Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China

hat tip: China Hush

October 14, 2009, the 30th annual awards ceremony of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund took place at the Asia Society in New York City. Lu Guang (卢广) from People’s Republic of China won the $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his documentary project “Pollution in China.”

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Lu Guang (卢广), freelancer photographer, started as an amateur photographer in 1980. He was a factory worker, later started his own photo studio and advertising agency. August of 1993 he returned to post-graduate studies at the Central Arts and Design Academy in Beijing (now is the Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University). During graduate school, he studied, traveled all over the country and carved out a career, became the “dark horse” of the photographer circle in Beijing. Skilled at social documentary photography, his insightful, creative and artistic work often focused on “social phenomena and people living at the bottom of society”, attracted the attentions of the national photography circle and the media. Many of his award winning works focused on social issues like, “gold rush in the west”, “drug girl”, “small coal pit”, “HIV village”, “the Grand Canal”, “development of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway” and so on.

1. “At the junction of Ningxia province and Inner Mongolia province, I saw a tall chimney puffing out golden smoke covering the blue sky, large tracts of the grassland have become industrial waste dumps; unbearable foul smell made people want to cough; Surging industrial sewage flowed into the Yellow River…”

- Lu Guang

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2. Chemical waste from Jiangsu Taixing Chemical Industrial District (江苏泰兴化工园区) dumped on top of the Yangtze River bank. May 15, 2009

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3. Fan Jai Zhuang in Anyang City, Henan province, (河南安阳市范家庄) there is only one wall separating this village from the steelmaking furnaces. The villagers live in this heavily polluted environment where the village is under the iron rain every day. March 24, 2008

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4. Industrial sewage of Zhejiang Xiaoshan Industrial District (浙江萧山化工园区) eventually flowed into Qiantang River. April 24, 2009

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5. Henan Anyang iron and steel plant’s (河南安阳钢铁厂) sewage flowed into Anyang River. March 25, 2008

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6. Guiyu, Guangdong province, (广东省贵屿镇) rivers and reservoirs have been contaminated, the villager is washing in a seriously polluted pond. November 25, 2005

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7. Shizuishan Industrial district in Ningxia province (宁夏石嘴山湖滨工业园区), the tall chimneys spitted out smoke and dust. Residents took preventive measure for the falling dust from the sky when going outside. April 22, 2006

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8. In the Yellow Sea coastline, countless sewage pipes buried in the beach and even extending into the deep sea. April 28, 2008

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9. In Ma’anshan, Anhui province (安徽马鞍山), along the Yangtze River there are many small-scaled Iron selection factories and plastic processing plants. Large amounts of sewage discharged into the Yangtze River June 18, 2009

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10. In Inner Mongolia there were 2 “black dragons” from the Lasengmiao Power Plant (内蒙古拉僧庙发电厂) covering the nearby villages. July 26, 2005

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11. Jiangsu province Changshu City Fluorine Chemical industry land sewage treatment plant (江苏省常熟市氟化学工业园污水处理厂) was responsible for collection and processing of the industrial sewage. However they did not, the sewage pipe was extended 1500 meters under the Yangtze River and releasing the sewage there. 2009 June 11

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12. Soil by Yangtze River, was polluted by Anhui Province Ma’anshan Chemical Industrial District (安徽省马鞍山化工园区). June 26, 2009

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13. Large amount of the industrial wastewater flowed to Yellow River from Inner Mongolia Lasengmiao Industrial District (内蒙古拉僧庙工业园区) every day. July 26, 2005

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14. A Large amount of the chemical wastewater discharged into Yangtze River from Zhenjiang Titanium mill (镇江市钛粉厂) every day. Less than 1,000 meters away downstream is where the water department of Danyang City gets its water from. June 10, 2009

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15. In Haimen city, Jiangsu province Chemical Industrial District sewage treatment Plant (江苏省海门市化工园区污水处理厂) discharged wastewater into Yangtze River. June 5, 2009

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16. Hebei Province Shexian Tianjin Iron and steel plant (河北省涉县天津钢铁厂) is a heavily polluting company. Company scale is still growing, seriously affecting the lives of local residents. March 18, 2008

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17. Longmen town in Hanchen city, Shaanxi Province (陕西省韩城市龙门镇) has large-scaled industrial development. Environment is very seriously polluted there. April 8, 2008

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18. There are over 100 chemical plants in Jiangsu province coastal industry district. (江苏滨海头罾沿海化工园区) Some of them discharge wastewater into the ocean; some heavily contaminated sewage is stored in 5 “Sewage Temporary Pools”. During the 2 high tides in every month, the sewage then gets discharged into the ocean with the tides. June 20, 2008

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19. Jiangxi Province Hu Ko County Chemical Industry district (江西省胡口县化工园区) is by the Yangtze River. Chemical factory landfill the Yangtze River bank to expand the scale of the factory without authorization.

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20. Anhui Province Cihu Chemical Industry District (安徽省慈湖化工园区) built a underground pipe to discharge wastewater into the Yangtze River. The wastewater sometimes is black, gray, dark red, or yellow, wastewater from different chemical factories has different colors. June 18, 2009

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21. Shanxi Province is the most polluted areas of China. It is also the province with the highest rate of birth defects. This loving farmer couple adopted 17 disabled children. April 15, 2009

“In Some areas of China people’s lives were threatened because of the environmental pollution. Residents suffering from all kinds of obscured diseases, the cancer villages, increase of deformed babies, these were the results of sacrificing environment and blindly seeking economical gain.”

- Lu Guang

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22. Elder shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell. April 23, 2006

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23. 15-year-old boy from Tianshui, Gansu Province (甘肃天水), dropped out of the school after 2nd grade, followed his parents to Heilonggui (黑龙贵) Industrial District. He earns 16 yuan a day. April 8, 2005

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24. Inner Mongolia province Heilonggui (黑龙贵) Industrial District, the couple who worked at the Plaster Kiln and just got home. March 22, 2007

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25. Villagers from Kang village in Linfen City, Shanxi Province (山西省临汾市下康村) due to long-term consumption of the polluted water contaminated by industrial waste, there were 50 people who have cancer and cerebral thrombosis. 64-year-old Wang Baosheng got ill since 2003, he has fester all over his body so he cannot go to bed and lying face down on the edge of the bed each day. July 10, 2005

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26. Breathing in large amount of dust into the lungs, people gets sick after working there for 1-2 years. Most of these migrant workers come from area of poverty. April 10, 2005

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27. Zhangqiao village by the Hong River in Wugang City, Henan Province (河南省舞钢市洪河边的张桥村), a 45-year-old woman Sun Xiaojun (孙晓军) could not move her feet and hands since 4 years ago. The numerous hospital treatments were not effective. April 7, 2009

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28. Zhaozhuang village by the Hong River in Wugang City, Henan province (河南省舞钢市洪河边的赵庄村), 66-year-old Zhao Bingkun suffering from esophageal cancer since 2004, after the second surgery, treatment cost already have reached over 200,000 yuan. His condition is in late stage, he is having fever everyday, waiting for death. April 7, 2009

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29. Zhaozhuang village by the Hong River in Wugang City, Henan province (洪河边的河南省西平县张于庄村), Gao Wanshun’s (高万顺) wife died of cancer. Now he lives in poverty. April 3, 2009

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30. Linfen City in Shanxi province (山西临汾市) is seriously polluted area. Farmers after working in the cotton fields for 2 hours are filled with coal ashes. September 24 2007

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31. Salt factory worker in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province (江苏连云港) said angrily, “when the wind blowing towards our side, the foul smell from the chemical factories is unbearable. There is even more poison gas at night.” July 19, 2008

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32. People form Fanjiazhuang (范家庄) are ready to submit a complain filled with their fingerprints, to seek compensation for pollution damages. March 19, 2008

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33. In Shanxi Province there are a lot of charitable nursing homes, to help disabled infants abandoned by their parents. April 14, 2009

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34. Liujiawan village by the Hong River in Wugang City, Henan province (河南省舞钢市洪河边的刘家湾村), 13 year old Yang Xiao in November 2008 was ill with obscure disease.  She was saved by the donation of the villagers. When the grandmother saw the old village chief came to visit his granddaughter, she kneeled on the ground holding granddaughter’s hand. April 19, 2009

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35. The oldest is 9, not going to school. The youngest is less than 2 years old. They lived in severely polluted area. They hands and faces were always dirty. April 10, 2005

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36. Mazhuang village by the Hong River in Wugang City, Henan province, (河南省舞钢市洪河边的马庄村) 58-year-old Ma Haipeng (马海朋) was suffering from stomach cancer since 2006 and could not work in the field. He must take medicine every day, otherwise it is too painful. April 6, 2009

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37. Every year, a lot of deficiency babies in Shanxi Province were abandoned. Kong Zhenlan (孔贞兰) in Qi town (祁县) who was making a living by recycling trash adopted 25 abandoned children. April 14, 2009

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38. Xuanwei (宣威) in Yunnan province is a cancer village. Every year there are more than 20 people die of cancer. 11-year-old student Xu Li (徐丽) is suffering from bone cancer. May 8, 2007

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39. In Shexian Village, Hebei Province, (河北省涉县固新村) the existing cancer patients are more than 50 people and more than 20 cancer patients die each year. March 18, 2008

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40.  Zhangyuzhuan village by the Hong River in Xiping county, Henan province, (河南省西平县洪河边的张于庄村) 22-year-old Zhu Xiaoyan (朱小燕) had a tumor in her stomach in 2007. She died after number of hospital treatments on July 2008. 4-year-old girl with her grandfather came to mother’s tomb. April 2009 2

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original source: Fengniao

Followup: Interview with Lu Guang, the photographer of “Pollution in China”

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