The last Tourist
Guangzhou – Cairo
SubmarineChannel presents The Last Tourist, an online passage along hand
drawn maps, texts and photographs of Cairo and the Chinese city Guangzhou
by Dutch artist Jan Rothuizen. This website provides a personal reading of
the city that writes itself. To walk in a city without a set destination is relatively
new. It was only in the twenties of the last century that the flaneur emerged,
a modern day man who went drifting through the cities that appeared.
Now almost a hundred years later more than half of the world population lives
in cities. Posters' design: Bart de Baets
Visit the website...
I have trouble finding accurate maps of the south Chinese city of Guangzhou (Canton).
There are lots of maps available, but they are either too old or too new.
Some of the maps I've found have been totally out-of-date. The so-called city
centres are now old parts of town. The new city centres with their glittering
skyscrapers and new railway stations are 15 centimetres off the paper's edge.
The roads they show are still there but they've become three-level highways,
and airports have relocated one hour south.
My map of Guangzhou, for example, shows three bridges crossing the
Pearl River, and not the seven there are now. The modern maps I got are too
new and show urbanised areas and new ring roads which do not exist yet.
It's no wonder a current map is impossible to find. Everywhere I look, new buildings,
highways and bridges are being built. Now means very little today, China rather
looks ahead, eager to forget the past.