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Xugong Project 徐公开发报告

I discovered an island called "Xugong Island", located in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, China. Around the year 2000, the island gained attention as China's first wholly foreign developed tourist island, but ten years later, development was halted and the project was put on indefinite hold. As I conducted more in-depth research, the neo-colonial tendencies hidden behind this development event gradually emerged. Due to the epidemic, all research was carried out online. The island was already populated in ancient China. In the 1990s, 150 families moved out of the island. Then it was developed by a Singaporean company as a leisure and tourism center for worldwide clients. The renderings and renovation plans made by the company can still be found on the internet. Today, however, Xugong Island is only a barren landscape, with uninhabited houses and unfinished construction sites. In an interview of the head of the developer, he mentioned that the original plan was to build a large number of villas on the island for European and Asian clients, but the Population Volume Ratio of the villas could not meet the requirements of the local government and was obstructed, while a few indigenous people that remained on the island and worked for the development company claimed that the company had blasted the rocks on the island and transported them by boat to sell, which is clearly a violation of our island protection policy. Combining a series of online information, I speculate that behind this development is a potential neo-colonial act, that is, a colonial act done through soft means such as multinational corporations, cultural invasion, and economic penetration. What is more, while I was gathering information online around the island, the very images and words conveyed by the screen pushed me to consider the island as "barren", "backward", "poor", and the words like "modern", "international" and "high-end" claim the positive impact of the foreign company's development on the regional economy. I was constructed by these potential colonial discourses from the internet and my own memory of the traditional rural areas in southern China as a "Contrast Group", which also illustrates the difficulty of complete decolonization.


Book; Photos; Words

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