Title of the documentary: An Investigation by Citizens
Director: Ai Xiaoming
拍摄：艾晓明 谭作人 谢贻卉
Camera: Ai Xiaoming, Tan Zuoren, Xie Yihui
Editing: Ai Xiaoming, Hu Jie
Video material also supported by : Teng Biao
Length of film: 64 minutes
Time: Dec. 10, 2009
In late August 2008, following the 100th day of the Sichuan Earthquake, rescue teams began to withdraw and the media ceased to report on the disasters at the schools. Chengdu environmentalist Tan Zuoren and local volunteers were still rushing from one collapsed school to the next, trying to find out why they had collapsed. Autumn went and winter came, Tan Zuoren and Xie Yihui had visited ten counties and cities and over eighty towns and townships in the main disaster region, covering a distance of about 3,000km. They managed to release an investigate report on the internet before the 1st anniversary of the May 12 Earthquake. This is the first investigative report conducted by independent citizens on the collapsed schools.
Just as Tan Zuoren had expected, he lost his freedom. At the same time, Beijing artist Ai Weiwei launched further citizen action. Groups after groups of volunteers went to Sichuan to compile a list of student victims…
This documentary is an incomplete video record about the investigation conducted by these citizens. This is also another piece of testimony that direrctor wishs to submitte to the court trying Tan Zuoren for “suspicion of inciting subversion of state power.”
The children of sichuan died in the collapesed building in the May 12,2008 are children of all Chinese. Each of us, that is, Chinese who still have conscience, should feel guilty for these children and should shoulder the responsibility [for their deaths]. When these children suffer misfortune and unfair treatment, apart from saying ‘sorry’ in our hearts, can we do something more specific for them?
Only after we respect the dead can we treat the living with kindness. The 1st anniversary of the May 12 Sichuan Earthquake is around the corner. We want to use this opportunity to make a suggestion via internet: that Chinese netizens should act to mobilize your resources to participate in the building of the “May 12 Student Files,” so that the students and teachers who died in the earthquake are given the respect they deserve.
We recommend that Chinese netizens launch an independent investigation, use it as a basis to uncover the truth which has been hidden from us. We should use it as a foundation for the construction of an online “May 12 Student Memorial”. We should use the internet to once again re-connect the love and dignity between us.
倡议人：成都网民 谭作人 谢贻卉
Proponent: Chengdu netizens Tan Zuoren and XieYihui