Nail House

A Chinese term referring to a building that sticks out and is difficult to remove. The owners refuse to move out. Developers continue to build around the building until the matter is settled. This can take days, weeks, or even years. The nail house stands in silent protest.

Is this, as Camus writes, a beacon to the world’s oppressed, “Je me révolte, donc nous sommes”?

Or is it a selfish impediment to progress and a disturbance of social harmony?

Nail House in Kunming, China

(photo source: