China Through A Lens

By Phoebe N.

As I travel through China, I find that I have been observing this beautiful country through a lens—my camera lens, to be exact. Photography allows me to view everything from an artistic standpoint. Through this point-of-view, I am able to pick up on minute details which (in the rushed and excited dynamic of the NSLI-Y group) would otherwise escape me.

Through my lens, I have viewed the beauty of the great wall, the grandeur of the Pearl tower, and the complexity of the Beijing Markets. I have also, however, captured the less expected China. I have seen local families enjoying their days, beautiful girls with fantastic clothes, and old women weaving necklaces.

Among all of this beauty, however is there is also despair.  I have observed an impoverished, old man who was missing his legs. His friend was helping him even though he probably had as little as or less than the crippled man. This despair is a different kind of beauty. A beauty I rarely see in America and a beauty that defines China for me. Even though China is a rich country with poor people, the people come together in a way which defies their pains. My camera has shown me that even through socioeconomic barriers, the Chinese people have their heritage and culture to create bonds between each of the 1.3 billion people.

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