I had a terrific week this past week in Edinburgh as a speaker for TEDGlobal 2013. Imagine my surprise a few months ago when TED reached out and asked me to speak on the topic of Chinese internet culture. I was in Uganda at the time and pushed back, saying this is a larger global [...]
Tag Archives: china
We’re walking past Makerere University, along a busy but (as far as I can tell) unnamed road. Two Chinese men in a truck are looking our way. I am with a group of white Americans and one Ugandan, but they stare directly at me. This is the not the first time. It’s also a common [...]
Back in Beijing after nearly a month in Korea. Left Seoul just as they began celebrating Chuseok, which friends translated as “Korean Thanksgiving.” And then I arrived in Beijing for Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqiu Jie: 中秋节), where we drank, sang songs and ate mooncakes. It’s interesting to think about the many harvest-themed festivals in the industrialized [...]
An excellent weekend in Shanghai, my first of what I’m sure will be many times in this city by the sea. I first spoke at Xindanwei (新单位), a co-working and new media space that I’ve been admiring from afar. For their Weekend of Social Media (社会性媒体周末), I introduced the audience to social media art and [...]
In a city abundant in mobile phones and Kindles, here’s a 24-hour self-service library, just outside the main Shanghai Library. Got me thinking about how to improve literacy, how to encourage literacy, how to get people to the library. In New York and Los Angeles, library hours were regularly a challenge: I’d have to rush [...]
I like it when one design affects another: here, a phone booth in Shanghai repurposed as a Wifi station.
Folding stools and rollaways sold outside Beijing’s central station (北京站).
And just like that, Beijing is renao (热闹: busy and bustling) once more. Want to get a sense of how many people there are in this city? Just stand on a bridge.
One month in Beijing. What’s changed since the first day? Helping my cab drivers navigate the city, a welcoming party for colleagues from Oslo… and snow, glorious government-sponsored snow. Let the disorientation period end… time to really discover this city. Below, images from Nuren Jie (女人街), or Ladies’ Street, one of Beijing’s many winding markets, [...]
It’s hard to explain the day-to-day experience of Chinese New Year in Beijing. It’s not at all like the Chinatown celebrations I’m used to back in New York. Or even the ones in Manila. It’s not quite like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Not like July Fourth, or the Western New Year. It’s a bit of all [...]