All Cultural Activities in China Stalled – For 15 years, Christian Y. Schmidt has lived in Beijing. DW interviewed him about cultural activities amid the spread of the corona virus.
DW: China is being hit by the fear of the corona virus. How are you doing now?
Christian Y. Schmidt: I’m fine. Until now there are no problems, just everything becomes rather complicated if you want to travel outside the home. We must be fully clothed, with masks, gloves, and special glasses, to prevent infection. So everything needs time. The risk of transmission is indeed relatively high.
You usually go to the theater or an art exhibition. Are there still cultural activities now?
No, all activities are stopped. Usually during the holidays the New Year is indeed quiet, for several days. Beijing city is usually empty, there is no activity. Most restaurants and supermarkets are now closed. Cultural performances also don’t exist.
All Cultural Activities in China Stalled
But this time, everything lasts longer. The holiday period is extended, and people are asked to stay at home whenever possible. Beijing is completely paralyzed. Nobody goes to work – just street sweepers and bus drivers. The only place we meet people is the supermarket. All cultural events are canceled. The theater was closed, the cinemas which were usually filled with people during the New Year celebration did not operate. Chinese internet managers are now buying movie show rights and playing them on the internet. It’s likely that all Chinese people now watch movies on the internet or via smartphones.
So is this epidemic paralyzing public activities, including cultural activities?
The whole country is paralyzed. People in laur have to wear masks. If you want to take the subway, people must first measure body temperature. If your body temperature is above normal, you can’t take the train. LINK 99BANDAR
Are there cultural or artistic actions that raise the threat of this virus as a theme?
I only know of a video clip of a Chinese artist, standing in the middle of a city in Europe, with his eyes bound and carrying a poster: “I am not a virus” (I’m not a virus). That’s a lot of views here. The internet is practically the only medium for exchanging information. Now on the internet are starting to emerge some creative jokes about this virus.
How About a Joke?
For example, with Corona beer from Mexico: a Corona beer bottle is on the table alone on the left. Then on the other side of the table gathered 15 Heineken beer beers, they together wore a mask. So it seems, the 15 Heineken beers are afraid of one Corona beer.
Another joke, now the police often ask us on the road, how our travel route. Then someone wrote on the internet: My route? Living room, bedroom, toilet, kitchen, living room. Space for many people is now limited in their own homes. They like making their own karantin.
Are there criticisms of the government’s steps and policies to deal with this epidemic?
Criticism comes mainly from bloggers, especially about policy management. Now many know, that at first there was a warning about this virus, but it was ignored by local officials. Then after the virus spreads, there is no immediate ban on mass events. Of course many people are angry because of that. There is indeed a censorship, but it is impossible to filter out all the criticism that is scattered.