The Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River will be the world's largest dam. It's also turning into one damn big controversy for the Chinese government. Over a million people have been forced out of their homes because they were in the 632-square-kilometer area of land that was flooded by the dam. Twelve hundred towns will be wiped off the map upon the dam's completion in 2009. Environmental activists are concerned that the flooded area is already becoming highly polluted. But the state maintains that the project is well worth it. Dependency on oil and other natural resources for power is a major concern for China's growing economy, and Three Gorges will produce 18,200 megawatts of power. There is no point in arguing whether the dam is a good thing for a growing nation or a bad thing for heritage and nature. The fact is the Three Gorges dam is going to be completed, and it's going to power a large part of the country. The exhibit, with photos from Chinese, American, and Canadian photographers, contrasts the ugliness and industrial ambition of the project with the grandeur of the beauty surrounding the site.
Nov. 17-Feb. 10, 2007