A few times a year since 2002, Xu Duo, a 32-year-old migrant worker-turned-singer-songwriter, has staged shows with friends at construction sites around Beijing. The troupe released its first album Workers Are in the Same Family in September 2004, including Xu’s “City Life”, in which he sings:
“Through the finger sliced off by a machine like a falling leaf. Through the miners in the dark pit risking their life at any moment. Let all hypocrisy and injustice get out of the way.
“Vendors selling us the European lifestyle. Selling us lottery tickets and illusions like Super Girl. Selling us desires in fancy packages. Selling us workers like cheap and durable goods.”