Because of the special conditions of social development and historical coincidences, modernization in China is following a unique trajectory. Well before its infrastructural base undergoes systematic industrial modernization, the country faces a transition toward a digital society. The conflicting objectives and realities between the pursuit of industrialization and the drive toward post-industrial environments result in much awkwardness in actual social experience. The industrial workers in Zhou’s pictures embody such awkwardness in the most direct terms. These works do not excessively elaborate upon the experience itself. Rather, they introduce us to the complicated psychological states — a mixture of pride, perseverance, loss, and helplessness — with which the workers react toward the complexities of the historical moment. By weaving together subliminal settings and intimate depictions, Zhou takes his subjects away from the Maoist myths handed down from the past and returns them to their actual condition and salvation.
I immediately found fellowship with Xiaobo and many of our ideas chimed; we shared a pessimism about China that originated, at least in my case, with the arrest and gaoling of Wei Jingsheng in 1979. I like to think that he was sincere when he said he enjoyed my Chinese-language cultural criticism published in Hong Kong, as well as the satirical essays 雜文 that I had been writing since the late 1970s. Of course, he was delighted that I ‘got’ his barbed writing style and that I was soon able to incorporate parts of the interview we did in an expanded North American edition of Seeds of Fire that appeared in 1988.
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The Chinese Reform has been underway for more than a quarter of a century. This historical social transformation is one in which all of Chinese society is moving toward urbanization. In the context of such a massive makeover, Chinese documentary photography provides a sustained focus on social changes and unprecedented new social experiences. With support from Bates College, I organized this exhibition of photographs with works by seven contemporary Chinese photographers to illuminate the path that China has traveled in the past twenty-five years. The exhibition is intended to illustrate changes in Chinese society to an American audience.
New report finds that short-sighted agendas of “Trump Era” politicians are driving new U.S. policies, which may dangerously increase population size and growth.
After repeated Congressional attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Negative Population Growth (NPG) will release a new Forum paper today. The NPG report analyzes the impact of current conservative stances on both reproductive healthcare and foreign aid policy, finding that each will likely result in decreased access to contraceptive and family planning resources for millions. […]