Teddy Bear with Gas Mask

Starting before the Spring Festival, there has been a massive ant-fireworks campaign. I’ve seen posters regarding the different problems associated with fireworks (injuries, buildings catching on fire, the mess afterwards, etc) plastered throughout the city.

I think this is the most poignant one… a teddy bear, in a gas mask, holding a stick with firecrackers on it, and sitting behind an alarm clock with the (PM 2.5) Air Quality Index printed on the face of the clock.

There has been a substantial reduction in the fireworks used over the seven Spring Festival seasons I’ve been here. If fireworks are to be used, people are told to do so outside of the Fifth Ring Road. And, even though there are still shops (more like temporary metal sheds) setup inside of the Fifth Ring Road, there are fewer then I remember from previous years, and I’ve not seen any kind of queuing.

btw, whenever I see someone (something?) donning a gas mask, it brings to mind images from Edward Weston’s Civil Defense series, such as this print.


  1. interesting image…brings to mind children, innocence of teddy bears, etc. and, for me, winnie the pooh needing fresh air. sounds, from what you write, that the campaign has had an effect.
    i hadn’t seen weston’s “civil defense series” before. by the way, this new format works well.

    1. I think it has.

      I think his Civil Defense work was at the time, during WWII, quite startling. I seem to remember additional impact because he lived on the coast of California.

      Probably covered in one of the Weston books I have.

      Thanks for the note about the new format. I was thinking about updating it for awhile.

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