Posts Tagged ‘soft power’

This is posted a little late, as I just realized that it had been posted before the previous post about the DPRK pavilion. Also, having done this, I have now managed to get into the British pavilion. No matter, here it is now, more in this series coming.

Around the Shanghai Expo: British pavilion

By Raffaello Pantucci – 18 June 2010 9:41AM

Raffaello Pantucci is a Visiting Scholar at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, where he is working on an EU-funded project on EU-China relations.

One of the more intriguing parts of the Shanghai Expo is to see the correlation between the queues at various pavilions and the effort that has been put into them. Who is it, exactly, that nations are trying to impress with their respective pavilions: the Chinese people or the Chinese government?

To try to better understand this, here are three examples of national pavilions. First up is the British Pavilion:

As the picture suggests, it is a pretty extraordinary building, which looks like a real-life optical illusion. Designed to be a large seed repository, I was actually unable to get inside due to the enormous queue (and I went on a day when there were not that many people around). From reading online, however, it looks like it is really focused on cities, environmentalism and the upcoming Olympics.

All of which is in contrast to the curiosity-seekers favorite, the DPRK pavilion, which, oddly enough, is located adjacent to the Iranian one. Clearly the layout was designed by someone with a sense of humor. The North Korea pavilion is the subject of the next post.