Seeds is a photography column that seeks to explore and promote just causes by highlighting individuals‘ efforts. These individuals are seeds of justice and resistance, and seeds for social movements and social changes.
THE RELIEF workers and volunteers came from all over Taiwan. Some came from as far as Japan and Korea.
Many had not slept for days. Some slept on the floor. One could easily fall asleep due to exhaustion.
Survivors had not been found for more than a day. At around 2 AM, we heard that a survivor was found. Everyone was emotional and many cried. We eventually found out that the information was wrong, but a puppy was rescued.
Christians. Daoists. Buddhists. Police officers. Firefighters. Rescue workers. Nurses. Volunteers. Monks. Activists. Soldiers. All working, resting, or standing by.
Soldiers looked onto the site of destruction, organizing and readying themselves for the next tasks. I saw familiar activist faces from protests—they had come straight to the site to help. Monks were standing by to offer prayers. Rescue workers who came as far as Yilan. Firefighters, who had been working since day one, resting in their tents. In the heavy morning rain, volunteers from Yiguandao, a Daoist organization, put on their raincoats and continued chopping away vegetables. I hitched onto a Presbyterian van who was taking their volunteers and supplies to and from the church to the bus stop.
Many stores opened their doors to aid the rescue efforts. I went by North Kaohsiung, where a pet shop whose owner kept the store open, letting people use the bathroom and the office to rest and work.
Here at the the awful site of disaster, these lovely, tired, weary, beautiful people transcended the tragedy.
What does an earthquake smell like? Acidic, dusty, oily.