Sim Chi Yin’s ongoing project, Shifting Sands, examines the global hunger for sand and the ill-regulated, under-documented industry it has fed. Chi Yin first looked into the idea of sand as a commodity in 2017, beginning by focusing on Asia. The exploitation of sand⁠—legal and illegal⁠—has generated corruption, political unrest and ecological threat, and has even led to the rise of violent “sand mafias” across the globe. Pictured here, a family goes fishing in an area of southern Malaysia newly covered with sand dunes. The Danga Bay area is earmarked for extensive residential and commercial development.

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