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Out of Caring- Listen to Sha Bihong’s story (Excerpt)


People’s Daily, March 17, 2004, Wednesday, by Liu Qiong

It was in 1997 when “Sha Bihong” first entered my visual field, at that time her 300,000-word novel Homelessness was selected on the best-selling shelf of Sanlian Bookstore based on her study experience overseas. The works on the life of studying abroad by overseas students could be found everywhere. The Homelessness moved me at that time because it paid attention to the fate of women with a female delicateness and sensitiveness, showing a strong ultimate color and tragedy sense.

Over the years, the “female perspective” and “caring consciousness” has become Sha Bihong’s logo, in her writing and during the time when she works as general director of CCTV’s program “Half the Sky” and hostess of the program Story. In more than 600 television documentaries and feature films, One Dream for Generations of Women won the First Prize of China Television Government Award, and Flowery Spring and Fruitful Autumn won the Special Award for CCTV Excellent Program. Last year, she directed the Dance, which got the “International Media Award” in Hamburg, Germany. In 2000, Sha Bihong and her younger sister Sha Bifang risked their life to fighting with the police for photographing the “Cracking down on the Abduction”. During the process, they went through the hardship of living in the wilderness, crossed mountains and rivers, and spent eight months in covering more than half of China. They photographed 30,000 minutes of materials and wrote hundreds of thousands of documentary words reflecting the “crackdown”. After three years of sedimentation and thinking, first they completed the eleven-episode documentary Social Care, and then they continued to create the TV series I am Not a Lamb. In addition to the twists and turns in the plot as well as ups and downs in the fate of the characters in the story, the caring spirit and a profound analysis carried out on the historical roots of trafficking crimes should be the most valuable part in I am Not a Lamb.

Especially for the documentary feature film Social Care - a Female Reporter on the Chinese Crackdown Tracking” and the shooting of the TV series I am Not a Lamb caused the basic change in the life track of Sha Bihong.

In the interview, the reporter found that Sha Bihong still could not get rid of “crackdown” after coming out from the photographing room. Over the 4 years, Sha Bihong became friends with Chinese policemen in many provinces as well as numerous rescued trafficked women. In fact, Sha Bihong and Sha Bifang’s mobile phones have become the folk “crackdown Line”. The phone calls fees are often up to four or five thousand yuan a month. As we talked, Shabi also received a phone call from a rescued girl named “Zhang Tao (similar sound). “Though it has been a long time since we met, I often dream of them, and they are often homeless in my dreams.” she said. For the vast majority of trafficked women, the most terrible part is not being “abducted” but being abandoned by society and their families. How can we offer a helping hand? As a media practitioner, Sha Bihong selected text and images. “I know a TV series or a book does not change anything, but I hope that these real life portrayal can light a light of hope at the hearts of girls who have experienced the ups and downs of life.”

Ignorance and despair is the main state of those abducted and trafficked women. The reason why many people are abducted is because of the lack of basic common sense and awareness. After being abducted, they even do not know that they can call 110 for help. Once they were abducted, their spirit had completely collapsed. To this end, Sha Bihong generates many ideas in mind, such as establishing spirit rehabilitation centers for trafficked women, strengthening women’s defense education, helping them to acquire knowledge, and so on. She and her family sponsored 20 girls to school every month now. “But our ability is too limited. I hope people with more than power than us can do something for them.”

Because of understanding and mercy, she is noble and kind-hearted. Walking out of the text and images, Sha Bihong can not conceal her gracefulness, despite of a tired face.

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