Archive for March 17th, 2010

17
Mar
10

Next door, next to go

If you walked by too quickly, you would have missed her.

A crowd had gathered to watch an ongoing demolition of a row of old houses. Some were residents from nearby neighborhoods; others had simply nothing better to do.

A few children stared, mouths agape with wonderment at the massive excavator at street level, as if waiting for it to unfold into a giant robot.

The old houses, or what was left of them, had survived awkwardly next to the Dalian metro station and were rapidly outnumbered by gleaming luxury condominiums. Mostly abandoned and decaying, the facelift was inevitable.

Adjacent to the commotion, an old woman who looked to be in her 60s if not older was sitting outside her home, staring vacantly at her surroundings. She seemed unperturbed by the noise, or maybe she was just used to living right by the noise and pollution of vehicular traffic.

There was a loneliness about her that was so palpable, made more stark by the sprawling concrete around her where a neighbor’s house once stood.

A thousand questions rang in my head. I’ve never shied away from speaking with people I photograph. But this old woman’s indifference felt so impenetrable, I left her alone. With the constant reminder of her inevitable move, she did not need to recount her loss to yet another stranger.

Taken along Changyang Road (长扬路) by Dalian (大连) Metro Exit 4

March 2010

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