1. Previously unseen images of the student protests in Tiananmen Square have been found in an old shoebox by New York-based copywriter Shelley Zhang.
A hopeful demonstrator, just weeks before the massacre.
2. Shelley told BuzzFeed: “I found the photos Sunday night, when I was in my basement looking through boxes of photos that I had inherited from my parents.”
Shelley Zhang’s uncle in Tiananmen Square, somewhere between May 30 and June 3, 1989.
3. “I was writing an article for The Toast on my father and Tiananmen Square, so I was trying to find childhood photos.”
Shelley was born in Lanzhou, China, in 1983 and came to the United States in 1986 to join her graduate student parents in Ohio. The family stayed in America because of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
4. “[I looked] in a shoebox I found a black film canister. When I held the negatives up to the light and realized what I was seeing, I had this moment of complete disbelief.”
The sash reads, “Only by speaking up can we have democracy.”
5. “I had never heard that these photos even existed.”
6. “I wasn’t 100% sure what I had until I finally got them back from the photo lab Tuesday night. I was so happy to have found a piece of my history that had been lost for so long.”
“The Goddess of Democracy” in Tiananmen Square.
7. “I don’t know how my parents ended up with the photos. It’s possible that my uncle could have sent them through the mail.”
A banner telling people to “Wake up!”
8. “I think they weren’t developed because the pictures would have been taken just days before the tanks rolled into the square.”
9. “And after that happened, it would have been dangerous to have them.”
10. “I think I underestimated how much interest there would be in the photos.”
11. “The timing of finding them right before the 25th anniversary of the massacre was pretty amazing.”
12. “I’m deeply interested in China and human rights issues in China, so they were incredible to me, but I think Tiananmen is significant to more people than I realized, partly because of images like Tank Man.”
“I have a younger sister who lives with me now, she was born in the U.S. in 1990. Because of China’s one-child policy, she probably wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t stayed here.”