Finding Shangry-La – Yunnan, China


Dequin District, Yunnan, West of China. A region with a Tibetan majority, which in its vast population represents one of the many ethnic minorities of the great Chinese empire. The locals still lives on agriculture and tradition, to the rhythm of songs and dances that are repeated every evening in the central square. Its inhabitants still have the opportunity to live their religiosity and traditions freely, but at a high price, because the Chinese government has literally invaded them. From an ideological and historical point of view, through a well-planned tourist invasion, which exploits this magnificent ancient anthropological reality. A minority that fortunately is protected, in a condition bordering on compromise, which puts a strain on the ability to maintain authenticity and historical-social roots. The mass-marketing associated with rampant Chinese capitalism finds one of its greatest expressions, with all the incredible contradictions of a Tibetan-style Luna-Park, which, with a cunning commercial idea, has been renamed ‘Shangry-La’, as the enchanted city of Hilton novel.