China Matters, an online news source about China, releases a documentary titled “Photographing the Invisible – The Untold Story,” featuring a group of volunteer photographers capturing 42,000 portraits of COVID-19 frontline workers in Wuhan.
The said project is led by Li Ge, the president of China Photographers Association and press photographer of People’s Daily. With the aim of taking portrait photographs of 346 medical teams that consist of 42,000 medical workers in the province of Hubei, Li admits that he had sleeping problems and full of anxiety at the beginning of the project due to the magnitude of the job.
Even though there were no specific requirements for executing the task, the team aimed to capture the moment when the frontliners left the isolation ward and removed the mask. The team needs to act quickly in a minute; in his words, it’s “a powerful moment in time,” capturing a photograph so simple and letting the portraits speak of itself.
“I got softer and fragile talking to these frontline workers,” Li said. “I cried almost every day as I witnessed what they had been doing.”
Even to a veteran like Li, who has experienced various heart-striking scenes throughout his career, this project, the first-ever of this kind in China, is an unprecedented one.
More than 40,000 medical workers from across China headed to the epicenter during the pandemic outbreak to assist with COVID-19 treatment. They helped ease the shortage of local medical workers and brought plenty of protective gear in need.