Potemkin Villages are fake cities. The name itself stems from an 18th century dictum from Catherine the Great commanding Field Marshall Potemkin to build artificial settlements that would disguise the dereliction she faced along her route to Crimea. The term has since expanded to include fake cities designed for all sorts of reasons, and Gregor Sailer has used it as the title of his new photography book on the subject of fake cities around the world.
Some Potemkin Villages are designed for tourism. In China, for examples, there are complete town centers that replicate the sleepy architecture of quaint British hamlets, and these are popular domestic tourist destinations for the Chinese. Other world Potemkin Villages are more sinister: a US town called Junction City is designed to train soldiers for fighting in Middle Easter towns, for example.
Fake City Photography
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