Jie Wu is a Chinese-American scholar, writer and artist. Having grown up in Lisbon, Portugal and travelled to countries like China and India, his ‘re-search’ led him to explore place-making, colonialism, Chinatowns, critical pedagogy and community-based arts activism. In 2014–2015, he received a Fulbright-Nehru student grant to study how residents living in the cities of Howrah and Kolkata related to the Hooghly-Bhagirathi-Ganges river that flows in between. This project led him to collaborate with the Indian Chinese youth living in the Tiretta bazaar Chinatown in hosting an alternative Dragon Boat Festival featuring street food, Hip-Hop performances and public art that sought to critically engage audiences about public neglect and trash dumping near Chinatown historic sites. In Toronto, he is currently starting a research project about Kensington Market’s portrayal as a ‘multicultural’ space and how it connects to First Nations’ struggle and resistance for land rights and place-making.
Keywords: Place; space; environment; Chinatowns; multiculturalism; settler-colonialism; arts; activism