Our project is about ...

Our work on «China at its Limits: An Empire’s Rise Beyond its Borders» was motivated by a passion to trace the historical legacy of cultural spaces and ways of life on the borderlands and explore the hidden paths linking past and present.

Over the past five years, we’ve traveled extensively in the borderlands between China and its 14 neighboring countries. We were driven by a deep commitment to understanding the human aspects of China’s rising star. Behind conflicts and wars, beyond history and politics, individual lives and destinies, so often overlooked, moved our hearts. These personal stories show us the human face of China’s rise.

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Our project is special because ...

In our book, the topography of neglected histories is greatly clarified by the combination of texts and photos. We hope we can bridge the gap between scholarship and art—between facts and feelings.

This book does more than merely document China’s rise. It also pays homage to individuals. This comes out in a small number of photo collages: discovering a yellowed portrait of a returned overseas Chinese girl who died in the Cultural Revolution, for example, gave us a sense of the many forgotten tragedies. With such stories we want to give history back its human face.

What others have said about our project: «A book that is as enthralling as it is important… a marvelous combination of history, travel writing and gripping photography. Most of this was terra incognita to me. China at its Limits takes you there… you will be thankful that you read it.»—Niall Ferguson, Professor, Harvard University

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Why we need your support:

  • We’ve largely self-financed our project, including over 20 fieldtrips in and around China and extensive research and writing during the past five years.

  • Now, we still need funds to clear the last financial barrier for the book production. We are short CHF 9,000 and hope to raise CHF 6,500 through crowd-funding. The remaining CHF 2,500 will be self-funded. It goes without saying that all individual support, no matter how modest, means a lot to us and our project team!

  • Our outstanding team includes, among others, graphic designer Vera Reifler, lithographer Marjeta Morinc, copy editors James Brice and Daniel Moure, illustrator CinCin Studio and the staff of Kerber Verlag, especially Kathleen Herfurth. They are all fantastic individuals who work with their hearts, despite our tight budget.