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China: I have no legs

A lump of coal would actually come in handy for the cold souls in Petitioner Village this winter, judging from the stories told in The China Next Door, a photo montage posted at Beijing-based journalist Huang Zhangjin's Bokee blog, since deleted, but safe at his Bullog.cn space.

当你翻到本页时,相信你的眼光一定会在这里长久停留。这里的人你一定见过,当你急匆匆走过地下铁的通道,当你到某个政府办公楼去办事,也许某个角落就有他们的身影,他们在你不经意的余光里,在你匆匆的惊诧里。
他们是长久哀怨、悲愤的一群人,他们因某一意外而改变了人生轨迹,奔波于故乡和大都市,顽强地追逐一个说法、一个公正的梦想。他们是固执而又乐观的人群,他们日复一日地失望,年复一年地坚持,始终坚守着我们民族几千年来对”青天”和”人间自有公道”的一线信仰。

As you scroll down this page, what you see will make you stop and look. The people here you've surely seen before, as you hurry through underground corridors, as you stop by government buildings to take care of matters, or in some corner, you see their shadow out of the corner of your eye, which astonishes you as you rush. They are a group of long-sorrowful, long-grieving people, the course of whose lives have been changed by some accident, rushing about their hometowns and the city, doggedly pursuing a verdict, a dream of justice. They are both an obstinate and optimistic group, disappointed day after day, persevering year after year, all along holding on to our people's millennia-old faith in “blue sky” and “justice in the world”.

也许10年后,或者20年后,他们将悄悄从我们身边消失,然后,不在历史中留下任何痕迹,甚至有一天,我们不会记得还存在”上/访”这个词。
历史永远是主流人群的记忆。而上/访者无疑是这个社会最彻底的失败者,他们踏上漫漫路,便被从泥土中连根拔出,他们辗转于陌生的城市,在命运的泥水中被抽打。苦难、委屈和仇恨是他们的动力,而韧性往往只是增加他们的挫败和悲苦。
每个在肉体和精神的苦难中挣扎的上/访者,都不会参与历史的叙事,他们的故事和心愿无法形诸文字进入我们的视野,不会成为文献而进入历史。虽然,他们对任何愿意倾听的人絮絮叨叨,对任何表示同情的人都寄以无限信任。

可我们很忙。

Maybe ten years from now, or twenty, they'll quietly disappear from our sides, leaving no imprint on history until one day we won't even remember that such a word as ‘petition’ even existed. History is always the memory of the mainstream masses, and petitioners are without question this society's biggest failures. They set foot on a slow slow road, then get dragged through the dirt. They flounder through strange cities, only to be whipped in the mud of fate. Suffering, being wrongdone and hatred drives them, and tenacity often only adds to their frustration and misery. Every petitioner struggling in physical and mental suffering has no chance to take part in the narration of history. Their stories and goals have no chance to take form in writing and enter our fields of vision, cannot be documented and enter history. Despite this, they'll talk for hours to anyone willing to listen, put unlimited trust in anyone who expresses sympathy.

But we're very busy.

我们需要知道每个成功者的坚辛与光荣,我们需要关心每个公众人物的怪癖和爱好,在一个渴望成功的年代,我们热心关注的一切,历史最终都会慷慨地预留足够的篇幅。如果有一天,我们忘记了上/访者这个群体的存在,也许真就意味着他们不曾在世界上存在过。
他们离我们很远,与我们的生活没有交集,看到这一页的每个读者,直系亲属中应该都不会有上/访者吧。他们离我们很近,我们每个人的故乡都有这样的人在上路,我们生活的每个都市,都不难看到他们的身影。我们打拼奋斗在中国的光明处,他们挣扎在时代的溃疡里。
有人说,他们是中国高速成长背后的代价和牺牲。但并非所有世界的成长背后都有这样的一群人,都需要付出这样的代价和牺牲。
但愿若干年后,我们国家不会再有这样一个特殊部落。如果历史要为中国今天的辉煌成就保留若干辛酸的细节做小小的注脚,也许我们该感谢杜斌这样的人,这位供职于《纽约时报》的记者,几年来一直用镜头跟踪上/访者,留下他们的影像,记录了一个与我们平行的世界,——他们与幸福、安宁、甜蜜、成功、美满无缘,他们与中国经济高速增长带来的繁荣与富裕无关,他们生活在一个我们陌生的世界,我们隔壁的中国。

We need to know the hardships and glory of every success, we need to be concerned about every public figure's mannerisms and interests. In an age desperate for success, where we enthusiastically pay close attention to everything, history can finally get enough page space. If, one day, we forget that petitioners this group even exists, they might as well have never existed on this earth at all. They're so far away from us, no connection to our lives at all. No reader who who sees this page will have a petitioner among their direct relatives. They're also close to us. Every single one of us has people like this on the roads of our hometowns. But living in the city, we don't see their shadows. We're struggling in China's bright promise, and they're striving to succeed in the abcesses of this age. Some say that they're the sacrifice, the price paid for China's high-speed development. But it's not every country in the world that has people like this behind its development, that needs to pay this kind of price or make this kind of sacrifice.
Let's hope that one day in the future our country will no longer have this kind of unusual tribe. If history makes footnotes of some of the bitter details of China's splendid achievements today, maybe we ought to thank people like Du Bin, this New York Times reporter who for several years has been using the lens to follow petitioners, capturing their images, recording a world parallel to ours. They have no reason to feel happiness, tranquility, sweetness, success, blissfulness. They have no connection to the prosperity brought about by China's highspeed economic growth. They live in a world to which we're strangers, the China next door.

作者简介:
杜斌,生于1972年。山东省郯城县人。先在中国传媒做摄影记者,后为自由职业摄影师。曾在美国《纽约时报》(New York Times)、《时代》(TIME)杂志、英国《卫报》(The Guardian)、德国《明星》(Stern)杂志等知名媒体发表新闻图片。现为《纽约时报》签约摄影师,供职于《纽约时报》北京分社。

Author introduction:
Du Bin, born in 1972 in Shandong province's Tancheng county. First working as a photographer for Chinese traditional media, later worked as a freelance photographer. Has had photos published in America's New York Times and Time magazine, England's The Guardian newspaper, Germany magazine Stern and other well-known media. Now a contracted photographer for the New York Times‘ Beijing bureau.

1

“我是个冤死鬼。”
时间:2002年12月2日
地点:黑龙江省哈尔滨市街头
上/访者:黑龙江省伊春市44岁的教师张永印
他哭诉警察霸占了妻子,打残了他的双腿。上/访抗议时,他就穿上自己缝制像鬼穿的白衣,上面写着他在人间的屈辱。

“I'm a ghost [victim] of injustice.”
Date: October 2, 2002
Location: Street in Heilongjiang province's Harbin city
Petitioner: 44 year-old teacher Zhang Yongyin, Yichun city, Heilongjiang province
He sobbed that police had seized his wife, crippled both of his legs. During petition protests, he wears self-tailored white clothes designed to look like a ghost, upon which are written his humiliations on earth.

2

183次托生为人
时间:2002年4月
地点:北京村
上/访者:孙传明,81岁
因儿子在1983年的”严打”中被处决,认为儿子被冤杀的孙传明20年来京上/访183次,先后被北京一个信访办强制收容152次。滞留北京时间最久、上/访村资历最老的他说,”官司打不赢,北京就是我的娘胎。”

Reincarnated 183 times
Date: April, 2002
Location: Beijing village
Petitioner: Sun Chuanming, 81
Due to his son's execution during a “severe beating” in 1983 and thinking his son to have been unjustly killed, Sun Chuanming has come to Beijing 183 times in twenty years and forcibly taken in by one petition reception office 152 times. With the longest time spent in detention in Beijing and the most experience in the petition village, he says, “I can't win the case. Beijing is just my mother's womb.”

3

“请你帮我跟美国政府要一个USA国籍”
时间:2006年6月16日夜
地点;北京上/访村
上/访者:刘藩恩(左三),68岁。
42年前他退伍回乡时发现户籍被人顶替,1991年他的父亲在为他上/访途中被杀害。探访他的是两届普利策奖得主、《纽约时报》专栏作家Nicholas D. Kristof(左一)。

3 “Please help me get American citizenship”
Date: Evening of June 16, 2006
Location: Beijing petition village
Petitioner: Liu Fan'en (third from left), 68
Forty-two years ago, returning home after having finished his military service, he noticed his household register had been taken by someone else. In 1991 his parents were murdered on the way to petition for him. Visiting him is two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, the New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof (first on the left)

4

陈光诚和他的盲人兄弟
时间:2002年8月2日
地点:山东省临沂市沂南县农村
32岁的盲人代表陈光诚(戴墨镜者)以及一群农民残疾人。

Chen Guangcheng and his blind buddies
Date: August 2, 2002
Location: Yinan county, Linyi city, Shandong province
Thirty-two year old blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng (wearing sunglasses) and a group of rural disabled people.

5

“见谁都想跪”
时间:2003年4月
地点:北京市朝阳区一家报社门前
上/访者:甘肃省下河清农场吴秀英。
56岁的寡妇吴秀英生来几乎就是给人练手用的”靶子”。20年的上/访史,是饱受毒打、收容、遣送、拘留、扣押、刑求、罚款和性骚扰的屈辱史。吴的胸、肋骨折断过若干次后”有些拽不起身子”;她的膝盖下跪过若干回后”见谁都想跪”。在拍摄此照片前她刚刚在最高法院门前遭打。

“I want to kneel down before everyone I meet”
Date: April, 2003
Location: In front of a newspaper office in Beijing's Chaoyang district
Fifty-six year old widow Wu Xiuying has been used as a target by other people pretty much since she was born. In twenty years of petitioning, she's fed up with the shame of being beaten, taken in, sent away, arrested, detained, tortured into confessions, fined, sexually harassed. Her ribs have been broken so many times she has trouble moving around; her knees have knelt down so many times she ‘wants to kneel down before everyone she meets’. Just before shooting this photo she had been beaten on the steps of the Supreme Court.

6

盐腌的证据
时间:2002年12月1日
地点:黑龙江省伊春市某山林
5年来,清洁工于振洋(右一)每周都要若干次到山林中妻子尸体秘密的掩埋处撒食盐和浇盐水。他的妻子在1987年被警察传讯后死在离派出所15米远的男厕所坑池里。法医称是自杀溺死。因为妻子尸体上多处伤痕,于怀疑妻子是被谋杀。
于振洋以食盐将妻子的尸体腌着,悄悄埋到山林内作为证据储存。”即使我到死,我知道,我的儿子将继续上/访的责任,”他说,”直到他也死。”

Proof of salt curing
Date: December 1, 2002
Location: Some mountain forest, Yichun city, Heilongjiang province
For five years, cleaner Yu Zhenyang (first on left) goes into the mountain forest several times each week to the secret location where his wife's corpse is buried to sprinkle salt and salt water. His wife died in 1987 in a men's washroom toilet fifteen meters from a police station after being summoned by the police. The medical examiner ruled it suicide by drowning. Because there were many scars on his wife's body, Yu suspects his wife was murdered. Yu Zhenyang preserved his wife's body with salt, then quietly buried her in the mountain forest to preserve the evidence. “Even if I die, I know my son will continue the responsibility of petitioning,” he says, “up until he dies too.”

7

国家赔偿
时间:2002年4月
地点:北京村
上/访者:孙偕文
1982年以来,他惟一收获,是在上/访中捡来老婆和3个孩子。”老婆和孩子跟摆在屋前这排鞋子一样,都从垃圾堆里捡来,”他说,国家对他还算不薄。”好像是国家对我冤狱多年的赔偿。”

State compensation
Date: April, 2002
Location: Beijing village
Petitioner: Sun Xiewen
His only gains since 1982 have been in picking up a wife and three kids. “The wife and kids are like the row of shoes in front of our house, all pulled out from a garbage heap,” he says, the state hasn't been so bad to me. “It's like the state's compensation to me for many years of wrongful conviction.”

8

两对父子
时间:2002年11月
地点:北京村
上/访者:李伟(左),于泉(右)
他们都来自黑龙江省铁力市,因为各自不同遭遇,这两对父子在北京上/访村相遇。

Two pairs of father and son
Date: November, 2002
Location: Beijing village
Petitioners: Li Wei (left), Yu Quan (right)
They come from Tieli city, Heilongjiang province. Each there for different reasons, these two pairs of father and son met in Beijing's Petitioner's Village.

9

一个人的冤墙
时间:2004年1月
地点:北京最高法院信访办
上/访者:无名、无年龄
来自地区:四川省南充市

One man's wall of injustice
Date: January, 2004
Location: Beijing Supreme Court reception office
Petitioner: No name, no age
Place of origin: Nanchong city, Sichuan province

10

上/访的终点
北京上/访村上/访者墓地
他们一次次往返于故乡与北京之间,虽然他们的愿望未能实现,但这一次,他们终于不用再奔波,可以停下来永远休息。

Petitions’ endpoint
Graves of petitioners in Beijing's Petitioner's Village
Despite repeated trips between their hometowns and Beijing, their wishes were never fulfilled. Now, they finally no longer need to run around, can stop and rest forever.

From another blogging Chinese journalist comes a look at Greenpeace‘s Green Electronics Guide, which every three months ranks electronics companies on their environmental impact policies, namely their share of e-waste (electronic scrap), and came out last week. Coming in first is Nokia, which occupies the China cellphone market, and in last place Apple, reflecting the company's share of the computer market in the PRC. If only China's waterways had that much going for them. Thoughts on the report from Shang Jin at Mindmeters; photo from the Greenpeace website.

绿色和平组织绝对是个充满偏执思维,且不管权贵的机构。从在8月份出台过一次电子巨头的环保指数,在12月初,他们第二次发布了这个数字,似乎苹果电脑成为了一贯的落后分子。其实商业企业与环境的关系,是一个很值得深入研究的话题,绝不仅仅是社会责任和商业道德那么简单。

Greenpeace is definitely an obsessed organization, even when it comes to the bigwigs. Judging from their first report of environmental statistics on the big electronics companies released in August to their second release at the beginning of December, it seems that Apple computers has fallen quite behind. Actually, the relationship between corporations and the environment is a topic very worth researching; social responsibility and business morality is definitely not that simple.

a-chinese-child-sits-amongst-a.jpg

我最感兴趣的是,摩托罗拉如何从第一次的1.7跃升到了6,要知道这些巨头没几个自己制造产品,统统使用OEM和ODM,这其中管理的透明性,以及生产商的控制学问,绝对只有亲身经历者知道内涵的。

What interests me most is how Motorola jumped from a score of 1.7 in the first report to 6. Since there aren't many of these big companies that manufacture that many of their own products, often using OEMs and ODMs . As to how transparently these are managed, as well as the controls on manufacturers, definitely the only people who know are those personally involved.

Liu Yang at Xici Hutong's Reporter Home makes note of an increasing trend of big-name Chinese journalists leaving traditional media behind for their online counterparts:

12月6日,消息人士透露前《新京报》总编辑杨斌,将于明日正式到财经网站和讯网上班,担任网站总编辑。网易科技此前的报道曾经提到,刘峻在其博客中透露,将有一位”重量级的媒体人士”,接替他在和讯网的工作。

December 6, insiders reveal that former The Beijing News editor-in-chief Yang Bin will officially start work at financial news website Hexun as the managing editor of their website. Prior to this, Netease Tech had mentioned it in their reports and Liu Jun said on his blog that a “heavyweight media personality” would replace him at his job at Hexun.

两年以互联网为代表的新媒体在中国发展迅速,为资深的传统媒体人制造出新的机会,在杨斌投身新媒体之前,已经有不少国内有影响力的传媒大佬放弃传统媒体,纷纷加入到新媒体。

With two years of the internet representing the speed of development of new media in China, of creating new opportunities for those with seniority in traditional media, before Yang Bin devoted himself to new media, there had already been more than a few influential mainland media bigwigs having given up on traditional media, one-by-one getting into new media.

前《环球企业家》总编李甬,加入网易担任副总裁/总编;前《南风窗》总编辑陈菊红加入腾讯网担任总编;《新京报》前副总编,王跃春加入搜狐担任常务副总编;计算机世界前副总裁/总编王超,加入广源传媒担任总裁。经济观察报社前社长何力,加入阳光媒体担任投资大中华区CEO。

Former Global Entepreneur [zh] managing editor Li Yong moved to Netease to be their vice-president and managing editor; former Southern Window managing editor Chen Juhong went to QQ to serve as managing editor; The Beijing News former deputy managing editor Wang Yuechun has moved to Sohu as their executive deputy editor-in-chief; Computer World‘s former vice president/managing editor Wang Chao has moved to GYMedia as their president. Economic Observer‘s former president He Li has moved to Sun Media to act as their CEO of Investment (Greater China Region).

杨斌是《新京报》前任总编辑,后调任南方日报驻北京记者站负责人。据称他近日已经从南方日报集团办完离职手续。

Yang Bin is the former managing editor of The Beijing News, having later jumped to Southern Daily as their Beijing correspondent. It's said that over the last few days he has already completed his resignation procedures at Southern Daily Group.

杨斌毕业于武汉大学,1996年底加入《南方都市报》,历任编辑、采访部主任、深圳记者站站长、编委、副主编。2003年11月,任《新京报》常务副总编辑。2004年7月,任《新京报》总编辑。2005年年底从《新京报》离职,后担任南方日报驻北京记者站负责人。

Yang Bin graduated from Wuhan University, entered Southern Metropolis Daily at the end of 1996 where he eventually would serve as editor, manager of interview department, head of the Shenzhen office, member of editorial board and deputy managing editor. In November, 2003 he served as executive deputy editor of The Beijing News and managing editor as of July 2004. He resigned from The Beijing News at the end of 2005 and started as manager of Southern Daily‘s Beijing correspondents bureau.

From Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News webmaster/MSN Spaces blogger Wen Yunchao's latest weekly web news roundup comes good news for those who have ever been to a Chinese bank, but bad for overspenders:

兴业银行与腾讯公司达成合作,推出了国内首张虚实合一的信用卡——QQ秀信用卡,将面向腾讯QQ秀一族提供包括虚拟卡支付、财付通还款、在线申请、电子账单通知、即时消息提醒等多种网络服务。据介绍,”由于有了这一新的支付手段,QQ一族将可以享受一定的透支额,并且有50天的免息期,而且不需要年费。”此前,招行与腾讯合作推出了QQ一卡通(借记卡)。此举无疑将人们加剧对Q币”黑市货币”的疑虑,不少家长也担心孩子滥用透支功能而收到巨额帐单。

China Industrial Bank and Tencent have agreed to cooperate in releasing the mainland's first ever integrated credit card, the QQ Show Card, making available to Tencent QQ Show users services which include virtual payment, online applications, e-mail statement notification, instant news updates and many other kinds of service. According to their description, “with this new payment method, QQ users can enjoy a limited overdraft with a fifty-day interest-free repayment period, and no annual fees.” Prior to this, China Merchants Bank and Tencent had released the QQ Card (debit card). This move will undoubtedly raise people's concerns of black market QQ currency, and lead no shortage of parents to worry about children abusing the overdraw function to rack up massive bills.

1 comment

  • China: I have no legs…

    I have often criticized the Congress for its short workweek. This year, the do nothings in the Congress managed to be in session (I did not say worked) 107 days and they failed to accomplish anything. People from both sides of the aisle can blame eac…

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