Ordinary school in Gudian village / 古店村的一所废弃学校

Just a normal village school. This exploration was not very impressive, not like the place I was heading to: Datong’s steel factory, which closed down one year ago in order to improve the city’s air quality. I will need time for this one, I am still thinking of a clever plan to go in this place… When a factory just closed its doors, there are still many issues to take care of: brown field reconversion plan, employees’ and workers’ professional re-orientation and pay… That is why one must be really discrete before trespassing.

Future urbex project…, Datong steel factory, Nov 2015

There was an abandoned school in the main street of Gudian village, on the way to the factory.

« All about study », Former school entrance, Gudiancun, Dec 2015

Despite their ordinary aspect, I feel that there is something special about abandoned schools. I get nostalgic all the time, perhaps because it reveals my own aging process.

Empty playground, Gudiancun School, Dec 2015

Some stories of abandonment are very sad, when schools close because of a lack of funding, or, often in China, because of a lack of children (a demographic consequence of 30 years of one-child policy). In this case, fortunately, the school closed because a new one was built, providing more comfortable buildings. Indeed, these ones looked a bit old…

Corridor, Gudiancun School, Dec 2015
Dirty windows, Gudiancun School, Dec 2015

Blue paint decay

One can find interesting variations of blue paint deterioration in the classrooms.

Blue classroom, Gudiancun School, Dec 2015
Classroom wall, Gudiancun School, Dec 2015
Classroom wall, Gudiancun School, Dec 2015
Blue and red decay, Gudiancun School, Dec 2015

Traces of study

There are a few traces of study here and there but not many…

Propaganda blackboard, Gudiancun School, Dec 2015
Security protocol in case of earthquake, Gudiancun School, Dec 2015
« Study garden », Gudiancun School, Dec 2015

Appropriation of space by the local « dama » (大妈): nothing will stop them from dancing!

At some point, I heard music coming out of one classroom, as well as shrill voices: a dozen of « dama » were rehearsing their fan dance choregraphy, just like they do everyday. If you have ever lived in China, you know how determined the « dama » are when it comes to their daily group activities. « What a scandal, the local government did not provide any room for practicing our hobby, that is why we decided on our own to use this building, we even entered illegally! », they explained to me. Their public performance was scheduled two days later, which made them rehearse with even more determination…

Allegory of determination, Gudiancun School, Dec 2015
Happy ending, Gudiancun School, Dec 2015

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