Western China through the photographer’s lens

When was the last time you took a picture that could change the world? If your name is Sean Gallagher, then the answer could be “yesterday”. In addition to being a WildChina expert, Sean is also an award winning photographer and videographer. Sean’s work has appeared in publications including TIME Magazine, The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, Der Spiegel and National Geographic China. At present, Sean has turned his talents to reporting on the environmental degradation of the Tibetan Plateau for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Recently, China has decided to pour considerable energy into the development of its hyrdo-power infrastructure, to the tune of 25,000 dams across the country. With camera in hand, and pen at the ready, Sean has tackled the task of reporting on the effects of this situation. Paragraph by paragraph, snapshot by snapshot Sean is sharing the story he is uncovering with the world. And it is a tragic story. In the midst of the zeal with which China has pursued hydro-power, the effect on the local population has been ignored. Houses, schools, and hospitals have all been completely submerged necessitating the complete reconstruction of some villages to other parts of the country. As communities have been destroyed, the local infrastructure has been crippled forcing young people to depart for the cities looking for work.

There are no easy solutions to the problems caused by China’s energy needs, but if it weren’t for Sean’s work few would even know what was happening. Would you like to get a taste of looking at the real side of China? This fall, Sean will be heading back to Beijing to lead his Silk Road Photography Trip with WildChina. His journey will traverse the Silk Road’s wind swept planes as he instructs participants on landscape, portrait, and time-lapse photography. Come join Sean in Xinjinag this fall and who knows, tomorrow your pictures may be changing the world.

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Do you have questions about environmental travel in China? Interested in something else? Send us an email at info@wildchina.com and we will be happy to assist you.