|Many buildings collapsed during the magnitude 8 earthquake in 2008|
|A memorial clock perpetually stops at 2.28pm|
|Ai Weiwei began his activism with the Sichuan earthquake|
At first a large number of names were missing, but thanks to the efforts of volunteer activists, as many people they could find were accounted for. I remember years later seeing a piece of work where Ai set up a small room and inside the walls were covered with computer-generated charts of the student's name, age, and sex.
It was a stark and factual reminder of a tragedy.
This marked the beginning of Ai's activism in China, that later led him to have a brain hemorrhage thanks to Chinese police beating his head because Ai dared to try to find the truth.
|Shoes still lying around 10 years later.|
As a result, since then, when tragedies occur, all domestic media outlets must use official state media, particularly Xinhua stories. No one can do independent reporting anymore.
Meanwhile the government quickly turned this into a national tragedy for propaganda -- with official days of mourning, and there was so much money donated. Did it really go to the victims? We don't know.