signs of conflicted times

Borders are breached, daily. Breached despite guards, despite fences, despite and through raging anger, which accumulates like garbage, no longer hidden from sight. Stupid plastic bottles, we scream, 打!As if the bottle we threw away yesterday was the cause of our suffering.

Anyway, images from a Shenzhen, where some imagine themselves as under siege, and others find themselves working even harder (yes, the city is involuted) to keep the boat steady.

As more and more urban villages and housing estates close, the city increasing relies on delivery systems, like Meituan. The problem? Many delivery people live in urban villages, which have implemented “only enter, cannot leave 只能进不能出” protocols. On February 25, a weibo user took a photograph of the bedding that delivery people are now carrying on their motorbikes because rather than going home to rest, they are sleeping in subway stations.
The unwanted of the world, this image equates the people of Ukraine (represented by their president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy) and the Xuzhou mother, who remains (as far as I know) locked away in a sanatorium.
Straight-forward enough: Three topics that used to end friendships–Traditional Chinese Medicine, the little pinks, and transgenosis; The new topics that end friendships–covid, chains and Ukraine.

The pressure of not simply being quarantined, but not knowing when or why or for how long simmers in Shenzhen. Online, there are calls to arms, but just as often comments escalate into anger and broken friendships. Beyond municipal borders, the Xuzhou mother is an obvious symbol for feelings of helplessness and resignation. Beyond national borders, the Ukraine is a symbol of a nation under attack. But. Russia is a symbol of what many want to do to Hong Kong, 打!As if maintaining borders were possible. As if these actions would fix the problem and we could return to normal, that station at the end of the line.

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