The “Local History” Re-enactment and Theme Park: Inflation for Tourists…..but
(see May 24 2013 post Enter the Bandits of the Hills: Mao in Jiangxi, 1927-34 for background)
“Officially” organized Re-enactment/Theme Park on Jinggangshan (center of the 1927-34 Jiang-
Mo Yan’s disgust with the re-enactment theme park (Life and Death are Wearing me Out, transl Goldblatt, pps 440 ff) is probably more than deserved. Few local histories deploy enough re-enactable history and (more important) song and opera performance material to resonate or dignify. With one interesting exception, whose origins go back to the “onsite re-enactment” fad’s first product, Zhang Yioou’s feckless “Impression: Liu Sanjie” (Guilin, Guangxi, 2003), now remembered for its Zhuang diva’s nudity. For tourists…
But at least two such Onsite Re-enactment/Theme Park complexes have managed to achieve a stature equal to or higher than historical museums, in spite of the Big Tent atmosphere, nighttime hyperlighting, and parades on a scale perhaps larger than the real thing.
Of these, the first and more in need of interpretation is the (clumsily entitled) Grand-scale Revolutionary Sacred Ground Onsite (re)-Enactment “Jinggangshan”, whose first performance took place in mid-2008, on the top of the Jinggangshan escarpment in W. Central Jiangxi (Kiangsi), near or at Maoping zhen. The attached clip is a recent, Min. of Propaganda et al., sponsored “trailer” (12 mins) of a much longer nightly performance, well over an hour’s length, and engaging the acting and singing of some 800 “people from the locale”, principally women. (Logically so, since the working age male population would even now – and certainly was back then (ca 1929-30)- off on the road pursuing seasonal “migrant-worker” or army pay (as enlistees).