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Director: Bei Yu

Synopsis: On February 21, 2016, there was a storm in a teacup after the State Council of the People’s Republic of China announced that “closed residential communities will no longer be built in principle”, the Supreme People’s Court responded, “closed residential communities (microdistrict) are a product of the agrarian age and are not suitable for present era.”

The concept of Microdistrict was introduced into China in 1956 with a Russian translation and submitted to the government in 1957 as a conceptual plan. In fact, the Microdistrict model originated in 1935 with the “Moscow Project,” which was pushed out by the Stalin model and reemerged after Stalin’s death in 1953.

Since the end of the Cultural Revolution in mainland China, Microdistrict has become a national standard for building blocks since the late 1970s. The earliest branches used to house government workers as “public housing”.

Nowadays, the Microdistrict has become the common understanding of living blocks for generations in mainland China, and expensive real estate should be equipped with elegant Microdistrict environment. On the first day of enrollment, students also ask their peers, “Which Microdistrict do you live in?”

Bio: Bei Yu (北屿) is an artist-filmmaker in his final year of the Fine Art Practice PhD programme in University of Leeds, UK.

Program: On The Edge VAEFF 2022

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