In centuries the Made in Italy textile industry has been a name of luxury and prestige. The tradition and honor in using the famous label have brought wealth and jobs to many regions in Italy - especially in Toscana in the north. But Europe is changing and so is Italy. In the city of Prato, 30 minutes outside Florence, Chinese immigrants began arriving in the beginning of the 1990’s. Since that more than 50.000 Chinese have moved to the city which now consists of 25% Chinese immigrants.
There are several issues with this development mainly due to the lack of control with the immigration. Up to 20% of the Chinese people in Prato are with no permanent residence which means they can only work on illegal factories up to 15 hours a day with no days off and living under terrible conditions.
But the immigrants also have a dream of an ordinary western life - a life with education, freedom and a place where they feel like home.
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This summer MINT photographer Kasper Palsnov travelled to Toscana to document this for the Danish daily Berlingske. The story was made in cooperation with journalist Christina Boutrup who wrote a great piece on the issue.
The story was printed on 3 spreads in the Sunday issue of Berlingske and was made as a long-read on their website (read here, in Danish only).