Kensington Market Solstice Festival 2022: A Photoessay

Kensington Market is a district in Toronto, adjacent to Chinatown, with a multicultural population, a lot of artists and artist-adjacent people, secondhand shops, imported food stores, and exciting graffiti. Around this time of year, they do a solstice festival and parade which incorporates elements of Indigenous, African, European and neopagan solstice traditions, to reflect the cultural makeup of the area. This year I went along and took pictures, including anatomically correct crow wings, stilt-walking torch bearers, powwow dancers in jingle dresses and flaming clarinets. Yes, flaming clarinets.

Universite de Paris-Est in the Twenty-First Century: A Photoessay

I’m currently adjusting gradually back to life in 2020, but one of the things I did over the December/January break was to make a collaborative visit with colleagues at Universite de Paris (shortly to become Gustave Eiffel University). The campus architecture is simply amazing, and I want to share the highlights:

The Cats of Foca (2013)

For the season of love, some beautiful Turkish cats, from the equally beautiful seaside town of Foca. The local shop-owners, restauranteurs and fishermen all collectively look out for the cats (at least the ones who aren’t in a long-term living relationship with a  household), and the vets do pro bono work if one of them is sick or injured.

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Beijing, 2006: A Photoessay

I’ve made multiple visits to Japan and Singapore, and had a visiting fellowship in Taipei for a while, but only ever visited Beijing once. This was in 2006, when the city was clearly well on its way towards becoming a glass-and-chrome metropolis, but really wasn’t all the way there. Looking back, it occurs to me that it’s changed a lot, and people might like to see some of what it looked like at that complicated time:

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Many rickshaws:

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(seconds before the photo below was taken, the chain came off the gears, and the driver literally hooked it back on with his foot)SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERASAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

A blacksmith fixing a wheelchair:

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Old buildings and mosaics, probably gone now:

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The old site of the Pan Asia Games:

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A Christian wedding at a church:
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Dong An Market…

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and a state “Friendship Store”.

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Man selling rabbits in the subways under the road:
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Man selling books off the back of, yes, a rickshaw, above the subway:
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Gas masks in the closet in my hotel, a little bit scary:

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Finally, fish. Every shop had its lucky goldfish, this jade retailer was making them do marketing work too:

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