Left: A father and his son on a bicycle amid heavy snow in Hangzhou, on Feb 1. Zhang Hui Right: Fires are lit to keep giraffes warm at a zoo in Chongqing municipality, on Jan 29. Chen Shichuan
Nature can be ruthless, but the people who fight against it are fearless.
Facing the Cold, a newly-launched picture book, is dedicated to those who courageously worked and lived through the worst winter in 50 years to hit south and central China, in January and February.
More than 100 news photographers contributed 220 pictures to this book, compiled by China Daily, sponsored by Beijing Bicycle Rental Co Ltd and published by the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Publishing Corporation.
Some of the pictures show people on the frontlines: The thirsty worker of a power company sucking on the ice in Hunan province; soldiers shoveling the snow off streets in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
Some pictures show many people simply trying to get home, like the hundreds of thousands stranded at Guangzhou Railway Station. In one photo, a young couple hug each other to keep warm while waiting for their train.
Some photos are breathtaking. Passengers stretching out their hands to carry a woman who fainted in Guangzhou; a young driver helping an old man injured by a tree branch that has snapped under the weight of the snow in Hangzhou.
Some photos are heart-warming, like one showing a young student doing her homework by candlelight in Hunan province. In another, six passengers huddle together under a quilt in Nanjing Railway Station in Jiangsu province.
Some photos show happy faces. Villagers smiling after receiving a donated quilt in Jiangxi province, or a swimmer stretching before dipping into freezing waters in Hubei province.
"While we cannot bring you all the thousands of stories that formed the tableaux of this event, we are presenting a collection of the photographs documenting moments that helped transform a winter tale of gloom into one of hope and recovery," Zhu Ling, editor-in-chief of China Daily, writes in the foreword of the book.
"Behind each image is a story of human beings threatened by the elements, but eventually one of endurance and survival," Zhu says.
Wang Yong, chairman of the Board of Beijing Bicycle Rental Co Ltd sings the praises of the press photographers.
"These news photos are the result of the perseverance of these photographers, who, soldier-like, ventured to the frontline under the most trying conditions," Wang says in the postscript for the book.
(China Daily 03/04/2008 page18)