To give us some perspective on the massive social and economic impact of pollution throughout China, we’ve turned to photographer Lu Guang’s “Pollution in China” project. Lu won this year’s $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography from the Asia Society in New York. His project documents families, farmers, industrial districts, rivers, the countryside, cancer patients, children; anyone and everything affected by pollution across China.
Since he completed his graduate studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Lu’s been traveling all over the country as a freelance photographer. His photos are thought provoking, and the project is a kind of haunting but strangely beautiful window into how rapid industrialization has affected China’s residents, rural and urban alike.
Just earlier this year, water samples from the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers (the subjects of many of Lu’s photos) showed that the water was too polluted even to be used as farm irrigation, let alone a source for drinking water, according to China Daily.
We wonder, with China supposedly a rising global leader in green energy, how will individual’s lives be bettered in areas with no industrial waste control mechanisms?