SEMINAR: Anthropology & Sociology Seminar Series 2019
Title: The Power of Shared Heritage: China’s Belt Road Initiative and the Politics of Silk Road Heritage
Presenter: Erin Linn
In 2013, China formally announced the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a multinational global development, infrastructure, and investment initiative involving more than 70 countries. As part of its multi-pronged strategy, China is using a number of mechanisms to realise the goals of BRI: infrastructure development, economic and business investments, diplomacy, political negotiations, culture, and cultural heritage. To gain public support for the initiative China is promoting “people-to people bonds”, one of five strategic “cooperation priorities” of the Belt and Road Initiative (NDRC, 2015). Cultural heritage is identified as a key tool by which to foster “people-to-people bonds”. To date, research has primarily focused on the political, economic, and policy implications of BRI in an attempt to understand the motivating factors behind this grand strategy. Few scholars have considered the cultural implications of BRI and how China’s explicit use of cultural heritage may impact the people living in areas most affected by Belt and Road projects.
Belt and Road Initiative represents a complex web of institutions, networks of connectivity, and identities spanning vast geographic distances. Through public discourse the BRI is being framed as a revitalization of the ancient Silk Roads. China is both creating and promoting a notion of shared heritage using imagery, history, and heritage of the ancient Silk Roads. This notion of shared heritage is framed around conceptualisations of inter/intra-regional heritage rooted in ideas of an ancient trade network based on peaceful and prosperous cross-cultural exchange between nations. In creating this conception of shared heritage, the heritage of nation states, and ethnic and religious groups are circumvented, the significance of national borders lessens, and new identities are forged. This PhD seeks to understand if notions of shared heritage exist in the context of the lived experiences of communities in countries impacted by BRI, outside of official discourse. The research contributes to the emerging field of shared heritage by developing a conceptual framework of shared heritage drawing on theories of cosmopolitanism. Using this framework China’s use of trans-regional heritage is interrogated to identify how notions of shared heritage are being created and promoted. Oriented by a qualitative methodology and place-based studies, the thesis explores if and how these ideas are manifesting within institutions, policies, and local communities in Central Asia. Fieldwork in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan will be conducted to investigate how these complex ideas of shared heritage are being received, understood, and/or affecting individuals impacted by BRI.
Bio: Erin is a PhD candidate at UWA researching China’s use of cultural heritage within the context of the Belt Road Initiative. Her work explores the emerging concept of shared heritage and how China is creating and operationalizing notions of a shared heritage of the ancient Silk Roads as a key strategy of the BRI. She is interested in understanding how these complex ideas of shared heritage are being received, understood, and/or affecting the lived experiences of individuals and communities impacted by BRI. Erin’s research is informed by 15 years of work in cultural heritage and archaeology in Southeast Asia, Jordan, Israel, Italy, Australia, the US, and the United Kingdom. She holds an MA in Archaeology from the University College London and an MA in Cultural Heritage from Deakin University and is the founder and director of the non-profit organization, Integrated Heritage Project.
Title: Spark-ling New Social Relations. Social Network Analysis and Design-Based Research in practice
Presenter: Lukasz Krzyzowski
Technological innovation in health care can have a positive impact on seniors’ independence at home, enhance their wellbeing, and maintain social networks. While in many cases end-users’ perspectives are included in the process of technology development, this presentation provides a case study for a relation-centred approach combined with the Living Lab model. The Spark Living Lab was a creative environment where project partners and end-users were actively involved in co-designing, prototyping, and testing a mobile application through participation in social network research, a series of design thinking workshops, usability tests, and use of the app ‘in practice’ in the community, enabling the project’s outcomes to be measured and scaled up.
Bio: Dr Lukasz Krzyzowski is Manager of the UWA Social Care and Social Ageing Living Lab (UWA School of Social Sciences) and Assistant Professor at AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow. Lukasz is a certified project evaluator, Design Thinking facilitator, user-centred service and product designer with aged care, and community engagement expertise. Lukasz previously worked on European Commission funded projects including “ICT for Ageing Well”, and recently on “Smartcare: Social Rechnology, Aged Care, and Transnational Connections”. Lukasz currently collaborates with Befriend Inc. to co-design digital services for people with disability in WA.
Erin Linn and Lukasz Krzyzowski
UWA, Social Sciences Building Room 2204
Fri, 25 Oct 2019 14:30
Fri, 25 Oct 2019 15:30
Karen Eichorn <[email protected]>
Mon, 21 Oct 2019 10:21
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