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China: By Journalists Eye XXV. - Expo And Better Life

Published: 3.11.2012
Till the start of the World's Expo remains less than 11 months. Here in Shanghai the word Expo is inflected to suffer. Sky blue mascot of Hainan - pao exhibition more than a year before the outbreak this exhibition´s madhouse smiles from windows, posters, winks from light boards, and I decided to bring one teddy home.

In 2009 is Shanghai a city of gleaming skyscrapers that in the last quarter of century, nearly eradicating the traditional brick houses and in the last decade were home to almost a million households. Just because a building plot for Expo, China razed to the ground a residence of more than twenty thousand of families. From Amnesty International sources we know that those who protested, didn´t escape bullying and in many cases finished up in prison.

shanghai

Our expedition to the work site of Expo should obviously show how the things are going smoothly, neatly and accurately according to plans. We are passing through Megalomanian construction site, on the edge you can still see several islands of past - tiny row houses with tiny windows, gray, peeling, but was already abandoned. I imagine how recently was life in the narrow streets that crisscross clothes with the laundry lines intersect them and around the smell of food prepared outside the houses, the children swarmed around the garbage and rats from drains drifted a bad smell of empty out pots...

It's all gone and we are assured with a smile that all of displacement people left their homes voluntarily, even with joy, because they have got new flats with all modern conveniences such as electricity, hot water, flush´s toilets - what more could they ask for? But nobody talks about the fact that these people suddenly live totally unnatural environment for them, somewhere in far periphery of city 20 millions of inhabitants, cut off from their communities, from street life, dependent on stare out the window, where they can see the furthest to other windows behind which place the same fate.

Shanghai

China is a beautiful gray and colour, kind and cruel. And I'm in a place, that should become the pride of middle of Earth, that it should this to the global pedestal, which should is to show its strength, skill and immense possibilities, I feel real sadness I feel hallmark of cruelty that stands behind the whole project, I realize the sacrifice which this big country gives on the altar. The main motto of the World's Fair is paradoxically "Better City - Better Life".

Shanghai

ShanghaiShanghaiShanghai

I am standing in front the construction of the Chinese national pavilion. Everywhere abounds with dozens of smiling workers with protective helmets on their heads. Work site manager in the necessary black suit is ready to submit our interpretation. The pavilion is shaped Oriental Crown, its roof is 56 beams, which symbolize the 56 ethnic groups living in China. Inside are three floors. The main exhibition space on the top floor, experiential space underneath and the first floor will be a sort of technical background. All this is wrapped in a red robe - typical Chinese colours.

National pavilion should be, of course, the icing on the cake, the whole project but the exhibition is directed only and only to achieve victory. He has ambitions to become the most expensive, largest and most visited in history. It is June 2009, so we can surmise that the Shanghai meet all these attributes perfectly. A few months later, carefully watching all that is happening around the World's Fair and the final figures are clear. All China surpassed previous records. The exhibition was free, and others can get a discount. 

Text/foto: Andrea Fantová

 



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