These photos are an amazing visual documentary of China's strange new relationship with Africa.