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‘We come from the underground’: grounding Chinese punk in Beijing and Wuhan

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 August 2022

Nathanel Amar*
French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC), Taipei Antenna, Room B110, Research Center For Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan


The history of the Chinese punk scene in the scientific literature or in retrospective testimonies is traditionally dominated by a Beijing-centric approach, which stresses the importance of Beijing punk bands in the 1990s for the formation of this youth subculture. However, at the same time another punk scene was emerging in Wuhan, and no convincing argument has been provided to explain how, at the same time, in two Chinese cities, a punk movement appeared. Relying on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews and collection of data, this article aims to explain how in the mid-1990s young Chinese succeeded into territorialising a foreign subculture in two different Chinese cities.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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