Tag Archives: Shanghai

Recalling life in the alleyways


Harvard University Assistant Professor Jie Li’s recent book, “Shanghai Homes:Palimpsests of Private Life,” is a micro history and memoir that collects the stories of generations living in two Shanghai longtang (lane).

Assistant professor Jie Li at Harvard University still remembers the two old women living downstairs who often argued over the communal kitchen, although she has been living in the United States for more than two decades.

Part of her childhood, it happened in an alleyway in today’s Yangpu District in northeast Shanghai, called You Bang Li. Out of a sense of nostalgia, Li published a book this year about the people and events that went on in the alleyways of Shanghai.

She came back to her home city last week to speak about her book to Historic Shanghai, an organization founded by expats that studies the city’s history. The book, “Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life,” is a micro history and memoir that collects the stories of generations living in two Shanghai longtang (lane) during various periods.

The book is available in Shanghai bookstore.

Post by  Lu Feiran | December 12, 2014 Read the full text on Shanghai daily.com (B

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Shanghai as a city of juxtapositions

Jeffrey Wasserstrom (2014) , Shanghai as a City of Juxtapositions  Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, Volume 5, Number 3, Winter, p. 371-374 | 10.1353/hum.2014.0028 Available on Project Muse.

Abstract

Shanghai has long been seen as a city of juxtapositions, a reputation that first took hold when it was divided into foreign-run and Chinese-run districts in the nineteenth century. More recently, though, it has become an open question as to whether the most striking juxtapositions in the metropolis relate to cultural difference or chronology. This essay explores this theme, paying particular attention to how, in the twenty-first century, its people sometimes see Shanghai as a meeting point between the past, the present, and the future.

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Lilongs – Shanghai 里弄 – 上海 by Christine Estève and Jérémy Cheval

9782916981000Christine Estève and Jérémy Cheval (2010). Lilongs – Shanghai 里弄 – 上海. Montpellier: Mon Cher Watson.

In Shanghai as elsewhere, the old town fades away while a powerful and modern city emerges. The lilongs, surrounded by skyscrapers, still attest to the humanity and the particular history of the city – they remain the evidence of a bustling environment, with varied typologies, a conservatoire of the Shanghainese lifestyle.

This guide unveils 20 discreet sites of traditional habitat, in a tour of a city caught between two eras.

Written in 3 languages, Chinese, French and English, this guide book looks at 20 lilongs around Shanghai that have stood up to the pressure of Shanghai’s rapid urbanisation. With the help of maps and illustrations, each lilong is clearly located (including GPS coordinates) and described in detail. This guide also includes explanations of what lilongs are and their history, and several passages on Shanghai’s history as well.

 

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l’UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Shanghai, the Star of China’s movie industry

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After a relatively long absence, China’s movie industry is booming again.

The cinema of China experienced its golden age in the 1920 and 1930’s, most of the studios  were locat’d in the city of Shanghai

Huang Xuelei recently (University  of Edinburgh) published a book on this subject and exposed the story of the most influential studio of this time : Mingxing (明星) film company.

This book can be ordered here.

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE – Nottingham Trent University)

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Old and New by Kevin Schoenmakers

This is the first post in a series focusing on photos of China, taken under Creative Commons licenses. These will relate to the themes of UrbaChina: territorial expansion, migration, urban communities, sustainability, etc.

This photo taken by Kevin Schoenmakers in 2013 highlights the contrasting urban landscape of Shanghai. In the foreground, we can see an early 20th century lilong in the Zhabei District, Shanghai, and in the background, a new high-rise. The Zhabei District transformed after the Communist liberation in 1949, when destroyed buildings and shanty towns were razed to build new residential areas. That transformation continued in the 1990s when shikumen houses (such as the ones in the picture) were demolished to make way for new constructions built to meet Shanghai’s target development. The district’s low housing prices make it an attractive place for migrants and is often described as “up-and-coming”.

Kevin Schoenmakers is a Dutch photographer currently living in Shanghai. You can see more of his photos of China on his Flickr or his website.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l’UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Shanghai 1993 by Yang Hui Bahai

Couverture Bahai

Yang Hui, known by his artist name Bahai, was born in Shanghai. He is a photographer and painter, who graduated from the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In 2010, àContreVue published an album of some of Bahai’s first photos of Shanghai in 1993, with the help of roots contemporary and Bergger. The àContreVue association’s mission is to support the work of photographers who have an alternative and humanist vision of our world (read more at their blog).

Yang Hui Bahai, painter, started photography when he returned to his hometown of Shanghai in 1992, after having spent three years in France. Camera in hand, he captures the changes in a city he believed his own but no longer recognises.

Since then, he has done one black and white story after another, snapshots of daily life: the last teahouses of Zhejiang Province, popular culture and religious traditions. Every season, he leaves his studio to capture shots based on chance encounters and then brings his pictures to life in the secret of his darkroom.

This selection depicts the inhabitants of an uncompromising Shanghai… A modern young woman turning away her eyes with disdain from a display of “shanghainese chickens” or fan repairers laughing behind their bowls of rice alcohol, those faces of seventeen years ago, serious or not, each tell the story of their city. They call the changes in Chinese society into question.1

These are the photos which inspired Françoise Ged’s book, Shanghai, presented last week. To learn more about Yang Hui Bahai visit his website and online photo gallery.

Photo by Bahai. All rights reserved.

Photo by Bahai. All rights reserved.

  1. Translated from the cover of this album. []

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l’UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Shanghai by Françoise Ged

ged-shanghai

Ged, F. (2014). Shanghai. L’ordinaire et l’extraordinaire (Shanghai. The ordinary and the extraordinary). Paris: Buchet-Chastel.1

Shanghai is the mythical city par excellence. Able to renew itself cyclically, to continually rebuild, we could believe it locked in an absolute present, removed from its history, recent or ancient, without memory.

But what is true of the early 2000s is not necessarily so today. A leading city, a “laboratory” city, Shanghai has undergone some major upheavals. With large-scale constructions finished, the city turns to other sites and reclaims its history as it reclaims its territory. Society is primarily involved in these new adventures, which herald the face of China in years to come. Throughout this journey from the 1980s to the present day, Françoise Ged guides us through this city where the ordinary and the extraordinary exist side by side. Yang Hui Bahai’s photographs punctuate her narrative like guiding lights, signs of a disappearing era, to be replaced by a time not yet realised.2

Next week will have a post with more information on the Chinese photographer Bahai.

  1. Françoise Ged is in charge of the Observatoire de l’architecture de la Chine contemporaine at the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine. []
  2. Translated from the back cover of this book. []

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l’UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou

418533_coverAspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou by Bracken can be found at the OAPEN Library, an online resource for freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Bracken, G. (2012). Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Abstract

China’s rise is one of the transformative events of our time. Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou examines some of the aspects of China’s massive wave of urbanization – the largest the world has ever seen. The various papers in the book, written by academics from different disciplines,represent ongoing research and exploration and give a useful snapshot in a rapidly developing discourse. Their point of departure is the city – Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou – where the downside of China’s miraculous economic growth is most painfully apparent. And it is concern for the citizens of these cities that unifies the papers in a book whose authors seek to understand what life is like for the people who call them home.

OAPEN Library also provides a list of alternative platforms to acquire the book. For more information, click here.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l’UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Shanghai street stories = 上海街头故事

Shanghai street stories = 上海街头故事. Retrieved 24 June, 2014,  from http://shanghaistreetstories.com/

The pace of urban development in Shanghai is as swift as it is unrelenting and its impact is far-reaching in both the positive and negative.

I photograph and collect stories in Shanghai, seeking to capture the lives of ordinary Shanghainese and 外地人 or “waidiren” in the city, as well as the process behind the city’s rapid urbanisation.

My work is a mix of photojournalism and street photography. The former allows me to cover a wider gamut of topics such as old architecture, individual stories, lifestyle, while the latter is indicative of a style of photography I sometimes prefer. 

For interviews I have given about photography, blogging and Shanghai in general can be found on the Published Work page.

To learn more about how the website is set up and the plugins that run the blog, read “The Anatomy of My Blog: An Amateur’s Tale (and Tips!)“.

Read the blog : http://shanghaistreetstories.com/

More information about the author and the blog itself

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Chi-Han Ai’s thesis defense

Chi-Han Ai defended her thesis on 20 May 2014, which was entitled “The development of late arrival clusters in the integrated circuits industry: a study based on knowledge interactions – the cases of Hsinchu Scientific Park, Taïwan, and Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, Shanghai” (« Le développement de clusters arrivés tardivement dans l’industrie des circuits intégrés : une approche fondée sur les interactions des connaissances. Les cas du parc scientifique de Hsinchu, situé à Taïwan, et du parc de haute technologie de Zhangjiang, localisé à Shanghai»), and obtained the mention très honorable avec félicitations du jury. Read the summary of her thesis here (in French).1

Thesis supervisor

  •  François Gipouloux

Jury members

hanna

Guilhem Fabre, Xavier Richet, Ai Chi-han, François Gipouloux, Sébastien Lechevalier

 

  1. This article was translated by Aurélia Martin. []

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Transformation of dilapidated housing and reconstruction of new immigrants’ life

Yeqin Zhao et Florence Padovani, « Expulsion des résidents d’habitats délabrés (penghuqu) et reconstruction de la vie des nouveaux migrants à Shanghai. Enquête sur le quartier de Yuan He Nong. » (Transformation of dilapidated housing and reconstruction of new immigrants’ life. A Survey in the Yuan He Nong area in Shanghai municipality), L’Espace Politique, 22 | 2014-1

URL : http://espacepolitique.revues.org/2984 ; DOI : 10.4000/espacepolitique.2984

This paper investigates the issue of housing rights of the migrants in Shanghai. Using Yuanhenong, a shantytown in Shanghai as a case study, it examines rural migrants’ housing rights in the context of urban renewal. Authors demonstrate that rural migrants (nongmingong) have encountered a “collective housing exclusion”. As the most vulnerable social group in urban China, they are not only deprived of the possibility of demanding benefits but also lack the ability to express their demands. While their predicament is largely caused by the “collective housing exclusion,” particularly the neglect of migrants’ housing rights, exercised by the authorities, the lack of reaction from the migrants can be attributed to their own collective unconsciousness.

Significant fieldwork during several months and interviews with several actors such as institutional ones and civil society was done to inform the situation of YHN’s residents. The aim is to demonstrate the existence of a non-proactive group of people during the eviction process, nevertheless very real. Why this hiding actor does not participate in the negotiations and how does it justify its silence? What is the attitude of the other actors? How the triangular game is articulated between the different players?

Full text in French

 

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Is Shanghai facing an industrial transformation challenge?

ShanghaiGlobalisation helps labour and resources flow freely. On the one hand, it causes the dispersal of global trade networks. On the other hand, it also brings about trade concentration, as certain professional services such as corporate accounting, marketing, law, and financing tend to concentrate on a few cities, exactly like the concept of global city that Saskia Sassen proposed. Therefore, in a globalised world, investment needs to be focused on the trade nodes spread around the global market.

On 29 September 2013, the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (SPFTZ) was established. Close to an international airport and Yangshan Bonded Port Harbor City, SPFTZ is the very first free trade zone in Shanghai and in China. The significance of the creation of this free trade zone is threefold. First, it represents the reform and policy opening-up of China, a reform that allows commercial activities, high-end services, and the offshore financial industry in Shanghai and speeds up Shanghai’s industrial transformation. Second, as a provincial municipality in the Yangtze River Delta, Shanghai’s establishment of a free trade zone will facilitate the development of its nearby cities in Zhejiang and Jiangsu. Third, in the future, features such as capital account convertibility of RMB and the marketization of interest rates will be implemented in SPFTZ, which will further boost the internationalisation of RMB. Nevertheless, does the establishment of SPFTZ indicate that Shanghai is focusing on the high-end service industry to achieve industry restructuring?

The Chinese 2013 Statistical Yearbook indicated that Shanghai’s GDP increased by 7.5% in 2012, the lowest growth of 11 provinces1. In 2012, Shanghai’s tertiary sector grew by 952.796 billion RMB, accounting for 61.6% of the total growth of GDP2. This number is not adequate when compared with other developed countries, whose tertiary industries account for more than 70% of growth. The problem is whether Shanghai can get its industry restructuring right and still have strong development. As economist William Jack Baumol stated, since the service industry grows relatively slowly compared with the manufacturing industry, putting emphasis on the tertiary sector may be detrimental to the overall economy, a dilemma called Baumol’s cost disease. Shanghai is now caught in this situation.

Shanghai has been concentrating on two strategic development models since the 1980s: first on the financial and commercial infrastructure in order to become a major high-end service centre, the other on the manufacturing sector3. When UrbaChina members conducted field research in Shanghai Lujiazui Financial Center, the government officials still stressed the importance of the manufacturing industry for the growth of Shanghai, such as equipment and automotive manufacturing and information industry when Shanghai faces the transformation into a hotspot for the tertiary sector. So, the question here is how Shanghai can successfully complete the transformation.

Producer services can be one of the solutions. It connects the manufacturing industry with the service industry. And the service industry, the main focus in SPFTZ, would need a way to combine the financial market and logistics. However, this model is highly similar to what Hong Kong has been doing. So, how should Shanghai cooperate or compete with Hong Kong? How can these two cities avoid triggering vicious competition between regions? These questions would make for a very interesting potential research topic.

  1. Zhongguo xinwen wang, http://finance.chinanews.com/cj/2013/01-23/4511666.shtml, accessed on 6 May, 2014 []
  2. Shanghai tongji, http://tjj.sh.gov.cn/sjfb/201310/263003.html, accessed on 6 May, 2014 []
  3. Francois Gipouloux, The Asian Mediterranean: port cities and trading networks in China, Japan and southeast Asia, 13th–21st century, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011. []

Chi-Han Ai

Ph.D. candidate of EHESS ( École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris) focusing on regional economic development in China and Taiwan.

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The second generation of rural migrants in Shanghai

Lan, Pei-chia (2014). Segmented incorporation: The second generation of rural migrants in Shanghai. The China Quarterly, 217, p 243-265. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S030574101300146X

This article looks at the changing frameworks for the institutional and cultural incorporation of second-generation rural migrants in Shanghai. Beginning in 2008, Shanghai launched a new policy of accepting migrant children into urban public schools at primary and secondary levels. I show that the hukou (household registration) is still a critical social boundary in educational institutions, shaping uneven distribution of educational resources and opportunities, as well as hierarchical recognition of differences between urbanites and migrants. I have coined the term “segmented incorporation” to characterize a new receiving context, in which systematic exclusion has given way to more subtle forms of institutional segmentation which reproduces cultural prejudice and reinforces group boundaries.

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Upside-down house under construction in Shanghai

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Laborers work at the construction site of the upside-down house in the Fengting Ancient Town in Shanghai, east China, March 13, 2014. The under-construction two-story upside-down house is designed to have three rooms in which all furnishings are placed upside down. The house will open to the public in April. (Xinhua/Zhuang Yi)

Tourists pose for photos with the under-construction upside-down house in the Fengting Ancient Town in Shanghai, east China, Feb. 28, 2014. The under-construction two-story upside-down house is designed to have three rooms in which all furnishings are placed upside down. The house will open to the public in April. (Xinhua/Zhuang Yi)

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Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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The 2014 Spring Festival migration map in China

On 26 January 2014, Baidu (www.baidu.com) launched the “Baidu Migration (百度迁徙; qianxi.baidu.com) service map”, based on global positioning system; the service enables users to observe the population movement (both in and out) during Chinese Spring Festival.

China migration

The map shows that on New Year’s Eve, Beijing, Shanghai, and Chongqing are the three cities which have the biggest migration moving out. As for move-in cities, Beijing, Chongqing, and Shanghai are also the winners. In addition to viewing the entire migration dynamics, users can observe the in-out movement of a single city. For example, on New Year’s Eve, people mostly move out from Shanghai to Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui.

Shanghai migration

The “Baidu Migration” service started for the Spring Festival and will end on 28th February. This service can be applied to other major festivals and events in China.

 

Chi-Han Ai

Ph.D. candidate of EHESS ( École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris) focusing on regional economic development in China and Taiwan.

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