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Photographer's Note

In the building in the background Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong was born on December 26, 1893. During the Cultural revolution his home village Shaoshan in Hunan province became a major pilgrimage centre.
When this picture was taken, in 1986 as you can see from the sign, there was some ambivalence among the Chinese leadership regarding how to handle Mao's heritage. The excesses of the Cultural revolution were admitted and the former "renegades" and "running dogs" had been politically rehabilitated. Deng Xiaoping was in power and advocated economic liberalization. Generally, the ideas of Mao Zedong had been thrown in the garbage-can, but he was still needed as a unifying symbol and a reason for the Communist party to retain its grip on power.
People were still visiting Shaoshan from all over China, but not many bothered to see the house where Mao was born, and I was totally alone in the nearby museum. However, those few who came here wanted to remember their visit by having their picture taken in front of the Chairman's house. There must be thousands and thousands of photographs like this in Chinese homes.
This was scanned from a Kodachrome slide.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11707 W: 564 N: 22498] (97578)
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