tangyan, shangsha: civilized relocations

If you’ve been following the 2022 omicron outbreak in Shenzhen, then you’re aware that Tangyan Village, Shangsha (上沙塘宴村) has been one of the city’s hotspots, continuously generating positive test results. Indeed, since human factors in transmission have been controlled, the next hypothesis is environmental factors. Consequently, on March 17, 2022, the Futian Command Center (福田区新型冠状病毒肺炎疫情防控指挥部) […]

administrative deterritorialization: where is qianhai located?

I was flitting about the internet and discovered that as of May 19, 2020 the portal for the Qianhai Cooperation Zone had moved [from Shenzhen] to the management platform of the Guangdong Provincial Government, which means that the administrative unification of the Greater Bay Area proceeds and that much of what happens in Qianhai will […]

constructing the semi-public sphere – ocat renovations

i have noticed that many of the shenzhen spaces that i enjoy might be defined as semi-public. small scale spaces designed with particular publics in mind, these spaces repurpose the clunky mass architecture of most of shenzhen into interesting nooks for conversation and debate, without falling into the normative excesses of so many private homes. […]

Temporal Dislocations

temporal dislocations-shenzhen speed Originally uploaded by maryannodonnell I have spent most of the past fifteen years of my life thinking about the creation of space in Shenzhen. However, the trip to Switzerland provoked me into thinking about time – the other half of that ever useful phrase “chronotope”. Before I left for Switzerland, I sat […]

where have all the young folks gone…

no time passing… The melody is Pete Seeger’s, but the context is Shenzhen. Last night I was talking with friends, older friends of many years who have lived in Shenzhen since the early 1990s. We ended up talking about China’s population crisis and how it has been manifest in Shenzhen as the aging of menial […]

going through the motions…unless it’s something else?

Once-every-three-days Covid testing continues in Shenzhen, but we seem to be going through the motions. We are now up to twenty cotton swabs per test and many have noticed that the swabbing isn’t as “sincere 认真” as it used to be. Moreover, although it is possible to go an extra day or two without testing, […]

chit chatting corruption in tangshan

If you’ve been following Chinese social media these past few days, you are well aware that in Tangshan nine men brutally beat four women, while bystanders watched. Chinese social media has questioned police response, the bystander mentality of Chinese public culture, and the lack of media reporting on the event. One of the more interesting […]

从天命观看疫情:is talking about the mandate of heaven superstitious?

A speculative what if: what if the Covid had happened during the late Qing? Would there have been discussions about loosing the will of heaven? Would we be having more serious conversations about ecological responsibility? And would we maybe understand all this Covid testing and infrastructure as some kind of attempt to suppress the expression […]

coastal mediations: what is desired and what can be sold

Shenzhen has beautiful coastlines, especially in Dapeng District, where the coastline hasn’t been over-reclaimed and recreational areas still remain. Here’s the the thing, however. In order to generate income, most Dapeng beaches have been stutter-stepped developed within the city’s tourist industry. I know, this is what capitalist inclinations do to coastlines–remake water’s edge into commodity. […]

wither the future? some anecdotes from shenzhen under normalized grid management

Yesterday I spoke with a cabbie about the future. He was excited to learn that I hold a US American passport, and quickly reassured me that even if many Chinese people dislike the USA and its residents, he felt otherwise. He wants China to become more democratic and for more voices to be heard in […]