A Woman Stumbled Across Never-Before-Seen Photos Of The Tiananmen Square Protests In A Shoebox

    The negatives sat undeveloped for 25 years.

    Previously unseen images of the student protests in Tiananmen Square have been found in an old shoebox by New York-based copywriter Shelley Zhang.

    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."

    "I was writing an article for The Toast on my father and Tiananmen Square, so I was trying to find childhood photos."

    “[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.”

    "I had never heard that these photos even existed."

    "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."

    "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."

    "I think they weren't developed because the pictures would have been taken just days before the tanks rolled into the square."

    "And after that happened, it would have been dangerous to have them."

    "I think I underestimated how much interest there would be in the photos."

    "The timing of finding them right before the 25th anniversary of the massacre was pretty amazing."

    "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."

    "Everyone who has seen these photos has been really supportive and many people have thanked me for sharing them."

    "I really do hope that they help people feel closer to the event, to remember it, especially because so many people in China can't."

    You can see more of the photos on Shelley's blog.

    She's also on Twitter.