2005 photo essays
Week twenty-three (August 28, 2005)
· A trip around the Global Commons
This week's topic is probably long overdue - up to now, I have concentrated more on general affairs than specific presentations at the Expo. Upon reading this one-day trip account of an Expo visitor, I decided to write a similar report about the six Global Commons that are home to the foreign countries' pavilions - one difference being that I took these photographs over the course of nearly half a year.
· The concept of "Global Commons"
As you may know by now, the countries' pavilions at the Aichi Expo are not located in one place, but are split up geographically into the six so-called "Global Commons", which are connected by the elevated walkway "Global Loop". This setting is not deliberate, but roughly determined by geographical location; however, some placements were not very plausible.
For example, Libya somehow managed to escape Global Common 5 (Africa, but also hosts Egypt) and was located between Italy and Croatia in Common 3, which also housed countries as distant as Jordan, Tunisia, Spain and Germany. On the other hand, all our neighbouring countries such Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Poland were situated in Global Common 4, which also hosted countries such as Portugal, Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Other former member states of the USSR such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan could be found in Global Common 1, which also included - among others - China, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.
It seems that this strange setup puzzled visitors and finally also the Expo Association, so they added a "simple selection" feature to their pavilion overview web site that made a search by geographical location possible. Originally, that page had hardly any content apart from information about the Japanese pavilions - after a while, the country pavilions were also featured in a similar way and finally even moved on top of the page to pretend some kind of internationality at the Expo.
Having the countries (roughly) grouped by geographical location, the countries not represented at the Expo stand out even more: the most notable no-shows are Brazil (Global Common 2), the United Arab Emirates (Global Common 1), Hungary (Global Common 4), and Myanmar (Global Common 6). Other countries not represented include Afghanistan, Algeria, Belarus, Botswana, Chile, Colombia, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, North Korea, Oman, Palestine, Paraguay, Serbia, Somalia, and the Vatican. In some cases, you'd really wonder where you'd have found their pavilions, such as in the case of Israel and Palestine; would they have been both located in Global Common 3, maybe even next to each other?
· Visiting the Global Commons
Anyway, let's take off, starting from the North Gate clockwise to visit the six Global Commons in sequence. This is the way you would travel if you took the Global Tram - imagine yourself riding the tram, me doing the announcements... kind of. I had to split this entry into several pages to allow for moderate loading times and easier readability.
· Next page: Global Common 1 - Asia I