In 2007, I met a woman on a train, and we started talking about Tiananmen. She showed me her family’s photo album. Her husband, a soldier, was sent to Tiananmen in 1989. He took these photos on June 5, 1989, the day after the massacre. She didn’t tell me much more than that. I think she didn’t realise that what were just a few snapshots in a family album to her was is proof for many others of the violence that took place on that fateful day. I realized how important this was, so I asked her if she would give me her photos. She refused, so instead I took pictures of them.
She told me that many soldiers who had participated in the massacre were never given public sector jobs, as was generally the tradition in this communist system. I imagine the authorities were very worried that after what they had seen and done, these soldiers might actually end up defending democracy.