Auto-Communicating Micro-Orientalism: Articulating ‘Denmark’ in China at the Shanghai Expo

Carina Bregnholm Ren, Can-Seng Ooi

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    Using the concepts of auto-communication and micro-Orientalism, this article argues that nation branding at World Expos produces and propagates notions of difference and Otherness. We examine how Denmark presents itself in China, and how the message inevitably tells how the Danish authorities view the Chinese. Using the Danish ‘Welfairytales’ pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, we show how the national self is performed in two versions. One attempts to communicate ‘the good Danish life’ to the Danes themselves, while the other claims Occidental superiority. The case shows how the Danish exhibition is performed and regulated as sustainable and authentic and how in spite of its seemingly dialogical and interactive layout, a number of auto-communicative and micro-Orientalist practices are enacted. This study is based on field participation, observations and interviews. Public sources of information are also used.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAsia Europe Journal - Intercultural Studies in the Social Sciences and Humanities
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)129-145
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

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