“Emancipating the Image” – New Article on Meishi Street at A_M_P_S

Meishi Street (dir. Ou Ning)

Meishi Street (dir. Ou Ning)

At the academic journal Architecture_Media_Politics_Society, Carol Mei Barker writes on the image politics of contemporary Beijing, focusing on filmmaker Ou Ning and his Da Zha Lan project to document the city’s demolition of neighborhoods prior to the 2008 Olympics. The project resulted in Meishi Street, a grassroots documentary filmed by both Ou and evicted Beijing residents, and distributed by dGenerate/Icarus.

Barker writes:

Blurring the line between film-maker and subject, this type of documentary is key to empowering the local people affected by the upheavals that have resulted from the Olympics and the neoliberal changes in China generally. In line with the general ethos of the New Documentary Movement, this can be seen as an innovative way of emancipating the image of Beijing from the powers of official representation, rebranding, and image maintenance; all of which increasingly meet the neoliberalist demands and soft power interests of corporations and the state. This idea of emancipating the image also resonates with Lu Xinyu’s ‘vision of reality’; the idea of freeing the image from old ideological narratives and allowing it to be left open to uncontrolled interpretation.

Read the full article at A_M_P_S.