UNESCO Representative to China Prof. Shahbaz Khan Recommends Changsha: A City of Culture and Creativity that Deserves more Attention

www.changsha.cn | 08 18, 2022


  (On August 18, Prof. Shahbaz Khan, UNESCO Representative to China, came to Malanshan Video Cultural and Creative Industrial Park to visit the exhibits with Hunan cultural characteristics of science and innovation.)


Changsha, a 3,000-year-old historic city, has taken on a new look in the new era despite the hardships and dangers it has gone through. How did the city of Changsha write its charming chapters over the long years? With this question, on August 18, a delegation led by Prof. Shahbaz Khan, UNESCO Representative to China visited Malanshan Video Cultural and Creative Industrial Park, Hunan Museum, and P8 Sustainable Innovation Community (P8 Planet) to learn more about the glorious history of Changsha and appreciate the charm of Changsha's transformation into a "new first-tier" city.


  (Prof. Shahbaz Khan, who is also the Chair of the UN Theme Group on Disability (UNTGD), listened carefully to the new technology of "artificial intelligence sign language broadcasting" in Malanshan and thought that this cutting-edge technology could be applied to more countries.)


While Zhongguancun in Beijing is regarded as China’s silicon valley, Malanshan Video Culture and Innovation Industrial Park is called "China’s V(Video) Valley" and is a new highland of cultural innovation in Hunan. Here, without additional equipment and personnel, you can generate a set of 24-hour secure radio programs in 5 minutes, as well as personalize local news, weather, road conditions, etc.; when classic films are made into 4K movies and are AI colorized, the old black and white pictures would become colorful HD movies, greatly enhancing the viewing experience; entering the cultural and creative park, the delegates were deeply attracted by the special products of "culture and technology" and could not extricate themselves from the charm of the amazing technologies. Prof. Shahbaz Khan, who is also the UNTGD, was impressed when he saw that the new technology of Malanshan could convert the video accompaniment into national sign languages, so that people with hearing impairment could also "hear" the relevant information synchronously. He said that this cutting-edge technology can be applied to more countries so that more people with disabilities in the world can enjoy the benefits of "Changsha innovation".


  (In the Hunan Provincial Museum, the delegation visited the historical relics that witnessed the ups and downs of Changsha.)

In the Hunan Provincial Museum, the delegation visited the historical relics that witnessed the ups and downs of Changsha. There are more than 180,000 pieces in the collection, among which the most distinctive are the cultural relics excavated from the Mawangdui Han tombs, the bronzes of Shang and Zhou dynasties, the cultural relics of Chu, ceramics, paintings, and calligraphy of all ages and modern cultural relics. When he saw the moving "Chariot, Horse, and Ceremony" painting, Prof. Shahbaz Khan could not help but curiously ask about the relationship between the characters in it, and could not help but want to touch these characters in ancient costumes; when he heard the docent introduce the thin veil of Madam Xinzhui's dress, which was only 49 grams, he could not help but let out an "oh" sound of amazement; when he observed the colorful silk map excavated from Tomb No. 3 of Mawangdui - "Guiding Diagram" in which the characters were performing various health care postures, Prof. Shahbaz Khan followed the ancient exercise program and had his own first-hand experience; and Madame Xinzhui's 2,000-year-old non-decaying corpse wowed Prof. Shahbaz Khan, "This is an outstanding cultural relic of humanity." He exclaimed.


(Prof. Shahbaz Khan praised the creativity of young people in Planet P8.)


P8 Planet is an energy-saving creation factory and technology art park, aiming at discovering and spreading new ways of living and working. It has hosted dozens of youth representatives from different countries who came to Changsha to participate in the International Youth Forum on Creativity and Heritage along the Silk Roads, building a bridge between Changsha and the United Nations. In the soft space of the planet, Prof. Shahbaz Khan lingers in the convergence and presentation of diverse thoughts and responses to the human condition and social environment. He was impressed by the theme of "Symbiosis" which fuses human body parts with natural plants and reflects the fragility and vulnerability of nature and human beings. When seeing the milk carton panels made from recycled discarded milk cartons, he praised this eco-friendly idea.


  (A group photo of the delegation at the Malanshan Video Cultural and Creative Industrial Park. The above photos were taken by He Yaling and Wang Yiran, Reporters of Changsha Online)

The delegation also had a cruise tour around the Xiangjiang River to view the beautiful scenery of the city, visited the instagrammable spots of Changsha such as Dufu Pavilion, Wanda Square, and Fisherman's Wharf at night, and enjoyed the night view on both sides of the river in a highly sought-after way in summer.


Although the trip was tight and time passed quickly, Prof. Shahbaz Khan gained a deeper understanding of Hunan and Changsha, which is a resourceful land and a city blessed with talented people. He said that Hunan is not only rich in culture, but also creativity, and the means of its creative display is very diversified. Hence, the city should take more responsibility for global sustainable urban development, and he will also promote and show the achievements of Changsha in history, culture, and technological innovation to more people in the world, and continuously expand the influence of Changsha.

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