The Atlantic Sheds Stark, Sable Light On China


The Atlantic’s latest In Focus series.

Sometimes it takes a black light to get the eyes to focus on what’s important. Start here: a country struggling to balance the needs of 1.4 billion people with that of the natural environment. With this most basic of conflict in mind, work your way down, to a bird’s-eye view of a changing metropolis, then to ground level. You eventually pass the burning monk and the black scorpions on sticks and even the clothespin on the soldier’s lapel. I’m not sure where you end up, what the destination is, but one gets the sense it’s someplace essential. We’re not talking about these photos anymore, of course.

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