March 7, 2010

Second Spring

Or, a New Direction in China’s Digital Communications

yfd1Back in January, Nowness posted a handful of production stills to mark the premiere of Yang Fudong’s “First Spring.” Well I’ve decided that they’re interesting enough to reblog here, a month and half a late to spite the title of their original source.

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Meanwhile, the New York Times recently ran an interesting article on bloggers in Shanghai. The article suggests, in so many words, that Chinese blogs are regarded as documents of unique cultural significance, and that their archives should be dog-eared, in a manner of speaking, for their future historical value as chronicles of first- and secondhand accounts of life in the Web 2.0 era, not to mention a massive body of meta-level commentary.

“The Chinese migrant experience to Shanghai is going to be as important to the future Chinese self-image as the New York immigrant experience was to the American self-image,” he said.

But whatever its gaps and the limits, Mr. Wang said, the broad rise of blogging has meant a welcome increase in available information; and more information means a better idea of what is really happening in the city.

–Maile Cannon & Jingying Yang, “Bloggers Open an Internet Window on Shanghai,”
The New York Times, February 24, 2010

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So it’s probably safe to assume that blogging in Shanghai (or Beijing, perhaps) is at once quite similar and quite different to blogging in, say, New York: I find that Chinese blogs are somehow both more and less authentic than their Western counterparts. It probably has something to do with the Western / American dogma of freedom of speech, but I’m not quite sure how or why.

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