In March, when confronted with Charlie Chaplin is constructing Chinese cities, we talked about in-between cities. At the time we checked the left-hand side urbanization between Shanghai 上海 and Hangzhou 杭州. Going again on route, we checked the right hand-side.
Speeding along smog cities. Not our favorite type of cities.
Seeing smog cities in the early morning is like seeing high-rises in a state of hangover. The world you’re speeding through is fuzzy, covered in a haze of atmospheric pollutants. You’re traveling inside a bullet, through benzine and buildings. It is a fantasy world of fumes, factories, coupled with the fear – speeding at 350 km/h – that it might never end. This not to say that we like cities to be crisp and clean, to be polished and perfumed, to be architecturally aromatic. Don’t get us wrong. We also like them dirty and dusty.
We like Nick Cave-cities. Cities at your red right hand:
Take a little walk to the edge of town, go across the tracks
Where the viaduct looms like a bird of doom, as it shifts and cracks
Where secrets lie in the border fires, in the humming wires,
Hey man you know you’re never coming back
Past the square, past the bridge, past the mills past the stacks
On a gathering storm comes a tall handsome man
In a dusty black coat with a red right hand.
It is not the camera, you keep on saying to yourself, it’s the country.
Pictures by movingcities.org