From Obscurity to Opportunity: Beijing’s Mycelial Networks and the Failure of Commons (80796)

Session Information: Cultural and National Identities
Session Chair: Yunjoo Sung

Saturday, 25 May 2024 13:45
Session: Session 3
Room: Room 707
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

This study explores, first, the ways in which the Chinese authorities have mobilised the commons in its call for ecological civilisation; and, second, if and what kinds of collective and collaborative practices have been generated to claim and sustain the commons, and what the commons are and how they are represented in these practices. The Chinese authorities have been mobilising the cosmopolitan discursive term – commons – which signifies sharedness, collectiveness and collaboration to accentuate its role in the increasingly interdependent world. This is especially relevant in the political doctrines of “Community of Common Destiny for Mankind” and its call for ecological civilisation, both promote sustainable development and the inseparable relationship between mankind and nature. The 2022 Winter Olympics, like the 2008 Olympics before, offered an important venue to orchestrate its political doctrines, materialising its infrastructural and political ambitions. In view of the structural impacts brought by the mega-event, Beijing22, a curatorial long-term project, was formed to investigate the urban changes in the five years leading to the Winter Olympics. This study examines two sets of materials: the first will be the official promotion materials of the Winter Games; and the second will focus on one of the Beijing22 projects – Beijing Mushroom. In ordinary daily life, people in Beijing are baffled, or even ‘indifferent’ to this state-orchestrated call for the commons. This study suggests the tensions, but also possibilities, albeit its evasive and irregular presence, in engendering localised collaborative efforts in claiming and sustaining the commons.

Pak Lei Gladys Chong, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

About the Presenter(s)
Dr PAK LEI GLADYS CHONG is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University in Hong Kong

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00