The Chinese Mayor: An Examination of Gilles Deleuze’s Political Philosophy From the Perspective of Deterritorialization

Gilles Deleuze holds that deterritorialization is the coming undone created through the development of socialism. Along the lines of flight, a subject moves from their original place of living to a new territory physically, psychologically, and spiritually, and in turn, discovers their own potential and experiences qualitative changes. This process of becoming forms a new territory and provides the possibility of another 'becoming.' Therefore, deterritorialization is the movement that produces changes and is featured with different levels of strength and dimensions, through which a new world can be created. The Chinese Mayor is a documentary that records the implementation of a reconstruction project by the mayor of Datong, an important coal mining city in China. The mayor made use of his supreme power to demolish old houses in Datong in an attempt to transform the highly polluted city where the coal industry has declined into a cultural destination that possesses cultural values and attracts tourists. However, under the political system of authoritarianism that deprives people of their right to housing, the reconstruction project deviated from the ideal of the 'great unity' that envisages a society where all people can live in peace and with equality. In this study, the process of territorialization-deterritorialization-reterritorialization in The Chinese Mayor was examined, and the concept of cosmopolitanism and related problems were analyzed according to Deleuze's political philosophy.



Author Information
Chih-Wei Chen, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2018
Stream: Film Criticism and Theory

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