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Shanghai tank baby

Shanghai Noir

The Dancing Girl and the Turtle: publication date 01.04.2017

I took this photo in 2011. We were in Shanghai, headed into the warren of art galleries, boutiques and cafes known as Tianzifang. There was something shocking to me about this baby on a tank. The fact that it was out there in the open at all. The sly marking around the barrel of the gun - Made in China. Tanks have a particularly virulent resonance in China. Could it be that the Chinese government had learned its lesson and that public art was leading the way?

When I returned in 2014, we visited M50, another gallery complex in Shanghai, tucked inside a bend of the Wusong River. This time, I was surprised by a photo exhibition on prostitution in China. These were candid photos of women (and a few men) on the street, battered, sick, missing teeth and other body parts. Again, my shock was not that prostitution exists in China - there was plenty to see on the street - but that the Chinese could talk about it openly.

Would such an exhibit make it in Beijing? My father likes to say that people in Shanghai are different. More open to new ideas, more tolerant of others. That may have been true in the past but was it still so today? You can read my answer in this week's blog post: Shanghai Mind.

Meanwhile I'm flailing here in social media land. The link between MailChimp and Facebook remains broken and I have not yet figured out how to auto-tweet this newsletter. I'm forced to look for a workaround and since I'm less than tech-savvy, I have to do this by hand. Turns out it's a better social media strategy to customize each tweet or post. Who knew?

If I had, I would have recorded the name of the artist who created this wonderful Shanghai tank baby. And taken photos of those Shanghai prostitutes to post to Instagram. As it is, you'll have to make do with the occasional #bookstagram. Annotated Alice is my latest book review of Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday. It's a keeper.

Will I be able to crack the Twitter code? We shall see.

Mother Tongues
Violent Femmes
Graffiti
Reading with Your Ears
Finding Nemo (aka the Perfect Critique Group)

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