• Anti-deletion! Sealed city memory written into NFT

  • China has tightened its grip on information under its strict zero policy. Many people who have experienced the city closure in Shanghai have chosen to keep their real records of the epidemic in NFT so that they will not be erased by the authorities. For example, a Malaysian creative writer who has lived in Shanghai for nine years has created several NFTs related to the epidemic in the style of political propaganda paintings from the Maoist era. But on the other hand, delivery boys who have been working hard to maintain Shanghai’s logistics over the past month have become a new target of strict investigation by the authorities. Fearing that there are “black riders” who continue to run orders after being infected with the disease, the authorities are strictly looking for delivery workers, not only screening them several times a day, but also expelling a large number of delivery workers who are sleeping outdoors in order to prevent the disease. The stringent epidemic prevention measures have made even Beijingers worried about following Shanghai’s footsteps as the epidemic expands.

    When the “April Voices” film, which documented the helplessness and anger of the people in Shanghai’s closed city, was completely shut down in mainland China, people began to choose an indelible way to preserve the real memories of Shanghai’s closed city: the creation of “NFT”.

    For example, this satirical illustration, which mimics the style of Mao Zedong’s propaganda paintings, was created by Simon Fong, a 49-year-old Malaysian designer. Simon has been living in Shanghai for the past nine years, but this is the first time he has been locked up in his residence for more than a month.

    Simon Fong, a Malaysian designer: “I heard people talking about how the current closure of the city is kind of like taking Shanghai back to the past, and it immediately reminded me of those old posters, the kind that remind me of Communist China when I look at them.

    With this association in mind, Simon chose a real story he heard around him as the theme for his illustration.

    Simon Fong, a Malaysian designer: “All of my work is based on stories I heard during the closure of the city, and I think there’s something interesting about those stories, although it’s a little sad.

    As NFTs are data recorded on the blockchain, they cannot be deleted. In OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT distribution and trading platform, there are more than 2,000 copies and information related to the “Voice of April” alone, which was forcibly deleted by Beijing authorities, and hundreds of NFTs related to the closure of Shanghai.

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