When I was looking for somewhere to live in NY I was staggered by the size of the apartments that I viewed. London was bad enough – but here you apparently had to stand up to pee, there was no kitchen – if you didn’t count a double hot plate, the bedroom was a tiny slip of a space, and forget closets.
My friend Carla said to me: “Now listen Miss Sue, I know you are going to try and save money … but get yourself somewhere fabulous to live, you are going to need it.” And after 30 viewings I did – a light, bright, big apartment in an uncool spot behind the Lincoln Centre. It was right on the West Side highway and cost a bomb but I didn’t care – the traffic sounded like the sea and I even had a little balcony. Carla was right – it was my sanctuary
Those horrors in NYC paled into significance when I saw this photo series of unbelievably cramped apartments in Hong Kong. Which was exactly the reaction the human rights organization Society for Community Organization (SoCo) was hoping for when they commissioned the project.
In an effort to raise concerns about the growing problem, SoCo recently commissioned a series of photographs showing what these unacceptable living spaces look like when viewed from directly overhead. Each wide-angle photograph highlights individuals and families, along with their belongings, surviving in extreme conditions
According to SoCO, over 100,000 people live in tiny “cubicle apartments” in HK. These are 40-square-foot living spaces created by dividing already-small apartments into multiple units.Residents go about their lives in these confined spaces, sleeping on one corner, eating in another, storing their belongings in a third, and perhaps watching a (found) TV in the fourth. Ablutions are done in public restrooms or shared bathrooms.