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more thoughts on national spectacle

the study of nationalism has yet to learn foucault's warning that not all power is "sovereign, negative" power. although anderson made strides in this direction, his account of print capitalism still relies far too much on an image of state power that obscures rather than illumines. in this regard, i've been working on and off on an article for a volume on music and national spectacle. one of the questions that i've had to ask myself concerns the role of multiculturalism in the folk music pilgrimage

到底“多元的軌跡”跟戒嚴時期的國族景象(national spectacle) 有分別?戒嚴時期,每雙十節,不是也有原住民舞蹈表演?我們如何探討多元這個論述成為主流論述的歷史?我們可以從文化生產的定位和領域開始作一個比較。。。 as elsewhere, i argue that multiculturalism (多元文化)is the dominant discourse of cultural management and production in contemporary taiwan. although we can trace the genealogy of this discourse to the martial law period, it differs from martial law cultural production in two major ways: first, the role accorded to market an ngo institutions as partners of the state; second, the value accorded to diversity. i also argue that both the stress on multiculturalism and the  culture power exercised indirectly through state management make the current formulation of taiwanese nationalism different in kind from classic nationalism as analyzed in anthropological and sociological work

one objection to this argument is that sate celebrations of national day, chiang's birthday, and taiwan's "retrocession" all represented national diversity. indigenous taiwanese dancing, for example, was a staple of official national day celebrations. In response to this objection, I think it will be useful to compare and contrast these national spectacles of the martial law period with chen ming-chang's folklore pilgrimage. I suspect that a major difference in these spectacles is their ethics, as well as their means of promotion

in other words, the difference between the folklore pilgrimage and the national spectacles of the martial law period is likely not the appearance of diversity, but the manner of its articulation with notions of citizenship. Appearances of indigenous people in martial law period national spectacles confirmed the place of indigenous people as a "minority" eventually subsumed by and requiring the assistance of the "dominant culture" as represented by the KMT. To check this hypothesis, I need to see if i can get coverage of these events (newspaper, tv?)

after martial law, the appearance of indigenous people in national spectacle conforms to a structure of representative visibility best represented by public multilingualism. To the promoters and participants of the folklore pilgrimage, the yueh-chin (which chen ming-chang promotes as taiwan's national instrument) mediated an indigenous heritage with one's own ethnic group and suggested that an indigenous heritage was ultimately one's own. a leading indigenous performer appeared at the event, however, other performers were as likely to employ musical and lyrical material marked as indigenous. moreover, the event situated diversity as an internal composition of taiwanese people and not a succession of separate communities paying tribute to the state. participants in the event did think of indigenous, hakka, and hoklo as different ethnic groups but also perceived taiwan as a creolized space. this space, able to be touched in the form of the yueh-chin, was for participants in the event articulated through musical practices in a personal manner
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