Beijing, April 2007

Photos © Lizzie Ridout

I keep returning to these photos that I took in China earlier this year. Beijing's closest area of desert is about 18km away, and it's been estimated that the area's perpetual winds blow the sand nearer by about 2km a year. We were warned about dust clouds that hit Beijing in the spring time. Liking to dress appropriately for every occasion, I was bewildered as to what to pack clothes-wise for a potential sand storm. (Unfortunately?) we were never witness to one and my garment dilemma remained unanswered. However all across the city there are clues as to drought and an impending environmental disaster. Dried-up parks with brown dust lawns and padlocked water-taps. But these pictures seem to capture a certain invincible spirit: very convincing fake plastic hedges indeed.