Author: Christian Sorace

Ulaanbaatar has come to be associated with dystopian levels of air pollution, especially in the wintertime, when the temperature drops to minus 40 degrees. In almost every account, the culprit for the devastating pollution of the capital city of Mongolia is the ger districts, areas...

During the earthquake that hit Sichuan province in 2008, over 7,000 classrooms in shoddily constructed schools collapsed, killing at least 5,000 children. Grieving parents staged protests and called for an official investigation to punish the officials and contractors found responsible for the tragedy. The Communist...

Last October, at the Sixth Plenum of the Eighteenth Party Congress Xi Jinping used the slogan 'governing the Party strictly' (congyan zhi dang). What is both semantically and politically interesting about this phrase is the character zhi, a polysemic character which means to govern, regulate,...

'I have always felt a deep loneliness (gudugan) and distance from the time in which we live. China’s ethnic minorities probably also feel this kind of isolation. When I spend a lot of time in the city and then go to film minorities in the...

Sometimes the plans to improve people’s lives end up destroying them. When the Chinese government moved the nomadic Evenki people from the forests into urban settlements and confiscated their hunting rifles, they took away their livelihood. Gu Tao’s film The Last Moose of Aoluguya documents...

The Cultural Revolution began with Mao urging the masses to overthrow the hierarchies of state bureaucracy, factory management, and educational elitism; this explosion of democratic energy, however, was constrained by Mao’s unchallenged sovereign authority. The paradox was Mao’s desire for an acephalous, egalitarian, and fully...

In Behemoth, director Zhao Liang combines a poetic apocalyptic vision with documentary footage from Inner Mongolia’s grasslands. His camera surveys landscapes that have been destroyed by mining operations in order to fuel China’s breakneck urbanisation, which itself appears as a shimmering, uninhabitable fantasy. Through a...