Nikola Mihov

Under Destruction

Under Destruction, 2010 

In November 1979, the Chinese county Bao’an with a population of 50 000 people was renamed to Shenzhen. One year later, the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping declared the newly-formed city to be the country’s first special economic zone. Today, Shenzhen is among the fastest growing cities in the world with a population of  more than 12 million people.

The series focus on “Gangxia”, one of Shenzhen’s typical neighbourhoods, built in the early 80’s to accommodate the “builders of the new city” – migration workers coming from all over China. Today most of these neighbourhoods have been destroyed, while others are waiting their turn, surrounded by skyscrapers, residential towers and highways.

At the end of 2008, the Municipal Government voted for the destruction of the neighbourhood and its replacement by a modern residential complex which had to be completed in one year. Nevertheless some of the residents refused to sell their property. As aresult the construction of the complex has been delayed by more than two years, causing huge losses to the investment companies. Authorities, on their part, stopped the water supply and demolished near-by buildings in order to “convince” the people to leave.