torsdag 3. mars 2011

The city of darkness

An area 200 metres by 100 metres of solid building, 35.000 inhabitants, a population density of approximately 1,255,000/km2, this was the facts in Kowloon- The Walled City- certainly one of the densest urban slums in the world. Situated in "no-mans land", from 1945-1993, a political loophole created a zone of Hong Kong where there was no law, and wheres there no law- theres no police. The resulting anarchic monolith was the the closest thing to a truly self-regulating, self-sufficient, self-determining modern city that has ever been built, infrastructure was taken care of in theire own way by drilling wells and tapping into nearby city’s water sources, the same with the necessary electricity, since no sunlight passed through the streets were lit by fluorescent lights, creating a dark damp underworld.
With no regulations of any kind, this was the place the triads came to hide, the illegal businesses of Hong Kong happened here and, like all hideaways it attracts the usual types drawn to undiscovered countries: criminals, dreamers, dissidents, refugees and the plain desperate. But, at the same time this was a well functioning autonomus society, kids were brought up there, people got married there- lives were lived. After the triads gave up the controll of the city in the 70s, the city became self governed. Some consider this society to be the rarest of things, a working model of an anarchist society, while others, in theire conformity describes it as aliving shithole. The true fact is; it was less crime there than in the rest of Hong Kong. (maybe because people dont shit were they eat.) Nonetheless, it fascinating to look at the citys structure, it becomes a monolith, the buildings rising up to 14 storys, morph into each other, the streets disappear in tunnels, no lights gets through, not even Jodorowski could have imagined a city as dense and at the same time as scattered as this..

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