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Photo Essays

This category contains 21 posts

Need Cash: Guangzhou, China

Walking along the street in Guangzhou yesterday evening I passed a scene of some folks at an ATM waiting for cash.

The Split Presence of the Tourist: Battambang, Cambodia

While enjoying breakfast in a local restaurant on the street in Battambang, Cambodia, I captured a wonderful moment that highlights some of the contradictions of tourism. Two tourists, sitting in the comfortable posture of the lounge chair attached to the front of a sightseeing tricycle, passed by. Each wore dark sunglasses and large white headphones. They … Continue reading

“Sing Red to Fight Darkness”: Chinese Urban Development as Apocalypse

“Yes, people are constructed by their material world, but often they are not themselves the agents behind that material world through which they must live” (Miller 2009: 84). “The apocalyptic describes not just the spilling forth of the unseen, but also of the undifferentiated matter of the possible, of what could have been and was … Continue reading

A Practical Science of the Singular

This morning I finally finished The Practice of Everyday Life, Volume 2: Living and Cooking. I don’t have time to write a commentary, but did want to post some choice quotes from the short essay at the end by de Certeau reflecting on the study of everyday life, “A Practical Science of the Singular.” In … Continue reading

Ghosts in the City

This month I am finally whittling away at a few of the books in my pile. Among these is the second volume of The Practice of Everyday Life—Living and Cooking. I have been meaning to read it since visiting de Certeau’s grave back in 2012. And now that I am in the middle of it, I’m embarrassed … Continue reading

“Moroccan” (Tourist) Things

Surveillance Graffiti

Sleeping Under a Bridge in Shanghai

Yesterday, while walking along the Suzhou River in Shanghai, I came across an area under a bridge where a bunch of migrant workers were living. They weren’t around–presumably they were working at their day jobs. Walking by, I was struck by the belongings of one person. They were carefully laid out under the bridge as … Continue reading

Antique Theory: Race

Encountering the warm objects of an antique store can be a pleasurable experience that negotiates memories and nostalgia of the past. Walking among these objects, however, there are jarring moments when one comes face to face with objects inspired by foreign understandings—past understandings of gender, class, work and other common categories often fascinate and even … Continue reading

Among Warm Objects

“These wild objects, stemming from indecipherable pasts, are for us the equivalent of what the gods of antiquity were, the ‘spirits’ of the place. Like their divine ancestors, these objects play roles of actors in the city, not because of what they do or say but because their strangeness is silent, as well as their … Continue reading

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