Friday, September 01, 2006

China Blue at the Filmoteca

Next Thursday, 7th of Sept. 2006, Parallel 40 will show China Blue (Filmoteca de Catalunya, 10.00pm), a documentary film by Micha X. Peled, director of documentaries like "Store Wars, When Wal-Mart Comes to Town" (2001), "You, Me, Jerusalem" or "Inside God's Bunker".

Micha Peled shot that documentary clandestinely in a South China factory and explores the lives of workers struggling to balance Western demands with shrinking wages.
The film follows the lives of three teenage workers in a blue jeans factory – Jasmine, Lipeng, and Orchid – who like most of the cheap labour pool in China are female and originate from poor, rural areas.

So far, those Western companies criticised for slave-like labour and living conditions in their respective factories use to blame their Chinese subcontractors or the lax, rather non-existing enforcement of labour protection laws by the Chinese authorities. But how much of the guilt is ours, the consumer's? How much are we prepared to pay for a pair of jeans nowadays?

In the words of Jasmine: “Who are the fat, tall people who buy these jeans we make?"

Monday, August 28, 2006

The violation of a stone

On a recent trip to Copenhagen I could once again observe a very typical Chinese phenomenon: the "man-vesus-monument style" of tourism. I first observed it on my visit to the Forbidden City in Beijing, and from then on it was a constant source of amusement seeing how close Chinese tourists want to be with the sight in question. But let me share with our my latest encounter with the Chinese way of tourism:

Place: The habour promenade in Copenhagen
Sight: The statue of H.C. Andersen's "Little Mermaid"
Persons involved: a Han Chinese-looking man in his 40ties, Little Mermaid (LM)
Mission: climb up the statue to be as close as possible to make it look real(?)

A stony violation in 4 steps:

Step 1: find a way to get a grip on the slippery ground by grabbing LM's arm in front of 100 other tourists who simply want to take a shot at the statue by herself.

Step 2: touch LM legs and put the arm around her cold sholder.

Step 3: grip her tight and press his excited body against her breast and winding his legs around her hips. At that point, part of the watching crowd started to get hot, the other part shoting at the Chinese to leave LM alone!

Step 4: Mission completed. Impossible to get any closer to the sight of desire.

New space for

Due to annoying and ongoing troubles with my blog host 2CO will be available at this new address. Seems that I'm not too lucky this year with the coice of my technology providers, although the problem with my MacBook Pro have dissapeared since the changed the entire logic board.

So... goes into its second year and soon I'll give you the latest details of my encounters with Chinese culture, there'll be astonishing things coming up in this new season.