It's been more than seven years since Patrick Scally took over for GoKunming founder and editor Chris Horton. Over those years, Patrick has written and edited more than 1,400 articles concerning life South of the Clouds. Now the time has come for a new editor to take his place, with Vera van de Nieuwenhof taking on the role of Kunming town crier.
Patrick Scally: A bit of Kansas in Kunming
Since the website changeover, when the current ownership group took over GoKunming from founders Horton and Matthew Sills, American editor Patrick has been writing about life in Yunnan for the international residents of Yunnan as well as visitors to the province. He has covered affairs big and small, ranging from epic corruption scandals to Bread Man.
Topics were often close to home in Kunming, but just as often he was traveling further afield to write our Getting Away series of articles. When asked what his favorite articles have been, he recalls those published as jokes, saying:
I always enjoyed coming up with April Fool's Day news, at least until Beijing started to crack down on online rumors and false information. That took a bit of the fun out of those types of articles. The most rewarding thing I was able to do, though, was help organize and publicize fundraisers. The original intent of GoKunming was to inform, but also to try and help nurture community interaction. The fundraisers — dozens of them over the years — helped people connect and brought everyone together in a cool way. I was fortunate enough to be involved in all that.
One of those fundraisers is the annual Have a Heart event, wherein the Kunming community helps to collect money needed for heart surgeries of children across Yunnan. Patrick didn't just write about these events, he could also be found flipping gourmet burgers at the shindig with his wife, Sarah.
Apart from sourcing and writing articles, Patrick created the scripts for the video series Yunnan: The China You Never Knew and penned a currently unpublished book about the history of Kunming.
This short article doesn't do justice to all the hard work Patrick has put in for the international community here in Yunnan and we can't thank him enough for everything he has contributed. He has been an all-round wonderful colleague who will be missed a lot.
Introducing: Vélo Vera
As the nickname indicates, Vera van de Nieuwenhof cycled from her hometown Amsterdam to Kunming. She fell in love with Yunnan and decided to settle here after finishing her year-long bike trip in Tokyo. With a background in arts and culture, she started exploring the local arts scene and collaborated with curators Luo Fei and Anna Novikova on an exhibition about cycling and art.
Shortly after, she joined CloudBridge – Media by Design — the parent company of GoKunming — bringing her experience as a cultural producer into the mix with the aim of facilitating cultural exchanges between local and international artists. She has organized a a growing list of cultural events in Kunming — most recently a PechaKucha Night. Over the last year she has contributed several articles to GoKunming, unsurprisingly touching on topics such as cycling and art.
With Patrick's departure, Vera will take over the role of editor for GoKunming. As always, input from the Kunming community is much appreciated. Please feel free to send us your suggestions for GoKunming functionality and content in the comments or via the contact form. Or talk to Vera, if you see her around town.