Saturday, April 08, 2006

More Urban Craziness from South Korea

The Taipei Times and the KBS World Radio are reporting on the grand opening of Puju Camp in the shadows of the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea.

Puju Camp is the latest in the Geyonggi English Village program that is expanding across the northern province.

Like the New Songdo City, being constructed in the southern part of the country, Puju is designed to be an English-language enclave. Unlike New Songdo--which is envisioned as an international entrepreneurial zone--Puju Camp is an educational and recreational site.

Designed as an alternative to sending South Korean youth abroad to learn English, Puju Camp provides the theme of the English-speaking city within the country. It is supposed to obviate what Gyeonggi province Governor Sohn Hak-kyu calls the "'Goose Father' phenomenon" whereby people leave the country to study and never return.

The Chinese news service, Xinhua, reports that Puju sports a reproduction of Stonehenge, English castles, and a "mini train."

Puju Camp seems to be further evidence of the immanent themeing of the entire globe and the elevation of the hyper-real as urbanism's animating force.