LAND  OF  DEER



I travelled to the city of Baotou in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, situated in North China.
In the suburbs of the city, there is an artificial lake of 16 km2 containing toxic and radioactive sludge; its perimeter is bordered by a stream pipes carrying waste from the refineries that surround it.
The smell is thick and there is a layer of something in the air.
Baotou is rich in a group of minerals known as "rare earth"; these are essential for building electronic components of smartphones, tablets, GPS receivers and wind turbines; generating tons of waste per year and resulting in serious health problems among the local population.
The circular dam has a capacity of 236 million m3 to accommodate the radioactive elements of the world consumption.
While I was filming I was arrested and interrogated by National Security for six hours. They made me erase all the material I had filmed and they even formatted the memory card so I could not retrieve the photos.
They thought I was a spy.
I still don't understand how a single photo was stored in the depths of my flash memory card, such as a fossil tied to a power failure.
Baotou means in Mongolian "Land of deer" but it is almost impossible to imagine a group of deer jumping around in that landscape.
People from the area who used to be farmers still can remember the watermelons fields, eggplants and tomatoes that used to grow where the toxic lake stands now.

I have only one photo and a video I took with my phone hidden while I was being interrogated.
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