As part of the Hanshake 302 program, Lora and Lihua have been running a theatre workshop at the Mingzhu culture station in Baishizhou. Workshop content has included games, narrative structure, and exploring Baishizhou. The children developed short pieces about their lives in a Baishizhou. A few observations:
1) Baishizhou (and other urban villages) are home to two generations of Shenzhen youth–the children of migrants and recent high school and college graduates who have migrated to the SEZ. The urbanized villages shelter Shenzhen’s future;
2) The young children have grown up in Baishizhou. They have improvised playgrounds and special places. Of note, they don’t actually know where Baishizhou’s boundaries are, and they have also figured out how to sneak into neighboring gated communities;
3) The children run relatively freely in Baishizhou. Unlike highly protected children in upscale communities, in Baishizhou the children mingle more widely and I am reminded of studies about US suburbs, where community friendships grew out of children’s play.
Today, we ran a dress rehearsal in Baishizhou. On Feb 23 at 2:30 pm we will bring Baishizhou children to perform at the Biennale Venue A. The performance will help us think through the question, what can we learn from the urban villages? Impressions of dress rehearsal, below.