Baby Cribs on Yangtze Glaciers 长江源婴儿床

Weathering bone-cutting winds and mind-numbing cold, explorers and photographers have teamed up to document the retreating glaciers around the tributaries of the Yangtze River here at Mt. Geladandong, on the southern edge of the Qinghai bordering Tibet. With the help of local Tibetan nomads, the team also put up an art show by installing 193 baby cribs on an ice sheet at the base of a glacial tongue. Each crib flew a different flag represented a different country. By harnessing the power of art, along irrefutable graphical evidence spanning almost 15 years, this group of grass-roots environmentalists and empassioned volunteers have endured physical hardship and battled the effects of high altitude to call for attention, and more importantly, immediate action to help save the glaciers from disappearing. These ice sheets and others nearby are the very origins of many of Asia’s largest river systems, including the Yangtze, Salween and Mekong. With some 2 billion individuals, Asia’s populations and their water supplies are at stake, what’s happening here bespeaks of a grave consequences of continental scope and beyond.

Produced by Li Lei along with Green River.

Originally published on December 1, 2010.

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