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Lan Yan

13 minutes

In the shadows of high-rises, Shanghai’s small neighbourhoods struggle to survive

In China’s biggest city Shanghai, urbanisation and modernisation have led to the decline of shikumen – traditional neighbourhoods where families live alongside one another in shared residences on cramped, narrow streets. This short documentary explores the pleasures and stresses of life in Lan Yan, a shikumen that has survived as government-sponsored high-rise apartment buildings have swallowed up all the surrounding areas. A collaboration between students from San Francisco State University and Shanghai Normal University, the film follows Zhang JianXin, a bus driver and longtime Lan Yan resident, who is raising his daughter to share his fondness for a fast-disappearing way of life. Knowing the state’s drive for modernisation will likely soon sweep Lan Yan away, Zhang reflects on what is lost when tight-knit communities are replaced by high-rises that most residents don’t want and can’t afford.

Directors: Jamie Oliveira, Danielle Schmidt, Pawara Soh


What happens when rock stardom doesn’t quite work out?

10 minutes

Video/Values & Beliefs

Great news: pleasure is the purpose of life. Bad news: moderation is key

6 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

On the US-Mexico border, loved ones on both sides can see each other but cannot touch

12 minutes


Les Anglo-Saxons

Not just American or British, the Anglo-Saxon is a mirror to Frenchness: the country’s alter-ego and most feared enemy

Emile Chabal

Video/Law & Justice

What is Mother’s Day to a child whose mother is in prison?

8 minutes


How ‘white people’ were invented by a playwright in 1613

Ed Simon

Essay/War & Conflict

Don’t look away

Photography came of age amid the wars and atrocities, as well as the humanitarian aspirations, of the modern world

Jeremy Adelman


This striking feature of Manila makes it an emblematic global city

Nancy Kwak


The Swiss warehouse where the rich hide assets and wealth leaves no trace

11 minutes