Villager of Fan Jai Zhuang in Anyang City, Henan province, reaches for an elusive thirst-quenching gulp while engulfed in a heavy fog created by the neighboring steel-making furnace with the two only separated by a wall
I saw these pictures today and I was speechless. I have heard of athletes arriving for the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing and putting on masks as soon as they exited the airport. I have heard first-hand accounts of people visiting metropolitan China and being overwhelmed by a feeling of fatigue and congestion while there. But these pictures shocked me and remain ingrained in my mind more than any other depiction. How can any human let this happen to another human?
The images are by photographer Lu Guang who won the 2009 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. His collection is titled "Pollution in China" and requires an inhalation of a deep, breath of un-polluted oxygen before viewing.