Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 129–145 | Cite as

Auto-communicating micro-Orientalism: articulating ‘Denmark’ in China at the Shanghai Expo

  • Carina RenEmail author
  • Can-Seng Ooi
Original Paper


Using the concepts of auto-communication and micro-Orientalism, this article argues that nation branding at World Expos produces and propagates notions of difference and Otherness. We examine how Denmark presents itself in China, and how the message inevitably tells how the Danish authorities view the Chinese. Using the Danish ‘Welfairytales’ pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, we show how the national self is performed in two versions. One attempts to communicate ‘the good Danish life’ to the Danes themselves, while the other claims Occidental superiority. The case shows how the Danish exhibition is performed and regulated as sustainable and authentic and how in spite of its seemingly dialogical and interactive layout, a number of auto-communicative and micro-Orientalist practices are enacted. This study is based on field participation, observations and interviews. Public sources of information are also used.


Fairy Tale Soft Power World Expo Harbour Water Place Branding 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aalborg UniversityCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Center for Leisure and Culture Services ResearchCopenhagen Business SchoolCopenhagenDenmark

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