By focusing on the work of three women artists, Yuk King Tan, Cao Fei, and Wu
Mali, Chapter 3 explores the use of performance video in raising important
labor and environmental issues as interrelated problems. Situated in the
circuit of multi-national industry, moving rapidly since the 1990s, Tan,
Cao, and Wu’s subjects expose the ways in which environmental concerns are
explicitly connected to the unabated growth of market economies in Hong
Kong, China, and Taiwan. Tan’s video performance Scavenger (2008) reveals
how labor in global capitalism has affected a gendered class of Hong Kong
society. Cao’s Haze and Fog (2013) depicts the airpocalypse of the zombie
futures of Beijing, while Wu’s Stories of Women from Hsin-Chuang (1997)
memorializes the rural women who worked in Taiwanese factory towns like
Hsin-Chuang. The cycle of economic boom characterized by the ‘made in China’
trope in the twenty-first century, emerging successively after ‘made in
Taiwan and Hong Kong’ in the twentieth century, has accelerated the
conditions of environmental crisis. The performative expressions explored in
this chapter acknowledge the repeat performances of precarious labor as well
as the redoubled impacts of unabated industrial growth. Artists like Wu are
actively performing environmental restorations in the aftermath.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.