Shenzhen isn’t noted for a city of culture, history, or well, touristy destinations. Hanging out with this blogger really changed my perspectives of this place and its citizens. The more I think about it, the more I realize, Shenzhen’s history is about its constant changing settings. You are constantly seeing buildings revamped, torn down, and made way for new ones. In the last three years, I have seen more changes than I’ve seen in Canada in 10. It’s amazing how quick buildings are torn down or built, and you have to wonder if anything is permanent, buildings or people. I have seen numerous migrant workers and foreigners that it’s hard to keep track who is coming or going. Then again, this is the first place I’ve stayed overseas for longer than a year so I am able to see these changes.
Taking photos is an interesting way to look back on the developments of this place. I can see though, why Shenzhen is overwhelming at times: constant shiny new buildings, mass amounts people coming and going throughout the city and dealing with constant change (on numerous levels). I find this place very overwhelming too. But the only places I have found comfort is wandering around the older areas where the buildings are crumbling, but people still live there, or morning markets where people have a sense of belonging and know what to do or where to go. I wonder do all of Shenzhen’s people care about the fact that the landscape of this place is constantly changing, or not because they are all temporary residents anyway? Do I fall into this category?
I will admit, I have a pile of things I want to start (such as planting my own garden, freezing meals for weekly meal planning, etc.) but I am waiting until I go back “home”, which makes me feel like a migrant worker (well, basically I am) even though I’ve established some roots here. I often question if my curosity for documenting and thinking about change here connects me to Shenzhen, as we’re both in a sense “migrant”.
I’m thinking about incorporating some of these thoughts as part of my artist statement I’m planning in writing soon, but I’m still going to have to mull this over.