Everyday Hybridity

Dr Paul O'Connor
Anthropology/Sociology/Cultural Studies/
Hong Kong/Ethnicity/
Skateboarding/Everyday Life

Lecturing in Anthropology at CUHK


cuhk.academia.edu/PaulOConnorFollow me on Academia.edu


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Posts on Hybridity
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Posts on Islam
Posts on Skateboarding



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  1. New Chinese Housing Development a Ghost Town in Angola

    This is a very interesting story of which I am sure more will develop. It mirrors a whole slew of stories about ghost towns in Spain. Huge amounts of property were constructed for British and other Northern Europeans who came to Spain to retire. This was fuelled in part by the property boom in the UK. However, the transition to Spain and the accompanying cultural complexities drove many people home. The economic downturn did the rest.

    In Angola we see a very different dynamic at work. The properties are built by Chinese companies and Chinese foreign labour, but not for retiring Mainland Chinese to enjoy the African sun. No these homes are for Angolan people, but they can’t afford them.

    …despite all the hype, nearly a year since the first batch of 2,800 apartments went on sale, only 220 have been sold.

    ….Apartments at Kilamba are being advertised online costing between $120,000 and $200,000 - well out of reach of the estimated two-thirds of Angolans who live on less than $2 a day.

    However, Paulo Cascao, general Manager at Delta Imobiliaria, the real estate agency handling the sales, told the BBC that the problem was not the price, but difficulty in accessing bank credit.

    "The prices are correct for the quality of the apartments and for all the conditions that the city can offer," he said.

    from the BBC

    For those interested in getting the angel from ChinaSmack (includes Chinese netizen responses) follow the link.

    Nevertheless, ghost towns are a curious modern development and have a variety of different origins. Here is another article on an entirely different ghost town, Bombay Beach in California.

  2. Urban enthusiasts will love this. A report from the Economist on why Mumbai isn’t soaring.

    Other cities confined by the sea, from New York to Hong Kong, have soared upwards. Many think Mumbai has had an epic building boom. There has been dense activity on old mill land and in some suburbs where rules are laxer. But the city has 31 buildings over 100 metres high, versus more than 200 in Shanghai and more than 500 in Hong Kong and New York. Perhaps $10 billion-20 billion has been spent on land and building in the past decade, not much given that the population has risen to 12m. At the current rate it will take over six decades to build everyone a home.