I am troubled by the thought that these photos were cherished by living people no more than a week ago, and I have left them, perhaps all that remained of the story of those lives, lying in the mud.
During the night I remember that our photographer took some photos at the scene. In fact it was his activity that first drew my attention to the pictures.
The next morning I ask him – did he take a photo of the ID card? Yes. Can we see the name on it?
We look together at his photo. Little by little he expands the picture, and we wait for the screen to recalibrate. Slowly the name on the ID card comes into view.
To the woman on the ID card I can restore a little piece of humanity. Her surname is Qing.
Did she perhaps survive?
Or if she died, is there anyone left alive to mourn her?
(China.org.cn May 22, 2008)