Paris and Shanghai: Splendor under Siege
Dr. Gloria Tseng, Hope College
Many large cities during the period of World War Two are comparable, so why were Paris and Shanghai chosen for this exhibit? The decision to juxtapose Paris and Shanghai was not a random one. Before the war, both Paris and Shanghai were known as cities of modernity; Paris had the original reputation, with Shanghai receiving the title of “the Paris of the East.” Both cities were hotspots for political radicals and various other forms of “pushing the envelope,” such as fashion or film. The connection of modernity, as well as the experience of occupation by an Axis power during the war, makes these cities ideal and relevant for comparison and contrast.
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