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Maggots In The Rice

What is your value?  What is my value? Are we equals? What makes one life worth more than another?

Photgraphed by Carina Reimers

Maggots In The Rice by Sarah Whyte

I am a maggot in the rice


That is my name


My name refers to the burden of girls and the preference for sons


I am a burden because my parents feed me but

than I am going to marry off and take care of the husband's family


But if I am not married by the time I reach 25 or

older than I will be considered a leftover woman


Of course my parents in China would want both a son and a daughter but for a long time there

was the one child policy which was strictly enforced through fines or in ways that we may consider inhumane like forced abortions


So here I am a maggot in the rice


Or should I say less than a maggot


Because I was abandoned

Photgraphed by Carina Reimers

What is a Maggot? 


Dictionary Deffinition:

1. maggot(Noun)
A soft, legless larva of a fly or other dipterous insect, that often eats decomposing organic matter.

2. maggot(Noun)

A term of insult for a 'worthless' person, as if a bug.

Maggots in the Rice video collaboration 

Abdullah Quick: Director/ Cinematographer, Sarah Whyte : Actor/Narration/Writing, Levi Demettteo: Sound Design

Pictures from the live performance of Maggots in the Rice, the value and the act of hand sewing  thousands of grains of rice to a cheongsam

Phtographed by Jeremy Subewski

Phtographed by Jeremy Subewski

Phtographed by Jeremy Subewski

Phtographed by Jeremy Subewski

The dress currently has over 1,500 hand sew grains of rice attached to the dress

Materials: Rice, Thread and Cheongsam

Maggots in the Rice is an ongoing project started in 2017 and was last updated in 2020



1995 Documentry The Dying Rooms, 38min:

2015, From 'Iron Girls' to 'Leftovers' - Independent Women in China, 31min+41sec:

2016, SK-II: Marriage Market Takeover, 4min+16sec


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