Layers of Beijing – Mr. Shi’s Story

70 years ago “Beijing” was not the capital of China. It is easy to forget, but our neighbor Mr.Shi remembers. He was standing at the imperial gate of Qianmen when the Communists came in.
The scruffy-looking soldiers did not look as modern as the Republican army that had just fled to Taiwan, but the discipline of the soldiers amazed him. No mentionable looting was taking place. But, with the Communists, wave upon wave of seemingly endless social campaigns started. Illiteracy, rats, sparrows, imperialists and rightists were all targeted in the enormous Communist effort to change society and transform Beijing into the Communist capital of China, and industries were moved into old temples and brothels and opium dens closed down...

“Layers of Beijing” creates a portrait of the time from 1949 to the present day, with an emphasis on the dramatic changes of the 1950s. Based upon interviews and archival research, we have made a portrait of Beijing from the perspective of those who have lived through the immense changes.

It has been an illuminating experience talking to people who remember the city before and just after the Communists arrival. Not long ago camels still carried in coal from the mines of Mentougou, the gigantic city walls were still in place. Wood-fired buses rambled through the streets in a flume of black smoke, and ration coupons were just as important as money in hand.

Our neighbor Mr.Shi knows because he was there.


This is a 2.5 hours hutong walking tour in Dashilar neighbourhood

Time: 15:00-17:30

Where to start: Beijing Postcards, No. 97 Yangmeizhu Byway (杨梅竹斜街97号)

Ticket: 300RMB per person

Registration: please clcik here

Event Properties

Event date: 05-04-2019 03:00 下午
Event End Date: 05-04-2019 05:30 下午
Capacity 25
Individual Price ¥300.00
Location Yangmeizhu Xiejie 97