Matthijs de Bruijne’s 1000 Dreams online

There is nothing but activity around me. Countless buses, battered and shabby, perform a chaotic dance on the streets, crossing each others way. The asphalt is cracked and the numerous houses along the streets, supposedly new, already look old. I’m in the Pearl River Delta. Everything is ugly here. It’s an area where nobody comes from; everybody comes from somewhere else. It’s an area completely focused on production, where human beings are no more than instruments for a purpose. I’m at the end of a three-month journey through China. On the second floor of my hotel, there’s a discotheque for those who have made it, those who have gained success. They are welcomed at the entrance by the most beautiful girls of the city.

December 2008. Outside, it still looks as though everything was bursting with activity, but the chaotically moving buses are full of migratory workers on their way home, back to the interior. The credit crisis has fiercely hit the country; the great rush has come to a halt; many people face an uncertain fate.

Two months ago, I visited a beautiful ancient monastery in the centre of Beijing. All the people around me were blind or had poor eyesight, nobody paid any attention to me. We watched a movie together on a big TV screen. An actor who sat next to it described the images of the movie with great precision. I don’t remember what kind of movie it was. On the wall, there were pictures of other actors who had described movies before. When the movie had finished, we walked over to one of the extensions of the ancient monastery. Then, for about an hour, some of those blind people told me about their dreams.

On this website, you will find dreams from Beijing, from the Pearl River Delta, and many others. Not a thousand dreams, but more than one. Dreams about aspirations, hardship, disillusion and persistence, dreams that were given to me by people I met in China. Read the fragments of these dreams, listen to them, and send dreams to the people you know. Share these dreams!

Matthijs de Bruijne

you can find Matthijs de Bruijne’s archive of A Thousand Dreams recorded in China online


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