December 10th, 2019


Strange Shanghai in the 1980s, by Benoit Gysembergh

This black and white set of photographs from the 1980s makes Shanghai look like a mashup of pre-1949 era with our times. What's with the sandbags? The barbwire? The English-language sign on Zhapu Road Bridge?

Why are there sandbangs in the streets in 1987?

Looking south along Zhapu Road Bridge, toward the Capitol Theatre. "WARNING. Armed persons not allowed to cross this defense line. Offenders will be fired upon."

Closer to the Capitol Theatre, looking south along Huqiu Road:

Compare with 1937, same location:

Image: Harrison Forman, 1937

The sign seems to be gone in a photo from January 1998...