An essay that looks back at the past five years at Handshake 302, “Figuring Post-worker Shenzhen” has been published in Made in China (vol. 3, issue 1, Jan-Mar 2018). In happy coincidence, one of the contributors to Learning from Shenzhen, Eric Florence also discusses representations of migrant labor in this volume (“Rural Migrant Workers in Independent Films: Representations of Everyday Agency,” pp 96-103). The journal is hosted at the website, Chinoiresie.info.
Episode 3 of Shenzhen Book of Changes is up! Like millions of migrants, Hu Yuefu has come to Shenzhen to make a life and business for himself. We visit Baishizhou – Shenzhen’s largest urban village – to learn his story.
More on the complexities of the situation of Chinese migrant labor and its similarities to the situation of illegal immigrants in the United States.
It’s instructive to jump off the number 11 subway line, once its passed the airport station. In Bao’an District, the No 11 line runs parallel to Bao’an Road, which delineates the inner border between the older, historic village settlements and their industrial parks. East of Bao’an Road, one heads toward the Pearl River, land reclamation, and scattered reminders of this deeper history. West of Bao’an Road, one heads through large industrial parks toward National expressway G107, which was the road that first connected the original Special Zone to Guangzhou via Songgang (images of a 2008 walk, here). At Nantou Checkpoint, National Highway 107 becomes Shannan Road and a fast track to the inner district real estate boom. Continue reading
Yesterday at the Dalang Youth Dream Center, we created a large mural/graffiti image on the public steps/bench. It is a two-picture work: from the front it simply says “youth”, but from the upper levels of the dormitory, it is possible to see the larger images of flowers and cartoon monsters playing in the grass. Walking the steps gives even more chances for discovery. We were amazingly lucky with the weather; just as we finished, the skies let loose a major thunder storm. Below, a slideshow that documents the process.
Talking about migrant workers in China (and throughout the world’s booming mega-cities) usually means “rural to urban migration”. However, this is not the case in Shenzhen, where “urban to urban
immigration” has been as fundamental to the city’s success and growth. Indeed, the diversity of Shenzhen’s migrant population complicates easy understanding of what it means to be a Shenzhener, let alone academic debates about urban belonging and ideologies of exclusion. Continue reading