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Postcards from Wukan, a few days late

I'd wanted to post these from the elections in Wukan, but my work on Saturday ran late, Sunday was taken up with travel back to Beijing and then yesterday I was at the National People's Congress. So, just think of these as having been delayed a bit in the mail.

Xue Jianwan, the daughter of Xue Jinbo, a Wukan activist who died in police custody in December. When I took this photo on Friday, Xue said she was going to continue her run for office in Wukan despite official pressure to drop out of the race. She appeared to back out of the race the next day, a development that's since been confirmed. 

Villager watching a video of Wukan protest leaders making speeches last year, as the village headed toward open revolt against the local government. The large group of men watching the TV at this stand on Friday seemed to quiet down a bit when Xue Jinbo flashed across the screen. Two of the other protest leaders, Lin Zuluan and Yang Semao, were elected head and deputy head of the village commission on Saturday.

Yang Semao being interviewed in front of the village commission office on Friday.

Early Saturday morning. Guards at the entrance to the local school used as a polling station.

Lin Zuluan on Saturday. I saw him sitting or walking by himself a lot during the day (Update: Though outside the frame of this particular photograph, I think someone was sitting next to him). I suspect he might have been caught between the officials present, from nearby city of Lufeng and elsewhere, and the scrum of press that gathered every time he started talking with someone.


IMG_1066Voters starting to trickle in.


Xue Jianwan is in there somewhere.

More press.







Votes being counted.


As vote count wrapped up, Lin writing notes before speaking to crowd.

Lin and Yang, not long before results announced.

Lin pushes through the press on the way home.





I saw this fishing boat starting to sink in December, when in Wukan during the protests.  I walked by it on Friday and it was completely under the water. Am not sure if this makes sense to you, dear reader, but for me it was a poignant note -- that the significance of the Wukan story is still unknown, submerged down there under the water, where it can still be partially seen but not fully understood.





(Note: Most of my shots of individual voters were vertical and I'm having trouble getting them to post -- will update with them when I figure out how.)


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Fire Extinguishers

Thanks for your post. I found is really informative and interesting. I'll certainly be looking out for more from you in the future.


To your defense I'd say I've seen a few smiles in the photos you've posted ;)
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You sure as hell ain't a photographer. Doesn't the McClatchy budget stretch anymore? The story is surely the pride of the people (and not the pride of the amassed journalists), but you have mostly captured them as glum/bored. Anxious at best.

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"China Rises" is written by Tom Lasseter, the Beijing bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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