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Shanghai Residents Resort to NFTs to Preserve Experiences of Protest against Strict COVID Rules

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by John K. Kumi · 3 min read
Shanghai Residents Resort to NFTs to Preserve Experiences of Protest against Strict COVID Rules
Photo: Unsplash

The protesters created a video at the beginning of April dubbed “Propaganda”, and can be found on OpenSea.

Protesters in Shanghai, a city of 25 million residents, have minted several items of a video featuring their anti-lockdown protests as NFTs. The city became the worst COVID infection zone since the beginning of the pandemic after it was hit by another outbreak in March this year. About hundreds of thousands of residents have been infected, and as part of the measures to contain the virus, people have been ordered to stay home. However, the residents seem not to be happy about the month-long lockdown as they have been prevented from obtaining food and medical treatments.

In a bid to protest against the government, the residents of Shanghai stormed the internet to announce their displeasure through artworks and videos. However, most of these videos have reportedly been censored. One of these videos was uploaded on YouTube on April 12. Dubbed the “Voice of April”, the video captured residents shouting and crying from their homes.

The video description reads:

 “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. It wasn’t against any laws or regulations. The author didn’t even show his/her views and the only words from him/her are at the end of the video: (Wish Shanghai to get well soon). Even so, the video was totally banned on Chinese platforms.”

Interestingly, most of the protesters in Shanghai have decided to preserve these experiences by minting the videos and listing them as NFTs. Hundreds of items relating to the lockdown have been listed on OpenSea as NFTs in addition to 2300 items from the video. Some of the NFTs include artworks depicting life under lockdown as well as another voiceover video claiming to have been taken from an isolated camp.

A user identified as KCPT.GM tweeted that he has minted the “Voice of April” as NFT, and has listed the metadata, so the video will forever remain on the InterPlanetary File Sharing service.

One of the protesters is called Simon Fong, a freelance designer from Malaysia living in Shanghai. His design was inspired by the Mao-era propaganda protesters. It featured scenes of people demanding food rations from the government as well as a scene that mocks PCR testing procedures.

“I chose the Mao-era propaganda-style for these pieces because some people are saying that the lockdown situation is taking Shanghai backward,” he said.

Also, the protesters created a video at the beginning of April dubbed “Propaganda”, and can be found on OpenSea.

China has taken strict action against Bitcoin mining and crypto trading. However, Blockchain remains one of the most promising technologies among people with a keen interest in NFTs.

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John K. Kumi
Author John K. Kumi

Excellent John K. Kumi is a cryptocurrency and fintech enthusiast, operations manager of a fintech platform, writer, researcher, and a huge fan of creative writing. With an Economics background, he finds much interest in the invisible factors that causes price change in anything measured with valuation. He has been in the crypto/blockchain space in the last five (5) years. He mostly watches football highlights and movies in his free time.

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