1 year ago 1 year ago
tersaudades:
nybooks: In his legendary book ‘Tombstone,’ Yang Jisheng uses the Communist Party’s own records to document, as he puts it, “a tragedy unprecedented in world history for tens of millions of people to starve to death and to resort to cannibalism during a period of normal climate patterns with no wars or epidemics.”
China: Worse Than You Ever Imagined by Ian Johnson
Photo: Chinese refugees returning to China from Hong Kong, May 1962 (AFP/Getty Images)

tersaudades:

nybooks: In his legendary book ‘Tombstone,’ Yang Jisheng uses the Communist Party’s own records to document, as he puts it, “a tragedy unprecedented in world history for tens of millions of people to starve to death and to resort to cannibalism during a period of normal climate patterns with no wars or epidemics.”

China: Worse Than You Ever Imagined by Ian Johnson

Photo: Chinese refugees returning to China from Hong Kong, May 1962 (AFP/Getty Images)

2 years ago 2 years ago 2 years ago

The Distancing Effect in Jia Zhangke’s ‘Still Life’

Jia Zhangke’s film ‘Still Life’ tells the story of a man in search of his daughter in the valley of the Three Gorges in China. The man has not seen his daughter for sixteen years whereas the old address of his estranged wife is the only clue to his family’s whereabouts. Crucially, the film was made in 2006, the same year that the Three Gorges Dam was completed and the water levels of the Yangtze began to rise. The man quickly discovers that his estranged wife’s house is already completely submerged by water. Throughout the film, the monumentality of the task of locating his family is signified by long and sweeping shots, aesthetically reminiscent of Romanticist paintings, with the man in the foreground and his gaze transfixed by the ever-changing landscape in the background.

The impending force of the Yangtze is emphasised in a number of shots that indicate where the water levels of the river are expected to be in the future. Streets, buildings, homes, an entire city in short, is expected to give way to the Yangtze at 156.5 meters above sea level. As the Chinese character on one building indicates, anything in the way of this mega-project is labelled ‘demolish’ (拆, chāi). It is important to note that such demolitions, often forced on tenants with little or no compensation, are one of the major sources of social instability in China. Where will the people that inhabit these buildings go? What will they do? Metaphorically speaking, what will the future of China look like. The blown out highlights and lack of visual details in a number of poignant scenes in the movie indicate that the man’s future, China’s future, is diffused, ambigious, literally not clear.

2 years ago

A new iPad game called Defend the Diaoyu Islands takes an ongoing dispute between China and Japan and makes a game out of it — one that paints the Japanese as invaders and tasks you with brutally killing them.

The conflict concerns what Japan calls the Senkaku Islands, a small chain of islands situated between Okinawa, Taiwan, and mainland China. Japan has controlled the islands for decades, first claiming them in the 19th century.

China believes that Japan ceded its authority following its surrender in World War II. No one lives on the islands, but recent years have seen non-lethal maritime confrontations between the Japanese coast guard and encroaching vessels from China and Taiwan.

Defend the Diaoyu Islands, published by Shenzhen ZQGame Company, depicts the islands as sovereign Chinese territory under siege from the Japanese. The website Mobisights translates the App Store description as follows:

"Defend the Diaoyu Islands, for they are the inalienable territory of China! Recently, the Japanese government has been saber-rattling, making attempts to seize the Diaoyu Islands and even arresting our fishermen compatriots while selling off fish from the islands. Today, you can vent your anger by trying this game demo, working together to eradicate all Japanese devils landing on the island and turning them back towards their own lands. Defend the Diaoyu Islands!"

2 years ago

See what happens when a communist country censors the Internet. A fleshlight can be mistaken for superfood. (via)

2 years ago
Huang Sufang reacts as she sees a part of her house being taken down by demolition workers at Yangji village in central Guangzhou city, on March 21, 2012. Huang, who is a resident of Yangji village, clashed with demolition workers as they mistakenly took down a part of her home, which was not included in the demolition project. (Reuters/Stringer)

Huang Sufang tries to attack a worker with a brick after a part of her house was mistakenly taken down by demolition workers at Yangji village in central Guangzhou city, on March 21, 2012.

Huang Sufang lies on the ground after a part of her house was mistakenly demolished by workers at Yangji village in central Guangzhou city, on March 21, 2012.

Huang Sufang wipes her tears with her relative holding onto her after a part of her house was mistakenly demolished in central Guangzhou city, on March 21, 2012. Yangji is a former village of more than 1,000 houses that was slated for redevelopment and has been gradually demolished, making way for modern housing. (via The Atlantic)
(Editor’s note: This is happening all the time in China. Heart-breaking.)

Huang Sufang reacts as she sees a part of her house being taken down by demolition workers at Yangji village in central Guangzhou city, on March 21, 2012. Huang, who is a resident of Yangji village, clashed with demolition workers as they mistakenly took down a part of her home, which was not included in the demolition project. (Reuters/Stringer)

Huang Sufang tries to attack a worker with a brick after a part of her house was mistakenly taken down by demolition workers at Yangji village in central Guangzhou city, on March 21, 2012.

Huang Sufang lies on the ground after a part of her house was mistakenly demolished by workers at Yangji village in central Guangzhou city, on March 21, 2012.

Huang Sufang wipes her tears with her relative holding onto her after a part of her house was mistakenly demolished in central Guangzhou city, on March 21, 2012. Yangji is a former village of more than 1,000 houses that was slated for redevelopment and has been gradually demolished, making way for modern housing. (via The Atlantic)

(Editor’s note: This is happening all the time in China. Heart-breaking.)

2 years ago 2 years ago
If the order comes from above, we can dig a pit to bury you alive in half an hour, and no one on earth would know,” the agent said, according to a translation of the author’s statement provided by the rights group Human Rights in China. “As far as we, state security, can tell, there are no more than 200 intellectuals in the country who oppose the Communist Party and are influential. If the central authorities think that their rule is facing a crisis, they can capture them all in one night and bury them alive. Cite Arrow ‘Buried Alive’: A Dissident’s Words Become a Catchphrase