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Photo essays from around the world

Dedicated to Yang Xiaoguang (1953-2008) a great teacher and a loving friend

Introduction When a disaster of the magnitude of the Sichuan Earthquake on May 12th 2008 hits the headlines, the whole world is shaken. Even people living on the opposite side of the globe feel moved to help. But months later, when the shock of the news has subsided and no longer claims the attention of the media, the people of Sichuan are still trying to rebuild their lives. Aftershocks, some greater than magnitude 6, are still causing new casualties and damage in an area where 70,000 have been confirmed dead, over 374,000 injured and more than 18,000 listed as missing. Over 7,000 schoolrooms collapsed in the earthquake, and there are nearly 5 million people left homeless. Beichuan County was among the most severely hit of all the disaster regions. Casualties included nearly 1,000 students who lost their lives after two school buildings collapsed. Before the disaster, tourism contributed more than 10 percent of Sichuan's GDP but the industry has since slumped. In addition to fewer travellers, the tourism industry needs to find around 70 billion Yuan to repair damaged facilities which is approximately the same amount as the industry earned in 2007. So if you are planning to travel to China, do consider Sichuan as a destination. By making the trip, you can contribute to the local economy, and the province still holds many cultural, historical and geological wonders - and respect for the victims of the earthquake is one of the best reasons to go. The Editor Front Cover: Ma Guang Ying is doing the laundry. All her family survived the earthquake but her house and business were destroyed. She now lives in a tent and is currently unemployed.

Preface After the events of 12th May, I was shocked by the raging scenes in the media, and moved by the brave people of the disaster-stricken areas. I felt so concerned about the conditions of the people who were living in the disaster area – did they have enough food? Were they able to find a safe place to shelter? Had they lost all hope? With these questions in mind, I went first to Yinxiu, the epicentre of the earthquake, and then to Beichuan to meet the people and to record with my camera the day-to-day events of their lives. What I found there confirmed my belief that Chinese people are strong, courageous and optimistic. The medium of photography helps us to remember this most painful time but no matter how tough events may have been, no matter how many tragedies have occurred, those people who experienced the disaster and who still survive, must bravely stand again, with confidence, steel will and firm belief in the possibility of a future. Even though my images can only present a limited view, it is my hope that such a small effort may help others in some measure. Li Jin, 2008, Bai Chuan Impression Art Organisation, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China

A boulder dislodged during the earthquake

Landslides and mud-rock flowed on all sides

Boulders were dislodged from the mountain

Part of the Chuan Wen speedway bridge on Zipinpu Reservoir. collapsed

Workers rushed to repair the Chuan Wen Highway

Yingxiu became an island, the Island of the Dead

Wenchuan Middle School was reduced to rubble

This class photo was found in the debris

Beichuan, a broken city

On the hill overlooking Beichuan, people leave offerings

Liu Ming Qun from Beichuan, stands in front of a pile of rubble that was once her home. She is now selling pears in an attempt to recover her losses.

The collapsed schoolhouse which was part of Beichuan Middle School

Overlooking tent city, in the grounds of Beichuan Middle School

Wang Yin and the surviving members of her family

Mu Gunag Li and the surviving members of his family

Yang Xu Quan from Qushan Town

The Zhou Jin Li family, all alive and healthy

The Den Guang Guo family. Only one of their daughters survived, seen here, the other one died in the disaster.

Duan Zhong Ying was buried under rubble for 91 hours. She was rescued on the 16th May after 7 hours of rescue work. As a trained nurse, she immediately addressed herself to the task of helping others as soon as she had recovered.

Li Bao Quan and his family. His grand-daughter was buried alive for four days and now has mental problems such as pulling at her hair when she hears noises.

Li Geng and his family. All family members are well.

Opposite: Zhu Gui Xing (second from the right) with his wife (second from the left) and family. This page: Zhu Gui Zhing’s father. All family members are well.

Project Hope Earthquake Orphan Assistance Program Many parents died in the 8.0 magnitude earthquake in Sichuan on May 12th 2008 leaving their children orphaned. Care must be given to these kids for them to fight the disaster, overcome the difficulties, grow up healthy and live happy lives. The “Project Hope Earthquake Orphan Assistance Program" is in need of monetary donations to support the orphans to continue their educations as well as to cover their living expenses till their graduation of high school or college, as donors wish. Annual living and education expenses are listed below base on school age. o Elementary school student (typically 6-12 years old): RMB3000 o Junior high student (typically 12-15 years old): RMB5000 o High school student (typically 15-18 years old): RMB8000 If you would like to make a donation, please use one of the accounts below, and specify the donation is made to "Project Hope Earthquake Orphan Assistance Program One-On-One". Please also note clearly your contact information including full name, address, zip code or post code, and phone number. A receipt will be sent to you for each donating transaction. Cheques should be sent to: China Youth Development Foundation Beijing North-City JiaoDaoKouHou EnSi HuTong, A-1 Beijing, China, 100009 Note: Project Hope Earthquake Orphan Assistance Program ACH in China: China Merchants Bank, China Youth Development Foundation Account number: 862280252210001 Note: Project Hope Earthquake Orphan Assistance Program China Youth Development Foundation Telephone: 86-10-84015969 For more information please visit the web site at the following address:

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Memorial to the victims at Yingxiu.

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Sichuan : the Aftermath  

Issue Number 1 of Wider Eye, an online magazine which features photographers from around the world in a series of photo-essays. This issue f...

Sichuan : the Aftermath  

Issue Number 1 of Wider Eye, an online magazine which features photographers from around the world in a series of photo-essays. This issue f...

Profile for wider_eye