Farewell old Shanghai

A group of three locals sit under the arched entrance to the condemned Jian Road shikumen discussing their bleak housing problems. ‘It’s more than a hundred years since our ancestors came’, says Mr Zhou.

‘I moved here half a century ago,’ says Mrs Zhang. Now in the narrow alleys there is an eerie silence and most homes are boarded up, their doorways covered in paper seals to prevent re-entry. The elderly Mr Zhou confirms that, ‘most of the people have already moved.’ He explains how people were encouraged by the developers to leave: ‘People were asked to move by January and those who fail to do so will not receive a compensation bonus.’

‘Yeah we will stay here,’ says the group in unison. ‘They could not give the compensation we want so we won’t move,’ they declare defiantly.

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