Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Tiananmen Square – It’s Public Space, But Not As We Know It

1 P9041278 c res Tiananmen Square - at 400,000 square meters - is the world's largest public space. But it isn't a public space as a European would understand it, a place for idle dawdling, chance encounters and civic contemplation (not to mention the occasional riot or demonstration). P8311118 res The square was created by Mao as a rejection of China's feudalism and a projection of communist power. Tiananmen is bounded to the north by the square kilometre complex that is The Forbidden City, home to China’s emperors for 500 years, and being in the square is a reminder of who actually runs China - it's full of soldiers and police officers, and there’s constant surveillance. P8311061 ac res Visitors to the tomb of Chairman Mao (the Maosoleum?) are marshalled by security guards, and when it’s close to closing time, they will megaphone visitors to hurry things along. And one thing you won't find is any reference to events which occurred here in 1989.....

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