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Chinese Environmentalists, in Their Own Words

Earlier this year, ChinaFile’s Environment Editor, Michael Zhao, teamed up with Phoenix Online to create a series of two-minute documentaries on the work, ideas, and aspirations of Chinese environmental advocates. The environmentalists, many of whom work in relative obscurity even within China, collect photographs and record themselves describing their efforts. They send these materials to Zhao, who edits them and then publishes them on the Phoenix website. “There are thousands of NGOs now working on an insane number of projects across China,” says Zhao. “We know people’s attention span for remote issues such as deforestation can be limited, and we hope the trailer-like format of our videos will help them reach audiences that normally wouldn’t have the time to be interested.”

The experiment has worked. To date, the “Pictures Talk” series has produced nearly 30 episodes, several of which have had as many as a quarter million views on the Phoenix website.

Here are a handful of videos from the Phoenix series, subtitled in English. We’ll continue to add more of them in the months to come. —The Editors

Series Introduction:

Peng Yu: Nanling Scars

Wang Jiuliang: Plastic China

Yang Yong: Yangtze River Nightmare

Chen Jilian: An Antarctica for Our Children