expo 2005 photo essays
- weekly report from the World Exposition in Aichi, Japan

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Week three (April 10, 2005)

Faces of the Expo

I'm really sorry that this entry is quite sketchy once again, it's just not so easy to still find the time to write after working for 10+ hours - one has to eat, sleep, and meet people too. It's still a quite thrilling time at the Expo right now because you meet new people all the time: during lunch, at the cafeteria, in the train, on your way home etc.

· Horst Köhler (German federal president) visit

Most people have probably never heard the name Horst Köhler, since he (being the German federal president) is far less known than the German chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Don't worry, though, since most Germans couldn't tell him by a photograph as well. Mr Köhler's visit was a welcome interruption to the (more or less) routine of the pavilion work. That basically means that our pavilion staff had some time to fool around while the Japanese security guys were trying to find sniper hideouts in the pavilion ride.

The visit itself was rather unspectacular. You have heaps and heaps of so very important people passing before and after the true VIP that you really start dissolving in your own unimportance. Köhler didn't shake my hand, he didn't even take a look at me. Damn. I had my lines so ready. Also, I really wanted to give him that chocolate revolver (sorry, another inside joke). German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine has a quite good resource on the Köhler visit (in German).

Even though the pavilion staff consists of 90% women, the guys are cleaning the exhibition space

Mr Köhler signs the guestbook (photo courtesy of Hartmut Pohling of japan-photo.de)

· Alanis Morissette concert

The very same day was also the Canada National day. Even though there was just one midday event announced at the Expo dome in the Global Commons 4, apparentely there were concerts the whole evening. When I was just having dinner, I was told that there was a free Alanis Morissette concert at the dome. We went over right away and there she was, one of the most famous female singers, having a concert in the nearly empty dome in front of about 400 people.

Pretty much the same thing, only worse, happened the next day at the Swedish national day, when the group Sahara Hotnights played in front of around 100 people. It's really a shame that events like this at the Expo are not properly announced at all. Of course, the concerts and performances of Japanese artists have been advertised for weeks or months and seemingly are sold out already.

Alanis Morissette concert at the EXPO dome

So I took 400 pictures and only one turned out well...

· Expo mascots Pt. 1

One of the hosts at the German pavilion is running a project where he has people from different nations saying his name into the camera. Some of the pictures he took with my camera are displayed below. Apparently it wasn't too easy to get some of these pictures taken, since most of these people dressed up in traditional clothing are used (and abused) as pavilion 'mascots'.





· Next week: The busiest week