Place, memory and identity: Imagining ‘New Asia’

Asia Pacific Viewpoint:
Place, memory and identity: Imagining ‘New Asia’ by T.C. Chang

(พื้นที่, ความทรงจำ และอัตลักษณ์: จินตนาการ ‘เอเชียใหม่’ โดย T.C. Chang ภาควิชาภูมิศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยแห่งชาติสิงคโปร์)

Abstract: The rapid transformation of Asian societies and landscapes, especially since the mid-1990s, has engendered much conjecture of the ‘Asian renaissance’ and the rise of a ‘New Asia’. This Special Edition of Asia Pacific Viewpoint explores the intersecting themes of ‘urban place’, ‘social memory’ and ‘cultural identity’ in the articulation of and contestation towards New Asia. Specifically, the six articles here offer various interpretations of New Asia – as tourism marketing tool, political vision and social identity – and the politics involved in urban, tourism and cultural development. From colonial hotels in key South-East Asian cities to the historic waterfront of Singapore; from festivals and rituals in Hong Kong, Hoi An (Vietnam) and Penang (Malaysia) to the clash of cultural values in Manggarai (Indonesia), ‘selective remembering’ and ‘ideological forgetting’ are central to the construction of New Asian identities. Ultimately, this Special Edition hopes to provoke continuing discussions on the rhetoric of New Asia and its imaginative and contested geographies, sociologies and histories.

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