I love going back through the photos (and slides—remember those?) I have taken in China over the years, particularly the ones I took long, long ago in the 80s and 90s. They bring back fond memories of my life in China—the people, the places, the adventures. They are all there in the photos.
They also remind me of what China used to look like. I stare at the photo above and observe the following:
- The location, believe it or not, is the corner of Wangfujing and ChangAn Avenues in Beijing.
- The MacDonald’s. It opened in the spring of 1992. Even though I was living in Changchun at the time, it was a big deal. Now I was only an overnight train ride away from a burger and fries.
- The little yellow taxi cabs that used to be ubiquitous, including the tiny mini-vans called miandi. (raise your hand if you remember riding in one of those!)
- The food stalls in front of the MacDonalds. They were the pre-curser to the famous “snack street.”
Did Beijing really look like that? It did, and so many other places in China looked so much different than they do now.
Call for Photos
As part of our on-going commemoration of the 20th anniversary of ChinaSource, we want to collect photos documenting the changes that have taken place in China. Whether you lived and worked there or were just visiting, we’d love to include your photos. Later in the year, we will produce a slide show highlighting the photos.
To facilitate this, we have set up a Flickr group called China Through the Years. If you already have a Flickr account, here are instructions for joining the group and submitting a photo:
- Upload your photo to your account.
- Find the group “China Through the Years,” and request to join.
- Select “add photo.”
- Select a photo from your account to add to the group page.
- Select “add to group.”
- Write a comment about the photo.
The group is public, which means anyone can view and submit photos. However; photos will be reviewed by the administrators before being published. Adding a photo to the group also gives ChinaSource permission to use the photo on our website and be included in the photo essay that will be produced later in the year.
If you do not have a Flickr account, go here to sign up (it’s free).
For those of you who don’t have access to Flickr but would like to submit a photo, you can submit one to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And in case you’re wondering what the corner of Wangfujing and ChangAn Avenues looks like today, here’s a photo taken on the same spot in 2013.
You can read more about both photos on my personal blog Outside-in.
Header image credit: Joann Pittman via Flickr.
Text image credit: Joann Pittman via Flickr.
Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University... View Full Bio