- Life & society

Choices

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. Chinese New Year, 2009. Chongqing weather: there is nothing good to say about it. The summer is more scorching and humid than the tropics, and winter is a cold wet blanket which coats the ridges in mist and fogs the river valleys below. A town without colour at this time [...]

Sichuan earthquake. Shifang. Remembering.

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. 5:12 (2009). On the eve of 5:12, the anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake, I was in the provincial town of Shifang, very close to the epicenter at Beichuan. 6000 residents perished here. China Central Television (CCTV), a nationwide government-controlled service, was due to televise a special live program in memory of [...]

Sichuan earthquake. Hongbaizhen. One year later.

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. 2009  I have just spent two days in the earthquake zone. I went there with a small group of volunteers from around China who dropped everything when the earthquake occurred, and went into the zone. Ordinary people: office-workers from Chongqing and Shanghai, off-duty policemen from Guiyang and Xi’an, a businessman from [...]

Sichuan earthquake. Beichuan. One year later.

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. 5:12 (2009). My purpose here is to outline what I saw at the epi-center of the earthquake one year after that terrible day. A day when relatives were allowed back into what is left of that city to grieve. Until now, nobody has been allowed to return. Beichuan is beyond [...]

Sichuan earthquake: the aftermath.

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. May, 2009 Nothing prepares you for the desolation of a city recovering from an earthquake. It's not the physical destruction that is so difficult to confront, although that is bad enough. Rather, it's the people. Traumatised people. I'm a psychologist who specialises in this area. I know about these things. [...]

Campus window.

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. 2005 Campus window I look out of my 15th floor window. Across the campus to the First Affiliated Peoples Hospital rising in the middle distance. Across the crowded student dormitories and old staff apartments, grey 1954 vintage reminders of an ideological past long gone. Below, new China rising. Reaching for [...]

Qiongren: the poor people.

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. February, 2009 China's Qiongren: the aged, farmers, laid-off workers, the mentally-ill, migrant workers, peasants, and the uneducated. 800 million of them. Stoic and tough survivors of both communist and capitalist economic policies and promises; natural disasters (usually drought and flood, but last year an earthquake also), and life itself.   [...]

Returning migrant workers: injustice and resilience.

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. March, 2008. You can feel the suppressed emotion, despite their blank expressionless faces. It hangs over the entrance to the Chongqing railway station like a Yangtze River fog. A grey pall of despair. A cruel prelude to a return to life as it was 30 years ago before Deng Xiao Ping’s [...]

Eling park.

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. 2004 Eling Park was created toward the end of the Qing Dynasty, before the overthrow of the last emperor, Pu Yi. During the anti-Japanese war the government of China relocated to Chongqing, and these grounds housed the embassies of Australia, Denmark, Turkey, the UK, and the USA. Deng Xiao Ping, Zhang [...]

Graduates.

I met them at a job fair in Jiangbei District. My role for the day was to assess their English language competence and recommend the best of them to prospective employers. In some ways, it was a sad experience. So many talented young people looking for a chance. Too many graduate camels trying to squeeze [...]


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