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Everything You Own In A Photo: A Look At Our Worldly Possessions

Today on All Things Considered, photographer Peter Menzel and his wife, Faith D’Aluisio, discuss their latest book, What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets. But 16 years ago, Menzel was working on another project, called Material World: A Global Family Portrait. He and other photographers took portraits of 30 statistically average families with all of their worldly possessions displayed outside their homes.

While Menzel has moved on to new subjects, the topic of Material World remains relevant today. More recently, two Chinese photographers, Ma Hongjie and Huang Qingjun, took on a similar venture in their own country. Their project is called Family Stuff. Hongjie says he wanted to do such a project in China because, as he writes in an e-mail, “China is most diversified both geographically and ethnically.” Qingjun does not necessarily admit to being influenced by Menzel’s project. And yet, Family Stuff looks awfully familiar. What do you think?

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