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The Homes Lost

24 May 2012

This is a village in China's Yunnan Province where no houses no people can be found but free-range chickens searching for food in the rubbles and between the pieces of broken furniture.

There was no notable earthquake registered recently in this area, then why the buildings are ruined and the residents have to sleep under the stars?

They look very gloomy, clearly it is not because the villagers have suddenly developed an astrological hobby and love to admire the starry sky at night (for heavens sake, none of them had ever enrolled in a geological engineering program). They are, no doubt, forced to flee their cozy homes ...

... And abandon their farmland, as this young man shows no intention to tender his crops, but keeps lying there starring blankly into the infinite space above ...

... And abandon all their possessions in a great hurry like these elderly couple who have to sleep rough in a pit.

So, what happed to their village?

Answer, it was demolished by government-backed property developers by force.

What happened in a Yunnan village is by no means to be an isolated incident, but just one of numerous tragic real life stories staged in today's China nearly everywhere on almost daily basis for as long as a decade.

This elderly man wants to perish together with his dear home that was forcibly demolished ...

A little boy's story told by a police officer:

"This afternoon that residential area was demolished without residents consent and I was called on to keep order in the vicinity. I saw this boy coming home from school and discovering his home is no longer there. Standing in front of the rubbles, he didn't know what to do. But he dared not to leave the site, so he sat by a slab doing his homework while waiting for his parents. When I observed this, I couldn't contain my tears. Why should I keep doing this wicked job which is totally immoral. I only wish I can retire soon."


China today: the old and the young, a home on the run.


An Aria from Yueju Opera "Home" (家) sung by Xiju Opera master Zhou Dongliang (周东亮)

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