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Streets and Back Alleys

Xiamen: back alleys
 

An investigation of the dense back alleys of one of the poorer and oldest districts of Xiamen. Prior to a massive investment in the 90’s much of the city was like this and wandering around gives a sense both of once what was, and for many what still is. The area includes a sizeable red light district, though locally it’s also called the ‘sex-barber shop’ district because many of the establishments front as hair dressers. As a friend pointed out, the scale of this industry is in part due to the sizeable immigrant population – families separated by work and lack of living permits. In the tight alleys the more aggressive ladies tug at shirts though most sit bored or playing cards. One lady waves her keys – an indication that an apartment is available nearby.

Mobile phone numbers are for many a fixed reference point in a moving world. How can we better serve the communication needs of the world’s immigrant populations? What are their unique wants and needs?

Xiamen: back alleys