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Aphasia

What attracted me to the Occupy Movement was different than what attracted most of the people there.  I was neither a protester, nor a photojournalist.  I was there because I had never witnessed a protest before in my life. This was the first time I was tear-gassed, and the first time I was almost put into prison. These experiences drove me to the protest again and again.  As a Chinese citizen, I spent many sleepless nights with hundreds of American protesters.

My background is filmmaking.  Maybe this is the reason I recorded audio when I was taking photos. In my head, this piece would look like Chris Marker’s La Jetee. It should tell a story by using still photos, dialogue, and sound effects. The difference is that La Jetee is a fictional story made as planned, while mine is a documentary story unplanned.

There is an important reason I use still photos to tell this story. We can take out a single photo inside the piece, and it can represent another time and location. In these photos, we can see young couples falling asleep in the dark night inside a tent on a square they occupied; we can see a young man thrown down by the police; we can see a woman crying with sadness. We can say this is the Occupy Movement in America in 2011; we can also say this is Berkeley in the 70s; we can even say this is China, Middle East, Rio, or Istanbul in 2013. History is repeating itself everyday.

 

 

 失语症

 

当初我对于“占领运动”如此投入的原因,不是因为我真正明白其意义,我不是一个示威者,也不是一个新闻记者。我投入是因为那是我第一次目睹和经历示威游行、第一次感受催泪弹、第一次差点被警察抓进监狱。这些出乎我想象的东西驱使我一次又一次到现场,和大家在一起度过许多不眠之夜。

 

我的背景是电影,内心喜欢充满饱和色彩和叙事性的视觉作品,或许这就是为什么在拍着这组摄影作品的时候,我还依然带上录音器材录制现场声音的原因,最终在我脑海中出现的会是一个类似于Chris Marker的 La Jetée一样用静态图片说故事的作品。不同的是, La Jetée是按照剧本拍摄的剧情片,而我拍的则是没有计划的纪录片。

 

用静态照片的很重要的原因是,这里面的任何一张照片都可以单独拿出来,跨越时空,代表另一个时间和空间。照片里,是年轻的情侣在广场上的帐篷里过夜;是男人被警察压倒在身下;是女人哭花了眼睛。你可以说这是2011年美国的占领运动,也可以说这是六七十年代的反战运动或民权运动,还可以说这是中国、巴西、甚至今天的伊斯坦布尔的游行示威。历史其实一天天都在重演。