Xian Cun — ghost village
Xian Cun (Xian Village) is one of the most notorious old villages still visible in #Guangzhou's city center today. Standing for 800 years, the settlement was forced to blend into the urban landscape after China’s economic reform started in the 1980s.
While preparing for the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, the pace of transformation was hastened, putting Xian Cun residents in the line of fire. Despite numerous attempts, an agreement on land development and compensation has never been reached between authorities and the local villagers.
Over the past decade, the village has been under violent demolition, with dozens of buildings crumbling into mountains of rubble. Over 80 villagers who stood up against the authorities were arrested and a long stalemate began.
Today, the village is a final testament to the Zhujiang that once was. Xian Cun is a ghostly shell of a community and walking through it, you’d be forgiven to think you were in a warzone.
With a population of nearly 40,000 with 11,000 permanent residents and 29,000 temporary residents, according to Xinhuanet, Xian Cun controls the fate of many. Shadowed by the high rises of Guangzhou's most modern district, this impoverished neighborhood carries on, forgotten.