17 janvier 2017

Deda, Russian cafe culture

Version Française There are many places in Shanghai that definitely feel like Europe. However, some are so much part of the local history that even the Shanghainese feel at home there. This is the case of Deda Cafe (德大). The original cafe was founded by Russians in 1897 at 177 Tanggu Road in the Hongkou district of Shanghai. In 1949, the cafe was relocated in to 359 Sichuan North Road, which was the most popular location in old Shanghainese memories. There are two Deda Cafes today. One is in on Nanjing West Road at 473, dating from... [Lire la suite]
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07 septembre 2016

The White Countess

 Version Française I recently watched the movie called "The White Countess" with one of my preferate actors, Ralph Fienes (Voldemort in Harry Potter, The English Patient, The Constant Gardener, Schindler List...). This movie is about White Russians in Shanghai 1930s, telling the story of a former Russian noble lady obliged to work as a bar hostess. Although the story itself is of little interest, it is probably the first time I watch such a precisely and well documented movie about Shanghai 1930s. The background is... [Lire la suite]
18 juin 2016

Harbin: charming Daowai!

  Version Française  Harbin's Russian heritage architecture has often been praised. The city which was founded along the Chinese Eastern Railway by czarist Russia was indeed known as the St Petersbourg of the East because of its resemblance to the capital of the former Russian Empire. There are still many orthodox style churches in town today, though some of them have been turned into catholic churches or even museums (see Saint Sophia on the left). The Chinese Cultural Revolution in Mandchuria however destroyed a few of... [Lire la suite]
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17 juin 2016

Harbin: les charmes de Daowai

 English version On a souvent vanté l'architecture russe de Harbin. Il est vrai que la ville fondée le long du chemin de fer de l'Est chinois par la Russie tsariste est tellement marquée par l'héritage culturel de la Sainte Russie que la ville a longtemps été surnommée la Saint-Petersbourg de l'Est. Les églises orthodoxes, transformées en églises catholiques pour certaines ou en musées pour d'autres (comme Sainte Sophie ci-contre), subsistent encore nombreuses, et ce malgré le déchaînement de la Révolution Culturelle dans... [Lire la suite]
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16 mai 2015

A brief history of Shanghai music 2/2

Beginning of article  The modern jazz scene Many places of the 30’s still exist in Shanghai. One of them is the Paramount in Jing An district, an area which used to be called « Badlands » as it was dangerous to be there after nightfall. Among the places connected with jazz, the Peace Hotel is one of the most famous. This building erected in 1928 by tycoon Victor Sassoon still harbours the oldest jazz orchestra in the world: The « Peace Hotel Old Jazz Band ».  In the movie, « As Time Goes By In Shanghai », Jibin Sun, the... [Lire la suite]
16 mai 2015

A brief history of Shanghai music 1/2

Version Française The Shanghai music scene is one of the most active in the world. From the numerous jazz venues to some of the world’s largest techno dance-floors, there are many possibilities to listen to live music in Shanghai. Even in the city’s parks, Chinese will setup choirs and dance every single day of the year. Let alone karaoke clubs that are most popular among Chinese young people. So what are the reasons that make music so popular in Shanghai?   Kunshan Opera To understand the relations between Shanghai... [Lire la suite]

16 mai 2015

Brève histoire de la musique shanghaienne

English version La scène musicale shanghaienne est l’une des plus dynamiques du monde: Que ce soit dans les bars jazz ou les dancefloors technos, les possibilités de sorties sont nombreuses. On peut aussi entendre les Chinois étaler leur répertoire dans les parcs où les chorales et danseurs amateurs se relaient au fil des jours. Enfin, les innombrables karaoke, produit asiatique par excellence, ont  trouvé en Chine une terre d’accueil particulièrement favorable. Quelles sont donc les raisons qui font que la... [Lire la suite]
30 janvier 2015

Albert Londres last reportage 1/2

Version Française Among my preferate books about Shanghai, Albert Londres "War in Shanghai" ranks top of the list. a series of articles written during the 1932 shanghai incident. Albert Londres came to shanghai between November 1931 and April 1932 to comment the events of the invasion of Manchuria by Japan. When he arrived, he was eventually caught in the first battle of Shanghai between Japanese Marine Corp and Chinese Republican Army. His report of these dramatic episode is a unique insight on Shanghai communities of the time at a... [Lire la suite]
30 janvier 2015

Albert Londres last reportage 2/2

Beginning of article In the heart of the action "The Asian madness has just struck Shanghai", he wirites on 31st January 1932. "War is in the streets!". Following the boycott of Japanese goods, the Empire of Japan Marine Corps suddenly launched its troops on Shanghai. This conflct will last one month and result in some 30000 dead among them two thirds are civilians. Albert Londres was staying in the Palace Hotel, opposite today's Peace Hotel, which made it easy to walk to war scene on  Broadway Avenue or the nearby French... [Lire la suite]
29 janvier 2015

Le dernier reportage d’Albert Londres (1/2)

English version Parmi les livres qui m’ont le plus inspiré dans ma quête du Shanghai d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, “La guerre à Shanghai”, recueil d’articles d’Albert Londres figure en bonne place. Le célèbre reporter est en effet venu a Shanghai entre Novembre 1931 et Avril 1932 afin de commenter les "événements" liés à l'invasion de la Manchourie par le Japon. A travers une série d’articles quotidiens particulierement vivants et bien documentés, on decouvre par le détail le Shanghai des années 30 avec un oeil neuf captant... [Lire la suite]