(Some) Stuff I Read This Week

For some reason I decided to start using Twitter again — I suspect iPhone — and without any clear purpose thought to keep track of (some of) what I trawl through every day from the various news feeds I subscribe to. Certainly not a complete list… I wouldn’t even bore myself with that. (For those of you who like Twitter, I am here: francesdath)

Hannah Arendt And The Challenge Of Modernity: A Phenomenology Of Human Rights http://bit.ly/al0fTY

Publishing Bigotry: What Obligations Do We Have? http://bit.ly/ap8JfM

The Banksoniain #16 http://www.banksoniain.netfirms.com/banksoniain_16.pdf

From the Feuilletons (10/09/2010) http://www.signandsight.com/intodaysfeuilletons/2067.html

Insights From The Afghan Field http://www.currentintelligence.net/reviews/2010/9/6/insights-from-the-afghan-field.html

What Books on Afghanistan? http://easterncampaign.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/what-books-on-afghanistan/

Can we really say Wen is insincere? http://cmp.hku.hk/2010/09/10/7524/

You have failed us, Mr. Wen http://cmp.hku.hk/2010/09/09/7483/

William S. Burroughs’ Lost Graphic Novel Ah Pook Is Here Gets Exhumed http://bit.ly/99IVYd

Corruption in Afghanistan, Part DLXXII: Kabul Bank in Crisis http://bit.ly/bzJYzu

On Clean Energy, China Skirts Rules http://nyti.ms/crIV9P

If We Only Had Twelve Fingers http://cabinet-of-wonders.blogspot.com/2010/09/if-we-only-had-twelve-fingers.html

Obama: I mean it — tax the rich http://bit.ly/d8mJZR

China’s Other Billion: Mud Houses in China’s Powerhouse http://bit.ly/aghJ9U

Being Jewish in Shanghai http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/09/being-jewish-in-shanghai-photos/62574/

Racist patriarchy in Israel, updated http://leninology.blogspot.com/2010/09/racist-patriarchy-in-israel-updated.html

‘Livelihood Issues’ http://www.literaryreview.co.uk/mirsky_09_10.html

Shenzhen Special Economic Zone celebrates 30 years

Hungary: Heterosexual Pride March http://globalvoicesonline.org/2010/09/06/hungary-heterosexual-pride-march/

Thesis: That’s why they go to war http://www.antropologi.info/blog/anthropology/2010/war

Book review: Goodbye to London – Radical Art and Politics in the Seventies http://bit.ly/9fBkhH

Awesome death spiral of a bizarre star http://bit.ly/crFrQH

Readin: GYP. http://www.languagehat.com/archives/003982.php

Thoughts on Inner Mongolia (內蒙古回顧) http://www.portraitofanlbx.com/2010/09/thoughts-on-inner-mongolia-內蒙古回顧/

Hu’s Shenzhen speech: the numbers http://cmp.hku.hk/2010/09/06/7383/

Israel: “Rape by deception” turns out to be brutal rape of a vulnerable and abused woman http://bit.ly/9tYI9q

Assigning a gender to be appealed

Restrepo http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2010/09/05/restrepo/


Happy reading for me this afternoon from Mary Ann in Shenzhen, who writes one of the best blogs coming out of China, and certainly one unequaled in Guangdong and Hong Kong. Somehow despite all the misery of China-repressive-dictatorship, I keep on finding it difficult to take seriously, that the southern barbarians are at it again, and when English-speaking western world can barely get its head around women getting the vote, Shenzhen offers you a choice of six possible genders.

yesterday, in my administrative capacity, i was filling out three forms that the shenzhen public security bureau, division of exit-entry (深圳市公安局出入境) requires requires employers to submit for their foreign employees. the one unexpected lining in this otherwise redundant raincloud (we have actually submitted all this information previously, albeit on different forms), was the drop down windows that required me to choose an answer because filling in the blanks was not part of the program. i hadn’t realized that human beings came in six possible “sex-genders (性别)” [female (女), male changed into a female (男性改为女性), unexplained sex (未说明的性别), male (男), female changed into a male (女性改为男性), and unknown sex (未知的性别)], but only four “skin colors (肤色)” [yellow (黄), white (白), black (黑), and brown (棕)]. the data form with the funky drop down windows (外国人居留情况记表 foreigners residence situation form) is available online.

— Shenzhen Fieldnotes

等待戈多 waiting for godot

I really need a category for performance, because sticking Samuel Beckett under ‘dance’ is just a bit weird, not withstanding Breath and Krapp’s Last Tape are among the few theatrical performances to hold my attention and sense of humour. Waiting for Godot though is certainly one work I would use to fill my revised Voyager Golden Record, possibly replacing forgettable non-entities such as Mozart.

胖鸟剧团 Fat Bird Theatre in Shenzhen, is performing Waiting for Godot at the end of December. Big blah for me that I won’t be there, but certainly worth a jaunt on the KCR.

waiting for fat bird

One of the most enjoyable blogs to emerge from Guangdong Province, and one of my favourites for being an art-performance-archaeological-theoretical China dweller of many years is Shenzhen Fieldnotes, actually one of my favourite blogs all-round. Currently she’s rehearsing Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot with her theatre company, Fat Bird.

Shenzhen Fieldnotes – Fat Bird Rehearsal, August 25, 2006:

fat bird took the summer off, but reconvened to begin rehearsals for “waiting for godot”. it marks a move from the workshop format that we had been pursuing the past two years. however, it continues the fat bird tradition of adapting our performances to participants’ strengths; this time, we are taking our direction from judi moriarty. we hope to stage godot in mid november.

judi decided to work with fat bird in order to deepen her understanding of chinese people and culture. she believes that this happens through collaborative effort, specifically through the development of trust between all members of the group. accordingly, in addition to going over lines and blocking, rehearsals consist of exercises designed to increase trust. these exercises range from falling backward into someone’s arms and using two fingers to lift someone, to sitting on the truth chair and having to answer any question honestly. at the core of these techniques is the belief that what is true in a performance is the actors’ emotions and relationships; the performance builds out of and upon that base. it remains to be seen what each of us connects to in godot.

i have uploaded images of that emotional work.

— Shenzhen Fieldnotes

shenzhen beautiful transsexual photo studio

Having been tardy in writing about anything that attracts the most readers, and a bit of a follow-on from a post back in mid-April where I wrote some moderately scurrilous things about the mediocrity of English media ‘reporting’ on transsexual news in China and Asia, I’ve been intending to mention a place in Shenzhen I’ll probably never go to, but I think is all the usual baroque adjectives I expectorate while trying to sound intelligent.

美丽在线CD摄影工作室, which mostly means a photography studio for crossdressers, transsexuals, and other people of no-fixed-identity is in the city formerly known as farmland of Shenzhen. I think it’s fucking cool.

大声展 get it louder

大声展 get it louder opens in Shenzhen at the end of next month before moving to Shanghai and Beijing. Over 80 artists and designers are involved including some of the finest from Guangzhou.

GET IT LOUDER: A visual noise made by young talented designers and artists around the globe. The exhibition is conceived as a platform for showcasing their creativity and personal thoughts, in order to explore their sources of inspirations in their daily lives. It also tends to examine graphic art/design as lifestyles, living attitudes, and as an integral part of urban culture.

The exhibition will focus on young creators with Chinese background working in different places around the world. At the same time, to give the exhibition an international scope, Get It Louder also invited some talented creators from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Germany, Sweden, and USA to join. Rather than focusing on a particular format or medium, the exhibition will bring in fresh and innovative art works in such a diverse range of creative fields as print, web, moving images, photography, video, fashion, and more.

Besides exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, Get It Louder will have internationally-renowned designers as our guest speakers presenting their latest work at the venues. It will also feature a sound art performance on the opening day in each city. Get It Louder is the first art/design exhibition and event of its kind held in mainland China.

— get it louder