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AMELIA BRYNE
visual anthropology

North, Way to Heaven
A film by Amelia Bryne

Before the Olympics the city of Beijing spent years 're-vitalizing'. This meant tearing down many buildings to make way for changes. Clothing stores, apartment buildings, and restaurants where marked with a character in white spray paint announcing they would be demolished. To house the people displaced by this process the government built new apartment complexes.

On the edge of Beijing lies one of the biggest of these projects, a suburb whose name translates, more or less, to "way to heaven residential district". The entire area, meant for 300,000 people, was built in five years. I stayed with a family in the northern part of the suburb in the winter of 2005/2006. A new life was beginning: the market that appears in the film had sprung up behind the mall, the 'official' shopping place, in an empty field.

Photographer Sze Tsung Leong's History Images also show Beijing during this period.

Color / USA / 7:10 min / 2006