Exterritories (Halle/Leipzig) /// Comment of the jury: ""If a particular place wants to compete with China, then it has to be like China". This sentence, attributed to VW director Peter Hartz on the occasion of the fictional opening ceremonies of a VW factory in Guangzou in 2005, provides the image on which the project Exterritories develops its fictional scenarios. An essay which appears in the noted magazine Foreign Affairs in 2010 sums up the economic, political and social developments which have led to the setting up of new, so-called exterritories based on international agreements.
In a text which perfectly mimics the magazine's reserved commentary style the authors discuss the concept of these areas which will be taken out of one country's legal framework and placed completely under the sovereignty of another. In the case of Halle/Leipzig this is China.
The essay outlines how geography continuously influences economic activities and thus evades the individual national political entity - whether through regional or urban development, the international flow of capital or movement within the labor market, through changing patterns of industrial development or the exploitation of raw materials, and through consumption. In observing these (theoretical and material) processes, the winners arrive at an important generalization: economic dynamism is created by a social and material situation which always runs counter to its own stable development. Because the accumulation of money is based on relationships of inequality, it is expressed in the fragmentation of landscapes - for instance where places of spectacular consumption are found next to zones of chronic poverty; in gated communities overflowing in excess next to ghettos in which hopelessness reigns; in special economic zones next to regions where massive de-industrialization of traditional centers of production or the reorganization of the global city network occurs.
In addition to the Chinese administered exterritory of Halle/Leipzig, the authors imagine that by 2010 a South African administered zone in Detroit and an Indian administered zone in Manchester could exist."