Mary Ann O'Donnell

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As anthropologist, as teacher, as translator, as photographer, and as dramaturge, I have sought alternative ways of inhabiting Shenzhen, the oldest and largest of China’s special economic zones.  In 1980, Chinese urban planners set out to design a city that met the criteria of an international city.  They also intended to build a city that would attract international investment.  Consequently, Shenzhen was built to be a space where Chinese and non-Chinese could come together.  Obviously, Shenzhen urban design presupposed that business would be the point of all this collaboration.  And yet non-economic values have also taken root in capitalist soil.   I create and contribute to projects that reconfigure such shared spaces, where our worlds mingle and collide, sometimes collapse, and often implode. 

2003 / 2009

Take heed: you do not find what you do not seek.

- English proverb

Fat Bird


organizes experimental workshops, guerilla performances, and staged dramas.


Fat Bird visited Mizzou to join students to produce a staged reading of "Crossroads".