patchwork shekou, 2016.10.28

New edges and older sections, urban tumescence overtakes low-lying hills and buries oceans. The strength of urban expansion, its righteous inevitability, shimmers and jiggles, impresses–even though eventually paths peter out and doors remain bolted. Closed off closed out: enclosed. This is not the city that I want. It is however the city that has shaped […]

shuiwan: the past is another country

I’ve said it before and now doubt will continue to repeat myself in subsequent posts: the speed at which Shenzhen is re-creating itself makes it difficult to re-member what the city has been. Not just Boom! a city appears, but Boom! all gone. These images of Shuiwan and Wanxia villages should be looked at along […]

shekou industrial road 7: echos of jane jacobs

One of the ongoing questions of urban planning is: what are the material conditions that support community life? To answer this question, we can’t simply look around and see what has been built, but rather have to reflect on what makes human life interesting, lively and fresh. This morning I wandered Shekou Industrial Road 7 […]

海湾村: land locked futures

The Transformation of Shenzhen Villages (沧海桑田深圳村庄30年), Episode 9: Haiwan Village tells the story the Nantou Peninsula and the reclamation of land in Houhai (the southern coast facing Hong Kong) and Qianhai (the northern coast facing Guangzhou). This was the platform from which Hong Kong entered China and Baoan villagers once launched themselves to Hong Kong. […]

because not all villagers were created equal…

The stereotype of the second generation of Shenzhen villagers being “rich, lazy, mah johng playing, playboys (who might also do drugs)” is not only predicated on the idea that all of Shenzhen’s original inhabitants are rich, but also that their children have grown up aimless. However, Bao’an County’s original 300,000 residents and their children were not […]

渔一村:of old men and the landfilled sea

Yesterday’s bloggy romance with the sea continues and although I have shifted my gaze from Cuba to Shekou, it is worth mentioning that the writers’ emphasis on masculine conquest continues; today, in episode 8 of The Transformation of Shenzhen Villages (沧海桑田:深圳村庄三十年), Chen Hong tells the story of Fishing Village 1 (渔一村), Shekou. Again, the story […]

Utopian Shenzhen, 1978-1982

Below I summarize thoughts about the importance of Shenzhen in shaping China’s post Mao utopianism. In the heady rush of hyperbole, it is tempting to describe the SEZ’s first thiry years as the – Unprecidented! Miraculous! Epic! – jump of a lowly county from the lowest escholon in the state apparatus to one of the […]

settled in?

Am now moved into new home in Shekou. Yesterday, rode the Shekou line to Window of the World, changed for OCT East and arrived for coffee at OCT Creative Park all in about 30 minutes. Very convenient. Nevertheless, half an hour was more than enough time to notice and set me wondering about one or […]

new squatters

abandoned wanxia village, old shekou this week, my good friend steve came to shenzhen. as we were walking around shekou (from seaworld toward the new pennisula housing estates/dongjiaotou/wanxia village remains), he asked if shekou had become seedier, focusing me on something i’ve noticed but not registered: the quality of life of shenzhen squatters has deteriorated. […]