PITTSBURGH BIENNIAL 2011 EVENTS-School of Architecture - Carnegie Mellon University

Friday, September 2, 2011


Global Cities, Model Worlds Talk by Sarah Ross, Ryan Griffis & Lize Mogel AND View A Screening of Meishi Street

September 15, Thursday

4:30pm:  Global Cities, Model Worlds Talk by Sarah Ross, Ryan Griffis, and Lize Mogel
5:30pm:  Screening of Meishi Street (Ou Ning & Cao Fei, 85 min.) @ Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall #203, 2nd floor, CMU.

Presented by the CMU School of Architecture, in connection with the Pittsburgh Biennial at the Miller Gallery [Link]

4:30pm: Global Cities, Model Worlds Talk by R. Griffis, S. Ross and L. Mogel

Events like the Olympic Games and World's Fairs are undoubtedly spectacles on a massive scale. World's Fairs construct cities within cities, giving visitors the opportunity to see the most up-to-date wonders of the world in one space. The Olympics broadcast the world's most accomplished athletes into hundreds of millions of homes. Each event leaves footprints visible from satellites and makes its mark on national budgets. This lecture will tell the story of common patterns and characteristics these mega-event share, creating similar effects on the people and places that host them. What do cities like Seoul, Atlanta, New Orleans, Shanghai and London have in common? How does the promise of media spectacle reckon with development on the ground.

5:30pm: Screening of Meishi Street (Ou Ning & Cao Fei, 85 min.)

In order to widen traffic routes for the Olymipc Games, the Beijing Municipal Government orders the demolition of entire neighborhoods. Several evictees of Meishi Street, located next to Tiananmen Square, fight through endless red tape and the indifference of fellow citizens for the right to keep their homes. Given video cameras by the filmmakers, they shoot exclusive footage of the eviction process, adding vivid intimacy to their story.

Filmed by a Beijing resident and edited by the artist team of Ou Ning and Cao Fei, Meishi Street documents the demolition of Dazhalan, one of Beijing’s oldest and most famous historic neighborhoods, and offers a dramatic firsthand account of the local residents’ struggle to keep their homes. The film traces conflicts caused by the imbalances between development and preservation, modernization and tradition, and governmental decrees and individual rights that resulted from Beijing’s unprecedented urbanization process during the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games.

The film was produced by The DaZhaLan Project, a grassroots organization that researches and documents the “historical and cultural development, poverty level, social organization, street level architecture, and humanist ecology” of Dazhalan, a 600-year-old neighborhood located at the southwest corner of Tian’anmen Square.

Collective Reception September 16, Friday. 6-8pm

Sept. 16-Dec. 11, 2011 at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University