Alec Ash

Alec Ash is a writer and journalist in Beijing, and founding editor of the Anthill

Posts by Alec Ash

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Diary of an AIDS activist

Cheng Xiangyang of AIDS charity 爱源 talks to Alec Ash in Beijing

 

“In 1997, in my village in Henan province, China, people started to die inexplicably. There were certain symptoms they all had in common: fever, diarrhoea, and so on. More and more of us fell sick and died. The doctors said there was no virus - but they didn't test for HIV.

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Photo Essay: Across Eurasia in 50 days

A journey from Oxford to Beijing in 16 pictures

 

Phileas Fogg took 40 days – October 2nd to November 11th, half of his allotted time around the world – to reach the port of Shanghai from London. When I returned to China overland from England this autumn, it took me 50 days. Bested by ten days – drat! Of course my aim wasn't to "jump mathematically" between train and boat connections, as Mr Fogg did, but to take my time and see Western Europe slowly change into Eastern China.

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A thangka of blood

A dispatch from troubled Tibet, and a return to blogging in China

 

Dorjee Lhundup, a father of two in his mid-twenties, made his living painting the religious thangka scrolls – clouds, mountains and deities in bright reds, blues, whites and gold – that Rebgong county in the historical Tibetan province of Amdo is famous for. In death his charred body was as colourful, wrapped in orange, violet and white khatas, the ceremonial scarf. He set himself on fire last Sunday.

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Hunt for the red dolphin

They may look friendly, but they're stone cold killers

 

In the resort towns of the Crimea, holidaymakers from the heartlands of Russia laze on short beaches of lumpy shingle, the Black Sea lapping at their feet. They lie on straw mats, fat red bellies up like beached manatees, hardly a gap visible between them. Occasionally one turns over, like a pancake flipping itself on the hob.

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“My life was defined by my next hit”

Confessions of a heroin addict

 

"You don't know what it's like to have your brain trying to sabotage you." Michael Kelly sweeps a waterfall of black hair away from his eyes. "Part of me still just wants to shut myself in my room and get fucked up."

Michael is 20 years old, and a recovering heroin addict. And he’s right. I may have scoffed a shroom at university, but to be addicted to one of the most potent recreational drugs out there is beyond my ken. I can only listen – hooked.

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