This book documents a hitchhike along China’s Cross-Desert Highway, a road built in the mid 1990s to help the extraction of oil. It stretches for more than 500km from north to south across the Taklamakan, one of the world’s most inhospitable deserts. The journey records the road and its people – truck drivers, cotton pickers, oil well workers and prostitutes, whose lives are caught up in the dependancy and desolation of the prospering oil industry.
Nicoló Degiorgis is a photographer trained in documentary traditions who most often works in series. His primary motivation is to observe how marginalised and minority communities carve out a sustainable environment for themselves.
After studying Chinese at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, he moved to Hong Kong to work for a trading company and later to Beijing to continue his studies at Capital Normal University. He interned atMagnum Photos in Paris for six months and was awarded a 2008/09Fabrica fellowship, Benetton’s communication research centre in Treviso (I). In 2009 he became a researcher on immigration issues at the University of Trieste and was granted a one year artist-residency in Venice at the art foundation Bevilacqua La Masa. In the same year he joined photo agency Contrasto and engaged in an intense period of editorial assignments for major international magazines, documenting various events, from art biennales to the Arab Spring. In 2011, the US photo magazine Photo District News ranked him among the thirty emerging photographers to watch. Since 2013 he teaches photography inside the prison of Bolzano.