Picturing Modernity in China’s Urbanization Drive

Fullscreen capture 7142013 102652 AM


Fascinating pictures in the newest Ian Johnson NYT story on China’s urbanization, including these that are part of a government database tracking relocating families. The old home in black and white while the new one in color despite being taken the same day (the clothes are the same!) is a particularly nice modernizing touch.

They leave me with more questions than answers:

  • What are the origins of this database?
  • Who decided that pictures should be included?
  • Does the database only include exterior shots, or is there a depiction of the inside of the houses as well?
  • Are there pictures of the legal documents and contracts that changed hands in the database?

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