“It’s hard to get kids to cooperate . . . ,” a woman laments in Enzo Camacho and Amy Lien’s short video Mother Holding Taobao Child (all works 2018). “My kid is only two and a half years old.” In a photography studio located on the outskirts of the Chinese city of Yiwu, she speaks between the sounds of shutter releases and camera flashes, as her child is photographed modeling for an e-commerce website. This eastern metropolis in Zheijiang Province is home to a vast emporium of more than seventy-five thousand shops and stalls selling cheaply produced goods, most of which can be had for about a dollar. Toys such as inflatable dolphins, sand buckets, and children’s security blankets are just some of the stock that line rows of shelves for local consumption or for export to more distant destinations, such as the Chinese-owned knickknack outlets that populate the neighborhood where 47
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