Online photo exhibition records Coronavirus combat memories

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By Li Qing

For Duan Wei and his colleagues at China Pictorial magazine, June 29 is a special day. On that day, a collection of photographs they took when they spent 64 days in Wuhan, central China, was displayed online as part of a global photographic exhibition, Zooming in on COVID-19: Unforgettable Moments in the Global Fight Against the Pandemic, initiated by the Beijing-based China International Publishing Group (CIPG).
The exhibition selected over 200 photos by 100 photographers from 27 countries, including Italy, Russia and the U.S. These document heartwarming acts of mutual assistance, monumental courage on the frontline, and strength to overcome the pandemic.
Du Zhanyuan, President of CIPG, called the photographs both artistic and an important documentation, at the online opening of the exhibition. “They capture the valuable moments beyond the limits of time and space, and reveal the brilliance of humanity demonstrated by individuals amid the crisis and the concerted action of all governments to protect people’s lives and scientifically prevent and control the disease,” Du said.
Frontline images
From February 28, the group was based in Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first reported in China, witnessing the city pass through winter and woe and then gradually return to normal life. They recorded many moments of the people’s fight against the epidemic.
Since cases of COVID-19 were reported in January, over 40,000 medical personnel were sent to Hubei, the province where Wuhan is located, to help with medical treatment. The Central Leading Group on Responding to the COVID-19 Outbreak launched a project to make people remember every medical worker deployed in Hubei though their faces were always hidden behind masks.
Duan and his colleagues were part of the team whose assignment was to document COVID-19 treatment in hospitals. As they put on their personal protective equipment to move around, they started to realize how difficult it was to work wearing such heavy gear.
A photo taken by Chen Jian, a member of the team, shows the suffocating image of a medical worker at the Huoshenshan Hospital, a temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients, weighed down by his full protective gear and his goggles fogging up. Chen went to various hospitals in Wuhan six times and his work shows the conditions at the frontline of the battle against COVID-19.
The hospitals were not the best place for photography due to the same impersonal background and drab medical uniforms as well as the obscuring masks.
– The Daily Mail-Beijing Reviews News exchange item