Saturday, November 01, 2008

Check this out...

People who haven't been to China tend to have a lot of mistaken ideas about what it's like. This is not surprising. Popular stereotypes generally fix on outdated images - rice paddies, Little Red Books.

Even if you've been there, even if you've lived there, you can still not get it. I'm not sure that I do. China is a complicated place, and it's naive to think that you can somehow get a handle on The Truth about a country, any country. Even your own.

Regardless, here is a fascinating photo essay about disaffected young people in Changsha, a provincial capital best known for its association with Mao Zedong. Mao wouldn't recognize his hometown from these images of punk bars and graffiti art and transgender performances. Though perhaps he would relate, somewhat, to their alienation.

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