First there was Thomas Sauvin's Silvermine Project, which showed us vignettes of life in China via negatives recovered from 1985-2005. Now, we can see Beijing, in color from 1947.

A series of photos by Ukranian photographer and journalist Dmitri Kessel show Beijing -- at that time not the capial, and known as Beiping -- between World War II and the establishment of the People's Republic of China. The shots appear to have been taken in the winter, and feature locations including Tiananmen Square, Beijing Railway Station (old), and street scenes around the city.

"A farmer's son, born in Kiev just after the turn of the century, he began experimenting with photography as a boy, using a box camera to document friends, family and everyday life. His childhood was much affected by the emerging turmoil of Eastern Europe - during the First World War, he was deeply involved with the Ukrainian National Movement. As a young man he witnessed a violent battle between Ukrainian villagers and Polish soldiers, and recorded the atrocities on film," the Independent wrote in Kessel's obituary in 1995.

Kessel went on to work primarily for Life magazine, where these photos may have appeared. He lived on the Yangzi River for seven months while producing a series for that publication, according to The New York Times.

See more of the photos here. Can you see your neighborhood in them?

Photo: Dmitri Kessel


Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog