Tired of Living Between Heaven and Hell – John Garnaut and Maya Li

The Age looks at the destruction of historic :

Harbin Wideweb  470X314,0THE cluttered beauty of this old Harbin courtyard apartment compound exists only in a photograph. The homes burnt down four years ago, along with more than 30 residents, in a story that never made it past the city’s news censors. The offending coal stove was said to be near a snow-covered wood pile in the foreground.

The compound is just one of scores that survive only in the slide boxes and digital photo files of a quietly passionate urban historian, Li Ye. For most of his adult life, Mr Li has been “preserving the history” of Harbin so his 15-year-old daughter may connect with the place they have both grown up in. [Full text]

[Image: Picturesque but impractical . . . snow covers the courtyard of one of the old apartments in the area known as the Inferno, in Harbin, by Li Ye via SMH]

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