Xinjiang’s Urban Heritage: Conflict and Cooperation on the New Silk Road

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Xinjiang’s Urban Heritage: Conflict and Cooperation on the New Silk Road

Type: Master thesis
Title: Xinjiang’s Urban Heritage: Conflict and Cooperation on the New Silk Road
Author: Skinner, Tomás
Issue Date: 2017
Keywords: Xinjiang
Urban
Heritage
Silk Road
China
Uyghur
Abstract: The spatial and temporal scale and complexity of the ancient Silk Road has been transformed into a brand that supports a range of development and modernization projects taking pace across Eurasia. Many nation-states are tapping into their Silk Road past for the purposes of modernization, development, and creation of national identities. This process is critically explored examining the “authorized heritage discourse” of the Silk Road – those parts that are highlighted in particular, and dominate over others, according to top-down principles of “value” and “knowledge”. The alleged benefits of the authorized Silk Road discourse are contrasted through an examination of the lands that they purport to represent. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is an area where urban sites have been transformed according to the top-down values of the authorized Silk Road discourse. However, it is argued that many of the local residents of these cities do not find benefit in these transformations, and instead reveal some of the core issues of the contemporary usage of the Silk Road. Two of these issues are highlighted in particular: gentrification and spatial cleansing. These have affected entire communities, which are assimilated into the Chinese nation through changing modes of identity formation. Meanwhile, cities are given of a false veneer of benefit that masks the new processes of exploitation that are taking place.
Supervisor: Paskaleva, Elena Georgieva
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Asian Studies (60 EC) (Master)
Specialisation: History, Arts and Cultures of Asia, specialising in Critical Heritage Studies in Asia and Europe
ECTS Credits: 15
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/45666
 

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