So, as the Xiasha Kingkey project finishes up, another urban renovation project begins in neighboring Shangsha. Below, impressions of the Xiasha plaza, the Kingkey complex along Binhe Road, and the state of unmaking in Shangsha.
Although China has been strengthening its anti-terrorism campaign over the past year or so, the Shenzhen anti-terrorism campaign is recent. Ideologically, the campaign promotes a Neo-Confucian message of family first–a value that terrorists are purported not to share. Unfortunately, terrorists are more or less consistently represented as Muslim. In fact, the stereotypes used in the campaign are familiar from conversations I’ve had with friends over the past decade, when I have been told that Islam is not a religion but a terrorist organization. More alarmingly, as in the United States, Chinese anti-terrorism feeds anti Muslim sentiments and justifies increasing militarization of public life. Sigh.
Of note: the May 22, 2014 attack (in which men in ski masks jumped out of two vans to attack people in Urumqi) has become the stereotype of terrorist attack in the campaign. The following Inside Story by Aljazeera attempts to understand the increasingly violent situation.
The ThermoMatter (温度) opening was well attended, despite the distances–geographic, class, and interest–that separate the Shenzhen Art Museum from the rest of Shenzhen. There was a general conversation with participating artists after the opening ceremony and there seemed to be a consensus that this show was “local”; all artists had some connection to the city. There were 2nd generation participants, long-term immigrants, and projects that were explicitly about the city itself. In the Chinese 温度 can refer to “temperature” as well as to actual and emotional warmth. All agreed that these meanings were fully on display.
General impressions from the opening:
Snippet from “of a piece”, hands:
3:00 this afternoon at the Shenzhen AT Museum, Handshake 302 presents “Of a Piece”, an interactive project that includes sewing, conversation, and relief from the summer heat. We’re also organizing pamphleteers (see above) to generate an audience for the project in the neighboring park. That’s right, SZAM is located in the East Lake Park/ Reservoir at the very edge of what (in 1982) was the eastern edge of the SEZ.
Please join us at S(ha)ZAM! The museum and its location (East Lake Park/ Resevoir) are “Old Shenzhen” from its 1980s’ incarnation. There’s even a nearby dim sum restaurant that as old as the SEZ just outside the park’s main gate. Below, a video snippet from the Dongmen Fabric emporium: