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Changsha's rich legacy, interplay of history and culture take a bow

By Li You | China Daily | Updated: 2018-05-21 07:29

Global festival celebrates enduring influences of the past, and scopes out an exciting future

Expectation and excitement is building in Changsha, capital of central Hunan province, as it is about to play host to the 2018 Changsha International Media Culture Festival that runs from May 20 to 23.

The event is a gala affair, to present the city's history and its culture - as well a gathering of key decision makers and leaders in the creative cultural industry.

The three-day extravaganza will showcase Changsha's rich past, examine and reflect on its current diverse culture, as well as provide an insight into the city's future development.

Attendees can anticipate multiple opportunities to network with the most creative young players in the cultural industry, from countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

On Nov 1 last year Changsha became the first Chinese city to be recognized as a UNESCO Creative City in the media arts.

The international recognition for Changsha, announced in Paris, was for its efforts in cultural creativity, innovation and the media arts.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 and was established to promote links between cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for their sustainable urban development.

The UCCN covers seven creative fields, namely crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, music and the media arts. Changsha has an extraordinary history and culture that spans more than 3,000 years. Its ancient relics continue to inspire contemporary creative cultural endeavors.

Among them is the Mawangdui Han Dynasty tomb (206 BCAD 220), the Changsha Bamboo Slips Museum which houses more than 100,000 bamboo slips and wooden tablets dating back over 1,700 years, as well as the Yuelu Academy which was one of the four great institutions of higher learning during the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Even today, some streets and lanes in Changsha still retain their original layout of more than 2,000 years ago.

This year, the city remodeled and reopened one of its historical lanes as a tourist spot.

The 560-meter meandering lane - now sided by elegant bamboo trees, white walls and black tiles - connects with famous historical sites in the city.

A total of 64 kilometers of historical lanes are in the pipeline to be remodeled, with the aim of recreating the feel of Changsha's old town. For residents and visitors alike, Changsha has plenty to offer for those on the hunt for local history and culture, with opera and film centers and major tourism projects.

In August last year, the city unveiled the Meixihu International Culture and Art Center. As a result, Changsha's citizens can have a taste of international culture, such as the English version of the opera The Dream of the Red Chamber and the opera-ballet Beauty and the Beast.

The rise of the city's creative cultural industry has also had a wider positive effect.

With the development of new technologies - such as big data, cloud computing, the internet of things, virtual reality and artificial intelligence - the creative cultural industry has become one of the most active players in the development of the local economy.

In 2016, the output from Changsha's creative and cultural industries was worth an estimated 258.14 billion yuan ($39.67 billion), with the added value totaling 81.12 billion yuan, making it the most dynamic part of the city's economy.

Changsha now plays home to more than 10,000 companies in the creative cultural industry, which has attracted creative professionals and financial support for its development.

In recent years, a large number of influential cultural companies and industrial projects have been launched in Changsha.

The mobile internet as a representative technology has been widely adopted in new media, visual effects and digital media production. Digital media technology is an emerging industry in Changsha, playing a more important role in upgrading existing sectors such as the exhibition industry.

 Changsha's rich legacy, interplay of history and culture take a bow

With its profound history and culture that spans more than 3,000 years, Changsha in Hunan province is recognized worldwide for its efforts in cultural creativity, innovation and the media arts.Photos Provided To China Daily

Changsha's rich legacy, interplay of history and culture take a bow

Changsha's rich legacy, interplay of history and culture take a bow

(China Daily 05/21/2018 page10)

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