Release year: 2006
Run time: 84 mins
Film type: Documentary
Meishi Street documents ordinary citizens in one of Beijing’s poorest communities as they resist the planned destruction of their homes in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In order to widen traffic routes for the games, the Beijing Municipal Government agreed the demolition of entire neighbourhoods. On Meishi Street in Da Zha Lan, adjacent to Tiananmen Square, Zhang Jinli fights both red tape and indifference for the right to keep his home. Provided with a video camera by the filmmakers, the film combines footage shot both by them and by Zhang himself, creating an intimate portrait of demolitions conducted in the name of progress.
Ou Ning’s cultural practices are multidisciplinary. As an activist, he founded U-thèque, the independent film and video collective, and Bishan Commune, the intellectual community dedicated to rural reconstruction in China. As a graphic designer and editor he is known for his book, New Sound of Beijing. His curatorial projects include the festival Get It Louder (2005, 2007, and 2010), and the sound project “Awakening Battersea” in the China Power Station exhibitions co-organized by the Serpentine Gallery and AstrupFearnley Museum of Modern Art. As an artist he is known for San Yuan Li (2003), commissioned for the 50th Venice Biennale, and Meishi Street (2006), commissioned by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes.