Dragon for the village:
A Future Festival

#local engagement #participatory #happening

"Dragon for the village: A Future Festival " was supposed to be a performance by _ao_ao_ing for the opening of the Nature Education Forum held by Qingshan Village in Yuhang, but it later developed into a local event that attracted much more attention. Caught in the tension among different local forces, it was integrated in the village’s history and became an “actual” festival there, being celebrated regularly at Duanwu Festivals each year.

A "future village" is a political concept, an upgrade of the construction of a "beautiful village", and one of the focuses of China's rural construction in the current stage, while Qingshan Village in Yuhang is an experimental field to implement this concept. Outsiders and all kinds of new comers in the village are called "future people" by the old secretary of the village.

We , the"future people" come to the rural area as fresh comers and seek for an experience different from modern urban festivals. However, the absence of festival rituals and a series of encounters with "future" construction made us realize that this kind of modern countryside may also be just another kind of external organs of the city and an extension of capital.
We modern outsiders have a fractured imagination of the countryside. This fracture is like a gap between modernity and tradition, a middle zone that is constantly being erased. So we let the "imagination take the power", and decided to implement our fantasy of a festival with an action of festival that makes people get together again.

If "place making" is turning a community, town, or city that you want to leave as soon as possible into a place you would like to stay forever, then we summarize the action of this project as "festival making", or "doing festival", which means celerating the festival in the local Wu dialect. Therefore, a traditional festival was held in a village without history in the name of a "future festival" to respond to this "future village" whose construction is in full swing.

From a community event initiated by an artistic residency to the building of a local government IP, "Dragon for the Village: A Future Festival" is difficult to define and impossible to conclude at the moment. It has surpassed the original context of artistic creation and needs time to justify and analyze its complexity as a dynamic sample for the observation of the ongoing rural construction in China

Time: Duanwu Festival, 2020 & 2021
Venue: Qingshan Village, Yuhang District,
Hangzhou, Zhejiang
Organizers: China Nature Education Network (residency commissioner),
Qingshan Nature School, Qingshan Village Committee


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