WOW -Witness Our World- Photographer Hiroshi Yamauchi
Post Colonial Trilogy Kolkata INDIA, Saigon VIETNAM, Shanghai CHINA

After the end of the Cold War, values of life without doubt seems shifted toward what is called Western style. Free market theory is given chances to prove its attraction in countries where such an idea was once believed to be the mother of all decadence. Democracy is trying to expand its influence at the highest pace in nations where one-party political regime has been a great premise. The impact of globalization is obvious in many aspects of daily life. Yet the transform of values is not a recent trend in some cities of Asia. There are cities where a clash of ideologies and values took place long before and during the Cold War, therefore hold rather unique positions in today’s international power map. Shanghai, Ho-Chi-Mihn City and Kolkata are remarkably well known cities in terms of politics and economy in both regional and international arena. They all share history of occupations by foreign powers and once served as the capital cities under puppet governments. They still stand in certain distance from each nation’s capitals and play critical roles. What is interesting is that the three cities seem to represent counter values from their central governments to give certain influence to its people. Shanghai plays important economical part as a special district for free market in the Communist China; Ho-Chi-Mihn City has substantial economic base in Vietnam with the doi moi, an economic renovation plan coming out of northern Communist capital of Hanoi to invite foreign capitals in hopes to revitalize competition level internationally; and Kolkata, once most populated in the India and the home for great leaders to fight against British rule to win the independence in India’s modern history, has been run by the Communist party for more than three decades now. The listed three cities of Asia can be seen as examples of melting pot in cultures, ideologies and urgent yet acute compromises by the Communist governments that are practically on the verge of extinction on international scale. Street scenes in the three cities show what has been there and what came in throughout the history of each city. Locals mix old and new, East and West to their advantage in daily life with exquisite ratio. Sometimes the ethos of the three cities are not explainable by politicians and economist, although it cannot be denied that the mix is the essentials of the attractions that post colonial cities have.

Copyright © 2008 Hiroshi Yamauchi All Rights Reserved.
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