Travelers Tourists Migrants and the post-Deng Era Theme Park Nightmare

A sense of ironic entrapment prevails at all levels: the “winners” (true escapers) are few or even only 2: Liao the seamstres and perhaps her husband; and Xiaotao’s former boyfriend Liangzi who has actually secured a work visa abroad. All; the rest make their livings off/in “world-on-display” reenacments, but are weighed down by the knowledge that the passport and visa which could carry the performers and associates into the truly “open” offshore employment market are beyond their reach. The first animation speaks most trenchantly about this: it starts with an interior take (and audio record) identifying a stewardess-costumed Park employee dawdling with boy-amant in the cockpit of a ditched longhaul  jet (“none of us has ever met someone who actually rode in such a plane….”); as she dreams heir escape (flight in animation, not on a plane) she is CLEARLY headed for Paris qua Eiffel Tower, the “top” icon of Euro-travel; upon reaching and overpassing it she manages to get as far as the Louvre, but then suddenly seems to descend to Belleville or La Defense etc (see the post …on Paris horizon, whence (still never “landing”) she redeparts for the “Park”.

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