Lost And Found: Tiananmen Square Photos Discovered 25 Years Later

Lost and Found Tiananmen 1 -Goddess crowd
There are those moments when you feel the weight of history pressing on you -- that awestruck realization that a great moment happened here, and now you're bearing witness. Maybe you've ducked into a tower while on the Great Wall. Or you're standing just inside the Lincoln Memorial. The thing is, I never expected to have that feeling while standing in my basement, squinting up at an unidentified roll of film. But that's what happened to me last Sunday, as I was searching through an old shoebox from my parents labeled "photos." Read more »

Here’s Today’s Flag-Lowering Ceremony At Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen flag-lowering ceremony
It was just another day on the Square, though it seemed there were slightly fewer people than usual. Many must have gotten turned away at the security line underground, as officers informed, "If you don't have ID, don't bother waiting in line." The sternest reprimand we heard all day came from an officer who halted a woman sauntering past the queue. "Go wait in line," he barked. "Do you not see all these people waiting?" Read more »

Google Translate App’s Chinese Phrase Of The Day: “Fuck Harmonious Society”

Google playing hardball with China
China ramped up its censorship considerably in the lead-up to today, both of words and Internet services. Google is by far the biggest company to find its services halted -- as anyone trying to access Gmail without a VPN knows well -- and Google has by far the best response to it. We really want this to be true, anyway -- via Jonah Kessel: Read more »

Remembering 89-6-4

Tiananmen playing cards remembering 6-4-89
Via NY Times: "A photograph of Tiananmen Square that was uploaded to the Chinese social network Weibo ahead of the 25th anniversary of the crackdown there on pro-democracy protesters on June 4, 1989." Read more »

The People’s Republic Of Amnesia, Reviewed

The People's Republic of Amnesia, by Louisa Lim featured image
Today marks the 25th anniversary of a turning point in modern Chinese history. In the run-up, around 20 key intellectuals and campaigners have been been detained, and security around Beijing heightened. And who knows how many warnings and threats have been issued to the family and friends of conscience-driven citizens across the country. Read more »

Another AWW Documentary: “Ai Weiwei, The Fake Case,” Reviewed

Ai Weiwei, The Fake Case
I’m back writing about Ai Weiwei, which isn’t what I particularly want to be doing, but as he seems to be the only Chinese artist known or cared about by a wider (Western) audience, here we are. This continued, and likely mutually beneficial, publicity for AWW has led to yet another documentary focusing on the trials and tribulations -- well, mostly the trials -- of him as he continues to work as an artist and professional dissident. Read more »

A Project Worth Your Attention: Ivan Xu’s Ride For Ultimate Frisbee And Charity

Iavn Xu featured image
In a recent discussion held as part of the inaugural Lean In Beijing Mentorship Event, a college student in my circle noted, “In China, it’s so difficult to stand out sometimes. We all pursue the same goals, we all do the same things, we all study hard and we all have similar experiences and ideas. In order for us to stand out and be unique, I really think we have to be unafraid to be different.” It’s true, especially in a country of 1.4 billion people. But it’s not common to see young Chinese doing what's necessary to stand out: pushing themselves to their limits and going beyond their comfort zone. Which is why Ivan Xu's project, the Ultimate Ride, is interesting: Read more »

Why Is The Beijinger So Callous Toward Sanlitun Drug Dealers?

Foreigners arrested in Beijing Sanlitun drug bust 2
Because it's politically expedient to do so -- proven by Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, etc., to work -- Beijing conducted a drug investigation that recently culminated in a bust of street-level slingers in Sanlitun. This news doesn't affect the vast majority of Beijingers, foreign or local, which is to say, there's little reason any of us should cheer. If anything, we should cringe, knowing these "crackdowns" almost always disproportionately affect those on society's fringes who are most powerless to defend themselves. Read more »

How Beijing Authorities Conducted Their Great (Insipid) Sanlitun Drug Bust

Foreigners arrested in Beijing Sanlitun drug bust 1
More than 30 foreigners, most of “black complexion,” have been arrested on drug charges, and more than 790 grams of methamphetamine, ecstasy, and marijuana have been seized, according to an article on Tuesday in Legal China. Expect a few less head nods and “You good?”s around Taikoo Li. Also, you might need to find a new drug dealer. Read more »

Announcing: Beijing Cream’s Flash Fiction For Charity At Great Leap Brewing

Flash Fiction for Charity
Attention, writers of Beijing: we're holding a flash fiction reading on Sunday, July 13 at Great Leap Brewing's Original No. 6 location (Doujiao Hutong No. 6). Space is limited, so we're asking those interested to register by emailing us -- spots will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is 50 RMB, which includes a select GLB beer, with all proceeds going to the charity Educating Girls of Rural China. Also, importantly: we're seeking readers! Read more »