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Heritage-Making and Post-coloniality in Yangon, Myanmar

Citation

Roberts, JL, Heritage-Making and Post-coloniality in Yangon, Myanmar, Citizens, Civil Society and Heritage-making in Asia, ISEAS Publishing, Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, Hui Yew-Foong, Philippe Peycam (ed), Singapore, pp. 40-. ISBN 978-981-4786-15-7 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore

Official URL: https://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg/publication/2249

Abstract

In a nation where the post-independence, military-led governments saw their people as potential enemies who threatened the territorial integrity of Myanmar,' heritage-making has been deployed as an exclusive technique of the state to manufacture a unitary national identity. That identity has been Burman (the dominant ethnic group), Buddhist, and, until recently, staunchly anti-colonial, with the Shwedagon Pagoda standing as its ultimate monument. Since 2012, educated elite in Yangon have begun to rewrite the narrative of colonial oppression to incorporate the modernity implanted through British rule as represented by the grand facades of institutions such as Grindlays Bank and the Secretariat. This foregrounding of aesthetic modernity has been spearheaded by Thant Myint-U (grandson of U Thant, the third UN secretary-general), who has returned to Myanmar from a cosmopolitan life in the West. With the assistance of foreign-educated Myanmar architects, Thant has founded the Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT) to safeguard the physical and aesthetic integrity of colonial-era buildings. In the words of Thant, "If we can make Yangon the most attractive, beautiful and liveable city in Southeast Asia, this is an asset worth billions of dollars" (Linthicum 2014).

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Mynmar, Post-coloniality
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Human Geography
Research Field:Social and Cultural Geography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
Author:Roberts, JL (Dr Jayde Roberts)
ID Code:121454
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-09-29
Last Modified:2017-11-09
Downloads:0

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