27 August 2012

Where to go from here?

My name is KaiWen and I am the current curator of this blog.

For some time I have been writing articles about China on this blog as a guest writer to supplement the Q and A content produced by the Chinese Guy.

As you may have read or not read some time ago, the actual Chinese Guy who created this blog is on an indefinite hiatus. More or less, he got tired of this blog and decided to move on in life. Therefore, he has given me admin control over this blog.

I didn't feel like I was qualified to answer questions so I thought I could continue this blog by posting some of my own China related content. However, recent comments on some of my posts have pointed out factual inconsistencies that I have overlooked or did not know. And they're right. I am by no means an expert on China, and I no longer believe I am qualified to write anything about China on this blog without doing extensive, time consuming research first, which isn't really fun or worth it for a blog that pays nothing.

So where do we go from here?

Well, hopefully I can find another "Chinese Guy" with good knowledge of China and Chinese culture who can answer questions like this blog was originally intended.

If you would like to volunteer for the position, shoot me an e-mail here.

As for me? I am not sure what role I am suited to play here. Maybe I'll just repost interesting content that I find elsewhere or write editorials on current events.

If you have any ideas I would welcome them.

And if you would be so kind, you could also visit my blog.

Old Photographs of Qing Dynasty Women

Photo: Library of Congress

Yohani Kamarudin and Michele Collet at Environmental Graffiti have composed a collection of photographs of Chinese women in the 19th century, documenting the impact of foot-binding and Manchu influence.

In the words of Yohani,
"At home or abroad, in holiday robes or in plain clothing, the heart of a Chinese female seems to be at all times ready to overflow with mirth and good humor.” This description comes from a Western observer’s account of life in China, and the character of its people, during the 19th century. Its focus: the painful process of foot binding. 
Such a quote may suggest a positive take on womanhood during the 1800s, and the account positions itself as compassionate towards those it describes. However, the author presumes to see women as the helpless victims of Chinese males and Confucianism in general. He has a clear bias against many of the cultural practices observed by the women he seems to praise. 
Westerners' letters and stories from this era appear to paint a rather negative picture of life for Chinese women. Many of those who wrote them were, after all, missionaries, doubtless hoping to convince others of the necessity of ‘saving’ these women from the perceived barbaric practices of their culture. 
Looking back at Chinese culture with the eyes of people living in a completely different time, it’s hard to know exactly what life would have been like for women during those years. However, perhaps by examining these vintage photographs, we can gain a glimmer of insight.
See the entire gallery here, as well as the one on foot-binding here.

I thought she had iPod headphones on at first.