Rural-Urban Transformations: Remaking the Rural in Shenzhen, China
THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2018
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
The Bark Room (Orientation Room), Room M104, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
2 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011
As Chinese cities expand at a staggering rate, the idea of the “rural” is transformed both in terms of spaces and bodies. In this context, how is rapid urbanization changing the meaning of “the Local (本地)” as an important element of traditional Chinese cultural geography? This talk examines the official designation of Shenzhen as China’s first city without villages. It asks how this is transforming “local” identity and what the history of “the local” in Shenzhen tells us about contemporary China and its role in globalization.
Artist-Ethnographer Mary Ann O’Donnell has sought alternative ways of inhabiting Shenzhen, the flagship of China’s post Mao economic reforms. O’Donnell creates and contributes to projects that reconfigure and repurpose shared spaces, where our worlds mingle and collide, sometimes collapse, and often implode. Ongoing projects include her blog, “Shenzhen Noted” and the Handshake 302 Art Space in Baishizhou. In January 2017, the University of Chicago Press published Learning from Shenzhen: China’s Post Mao Experiment from Special Zone to Model City, which she co-edited with Winnie Wong and Jonathan Bach. Her research has been published in positions: east Asian cultures critique, TDR: The Drama Review, and the Hong Kong Journal of Cultural Studies. O’Donnell is currently co-director of the Handshake 302 Art Space in Baishizhou and director of public programs at the P+V Gallery in Dalang.