John Gittings

Shanghai
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The Black Hole of Bali

Selected newspaper articles

shanghai1.jpg
1990s housing, Hongkou (former Jewish quarter)

 
Shanghai
The Guardian, March 03, 2001
It was the Paris of the East, the commercial hub of the Orient and the place where Mao Zedong and comrades founded the Communist party. Margot Fonteyn learned to dance here, Auden and Isherwood inspected the nightlife and the Japanese forced the city to join the Empire of the Sun. Ultra-red Maoists declared a people's commune here and the Gang of Four made it their base. Shanghai has always been in the vanguard of change and since the death of Mao it has changed radically again.
 
 
Shanghai
The Observer: March 17, 2002
The hostess at the door of the Duomo Club, Shanghai's latest smart drinking place, is dressed in a nun's habit with a silver cross hanging from her neck. Next to the bar a stained-glass panel vividly depicts the Crucifixion. "Our boss thinks it adds to the atmosphere. We are supposed to look like a cathedral." 
 
 
Shanghai
The Guardian, June 08, 2002
When the smart policewoman came cycling down our lane last week, I complained about the huge pile of rubbish across from our door. She asked me if I knew how it started, but I wasn't going to shop any neighbours. We settled for the usual euphemism: it must have been people "from outside."
 
 
Shanghai
The Guardian, September 24, 2002
I found out about Yan's suicide only because someone I happened to meet in the lane told me the story. This person was a child at the time - one can just imagine how the local kids flocked to watch the scene.
"The Red Guards came to her front door with their Little Red Books," the witness recalls, "and called her out. 'Who should be overthrown?' they shouted. She stood with her head bowed: 'I must be overthrown,' she replied."
 
 
Shanghai
The Guardian, November 02, 2002
I hadn't been to the little shops on Ulumuqi Road for quite some time, but we needed a stiff broom, the kind with twigs strapped to a length of bamboo. It is also a good place for cheap extension cables, curtain fittings, picture cord, odd tools - the bits and pieces for which you might otherwise search the whole of Shanghai.
 
 
Shanghai
Guardian Unlimited, April 15, 2003
Xinchang has somehow survived, deep into the once-rural suburbs of Pudong (new Shanghai), past the stuccoed villa estates, the joint venture factories, the roadside karaoke bars and the masonry shops selling stone lions.Tourist bus No 2 passes close by on the modern high road to Nanhui.
We wander down a small lane under wooden balconies draped with quilts airing in the sun. An elderly couple sit on wooden stools cutting out silver-paper decorations. A fine tortoiseshell cat snoozes on a pile of bricks.
 

xinchang, shanghai
Bridge of One Thousand Autumns, Xinchang (near Shanghai airport)

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