• People queue

    Migrant workers wait for a boat at Wushan wharf, about 350 km up from the Three Gorges Dam site . ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • A boats moves down the Three A barge passes along the Xiling Gorge Gorges Gorge of the Yangtze before flooding, in 2001. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix

    A barge passes along the Xiling Gorge of the Yangtze River in 2010, when the Three Gorges Dam was full. The Xiling Gorge, was one of the the narrow and fast flowing "Three Gorges" that were partially lost to make way for the Dam, opening up central China to ocean going shipping. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix

    Farmers block a road, south of Chongqing, Sichuan Province. The farmers were complaining about police corruption and failure to pay compensation for land taken from them by the local government related to the Three Gorges Dam Project. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix

    The 1700 year old Zhang Fei Temple. The temple was moved, brick-by-brick, above the 175 meter water mark. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix

    Chong Qing port on the Yangtze River at the end of the 450 km long ribbon lake. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix

    Ferry passengers as they pass The Three Gorges Dam under cosntruction. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix

    A worker rests by the side of a lock during construction at the Sandouping site. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • The Three Gorges Dam, was the largest constrcuction site in the world. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • The Three Gorges Dam, was the largest constrcuction site in the world.©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • Workers are moved by a crane at the Three Gorges Dam, constrcuction site. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • Workers are moved by a crane at the Three Gorges Dam, constrcuction site. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • Workers construct a turbine at the Three Gorges Dam, constrcuction site. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • The 200 meter high dam wall at the constrcuction site. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • Safety standards are low at the Three Gorges Dam constrcuction site. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • Sogns tower over Wushan, indicating the height of the Dam. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • A man moves his cabinets at Badong. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • Residents are forced to evacuate with their belongings at Yun Yang, 2000. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • The 1700 year old town of Dachang is destroyed before it is flooded. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • The 1700 year old town of Dachang is destroyed before it is flooded. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • A grandfather stares as his village is destroyed to make way for the Dam, Badong. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • Cracks in the roads and houses appear caused by mini-earthquakes in many towns. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • Cracks in the roads and houses appear caused by mini-earthquakes in many towns, such as Datong. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinop
  • The traditional ways of life were flushed away when the water inundated the old towns and wharf-sides. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • An ex-fisherman poses close to his old house in front of the partially flooded ribon-lake at Wushan. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • Tourists at the Dam site take photographs. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • A new bridge strtches over the Yangtze ribbon lake at Enshi City, Hubei. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • The completed Three Gorges Dam. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
  • A boat waits to enter the lock of the Three Gorges Dam. ©RichardJonesPhoto/Sinopix
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“Lost Boys/ The Vanishing” was a long term project related to the effects of the One Child Policy. The Communist Government’s policy, for 30 years, was to restrict population growth by limiting families to a single child.

The Chinese’ natutral preference for a son and heir, meant that male toddlers were highly valueable.

Boys were often stolen and sold to those seeking a boy. Poor Chinese migrant workers workers were especially targeted since they had very little means of recourse as corrupt policemen and officials were paid-of by rich buyers.

I spent years tracking down the parents of the “lost boys” who agreed to be photographed in a mobile “studio” with a medium format Mammiya7.

During the entire project I, and the parents, were followed and harrassed by police, who wanted to silence the desperate parents. Most shoots were aborted.

We asked the parents to write messages they’d like their lost children to see on their photographs.

One reads: “My poor son where are you? I miss you very much. Are you okay now? Please come back. Mum can’t live without you. Mum dreams of you every night, dreaming that have come back to our sides. Don’t know when can our dream comes true.”

I only ever met one parent whose child had been returned by the police in four years of working on the project. That child never left his mother’s side, both mother and son petrified he would be stolen again.

“Lost Boys” won Human Rights Press Awards, for photography and writing.

One of the Portraits exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum,Washington