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  • Images
  • Linda Butler

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Dismantling the Temple, Qingtan, 2001.
Photograph by Linda Butler.

This temple was dismantled, then its timbers, bricks, and tiles were carefully numbered, taken by barge to Maoping, and put into storage. It was rebuilt at a new site overlooking the Three Gorges Dam.


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Yangtze Overlook, Xiling Gorge, 2000.
Photograph by Linda Butler
.

Xiling Gorge is forty-seven miles long. The Three Gorges Dam is near its eastern end. This upstream view includes a farmhouse with a satellite dish—a luxury that was rarely seen in rural areas before 2000—and a new highway (at left).


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Paralyzed Miner, Ferry Interior, Three Gorges Section, 2001.
Photograph by Linda Butler
.

This man's legs were crushed in a mine collapse, paralyzing him for life. After months in a hospital, he was taken back to his village where his wife and three children awaited him. The mining company gave him a $7,000 settlement and a personalized blanket.


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Wanxian Old Town, Wanxian, 2001.
Photograph by Linda Butler
.

When this photograph was taken, some schools and neighborhoods of old Wanxian were still intact; the hospital (lower right) is being dismantled. Sixty thousand people were relocated, many receiving only a fraction of the money promised them.


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New Port, Wanxian, 2003.
Photograph by Linda Butler
.

When the reservoir reached the shores of Wanxian in June 2003, there was still much work to do. Workmen were laying stone slabs to secure the landfill embankment and create a quay. Many of the remaining buildings would be torn down to prepare for a new business district at the wharf's edge.


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Boy and Dog, Wanxian, 2001.
Photograph by Linda Butler
.

In this communal dwelling, a courtyard provided space for prosperous residents to keep pets and socialize. Six months after this photograph was taken, the dwelling was gone; the families had moved to a high-rise, unable to take their dogs because the new apartments were too small for them.


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Temple Stairs, Shibaozhai, 2000.
Photograph by Linda Butler
.

These 500-year-old stone steps descend from a mountainside temple. China's Bureau of Culture Protection planned to build a wall to protect the temple from the rising waters. A sign (upper right) indicates the height the reservoir was expected to reach in 2009.


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Village Destruction, Xiang Xi, 2001.
Photograph by Linda Butler
.

The coal town of Xiang Xi was on a cliff at the western entrance of Xiling Gorge. Like many others, the town was flattened. Because of the region's poverty, hand tools rather than bulldozers were used. Bricks, floor slabs, and metal rebar were recycled.


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Carpenter's House, Beishi, 2001.
Photograph by Linda Butler
.

This carpenter constructed his own home in 1982 on a hillside overlooking the Yangtze. He designed the house, poured his own concrete bricks, and made the furniture by hand. He also raised bees to pollinate his tangerine trees. He was heartbroken to see the house destroyed.


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Carpenter's House in Ruins, Beishi, 2003.
Photograph by Linda Butler
.

When the carpenter returned to the ruins of his house, only a ceramic water vessel remained intact (middle right). The sign "175-m" on the hillside predicts the reservoir level in 2009. Six months later, the land was under fifteen feet of water and the carpenter had begun constructing a new home half a mile away.


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South Gate, Dachang, 2001.
Photograph by Linda Butler
.

The town of Dachang was a perilous, four-hour boat ride up the Daning River tributary. The villagers believe that the gate is more than 1,700 years old. The painted line on the left indicates how high the reservoir was predicted to rise in 2009.


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Traditional Medicine Shop, Dachang, 2002.
Photograph by Linda Butler
.

The drawers...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-943x
Print ISSN
1045-7909
Launched on MUSE
2019-05-10
Open Access
No
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