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What is City Culture?

In a two-part event series, JUCCCE collaborated with Paul and Rob from Trendformers to create a discussion in the Shanghai community revolving around how to define culture in a city. The event culminated in an interactive public graffiti art event at 50 Moganshan Road, near Changhua road.

The first part was an open workshop led by Program Director Lucy Luo and facilitated by JUCCCErs, which was held at Slurp! Restaurant at Changping Road on the 17th June 2015. It was a loosely structured discussion that invited the participants to reminiscence over their favourite past-time activity in their hometown.

Participants told hometown stories of Sunday brunch by the beach, riding bikes along a boardwalk at night, and large house parties attended by close friends and family. Participants then compared it to similar activities in Shanghai, whether it was dropping by the local printing shop at midnight to publish their art, or having drinks with friends on a rooftop bar on a Friday night. Through the discussion, it became clear that human-to-human driven interaction and an empathy for neighbours are key ingredients to infuse culture into a community.

At the end of the night, the room was asked to reflect on the session and come up with keywords that they felt properly encapsulated the culture of Shanghai. Out of these words, 6 were chosen for the second-part of the event: pulse, breath, blend, home, change and mindset.

In the latter half of the event held on 20th June, the outline of these words were sprayed onto a wall at 50 Moganshan Road by various street artists. Locals clamored to help fill in the letters, choosing from a large cardboard box with spray paint bottles of all colors of the rainbow. A crowd formed, upbeat music played, and passer-bys snapped photos.

The two-part event was a truly collaborative effort, as expats and locals of all ages mingled and came together to join JUCCCE in defining city culture, leaving their mark on the wall- both literally and figuratively.

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