Chinese are using NTFs to protest against government forced lockdown
Residents of Shanghai, China’s largest city with a population of over 25 million, are finding new ways to vent their frustrations and protest the country’s zero-tolerance government-enacted policies to contain the Covid-19 outbreak that require consecutive periods of quarantine.
One such resident is Simon Fang, 49, a Malaysian freelance designer who has lived in Shanghai for nine years.
In April, he began creating satirical illustrations depicting life amid confinement, drawing inspiration from Maoist-era propaganda posters.
Fong’s works include scenes that poke fun at Covid-19 PCR testing procedures, as well as the government’s demands by residents for food portions.
“I chose the Mao-era propaganda-style for these pieces because some people are saying that the lockdown situation is taking Shanghai backward,” Fong told Reuters.
The posters, created in early April, can now be found on the OpenSea non-fungible token (or NFTs) market as a collection called “Popaganda”.
“In each work, there is a unique story inspired by real events that happened, but most have a hint of humour,” according to the collection’s description.
In an interview with Yahoo! News, Fong said his favorite work in the collection is likely “Stay Negative” — a pandemic parody of the phrase “think positive.”
“It’s simple and very straightforward,” he said. “It had a kind of hidden meaning in it. It depends on how you interpret it because, in the ordinary days before Covid, people were asking you to ‘stay positive’.”
To date, Fong has sold a total of ten items from his NFT series for an average price of 0.1 ETH each (or $285).
“The Voice of April”
Other residents of the Chinese capital have also turned to blockchain technology to express their displeasure.
On April 22, a video called “The Voice of April” – or “The Voice of April”, in literal translation – was posted on YouTube at the height of the protests against the confinement in Shanghai. It is a six-minute montage of recording the screams and cries of people in their homes.
“Chinese people are indignant and in great sorrow because we just don’t understand why a video that just recorded the facts(the resources are all from the call records or videos of Shanghai citizens) got banned,” according to the video’s description.
“It did not violate any laws or regulations. The author has not even expressed his opinion and his only words are at the end of the video: 祝上海早日康复 (I hope Shanghai recovers soon). Even so, the video was completely banned from Chinese platforms.”
A Chinese user under the pseudonym KCPT.GM reported on Twitter that the video had been turned into an NFT and was available on OpenSea.
— KCPT.GM (@imFong) April 22, 2022
“I turned the ‘Voice of April’ video into an NFT and froze its metadata. This video will forever exist on IPFS,” stated KCPT.GM.
InterPlanetary File System (or IPFS) is a decentralized peer-to-peer network that stores files and websites by hosting them between different nodes.
With informations: Decrypt