Tailiu Plaza.

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Shibei, China, 2020

To wander wearily, without end, through the haunted neon valley in the carnival of lost souls is not as much fun as it sounds. The thrills are cheap and get old real quick. Once you realise that you’re the last outlaw left alive among the hordes of walking dead, the life sucked out of them by smart technology and mindless consumerism, the sheer weight of it comes crashing down on you like the shimmering gates of hell.

A few nights ago, looking desperately for shelter with acidic thunder threatening low in the thick apocalyptic heat, I stumbled upon a host of particularly eerie apparitions prancing about in zombie unison to some ghoulishly tacky synthesizer beats. I wasn’t sure, but I could’ve sworn I sensed the spirit of a commie Jane Fonda incarnation moaning among them in the gaudy square. I thought I’d seen it fucking all in this place, but this new devilry utterly confounded me. Perhaps they were trying to whip themselves into shape for the arduous journey out of purgatory.

Very, very carefully, as I’m sometimes moved to do, I got off my bike and set up my camera for the sake of both proof and posterity (fool that I am, I still believe that one day I’d be able to return to what’s left of the land of the living). As the eternal seconds between the shutter’s opening and closing dragged by, I muttered a silent prayer to the gods of Poetry and Flesh. Finally, slinging the tripod like a sawn-off shotgun across my back, I saddled up once more and rode forth, hunting blind like a bat in the rain.

© Jac Kritzinger.
For photography, visit http://jackritzinger.co.za/
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