Shenzhen Nights

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Self-published photozine by GuillaumeOC

In Shenzhen, in the neighborhood of Huaqiangbei, the world’s largest commercial area dedicated to digital technology, the urban village (chengzhongcun) of Futian resists and bears witness to the excessive development of this megalopolis that was created only 40 years ago. Formerly a rural village, it was annexed while Shenzhen was developing.

Futian Village is always a zone of ambiguity, the urban villagers are warranted by the Chinese Land Administration Law to maintain their collective ownership of land. They were able to quickly adapt to capitalize on their unique legal status to generate rental income through self-constructed dense rental apartment buildings, which have housed most of Shenzhen’s migrant population for the last thirty years. This collective identity and organization have made the villages semi-autonomous zones in the city.

Futian village is one of the favorite targets for local government which regards the zone as an eyesore, in contradiction with his high modernist aspirations.

They represent chaos in a highly centralized city, where the population and buildings are tightly controlled.

A5, 28 pages, softback, digital printing, staple binding

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