DANCING TOWARD MODERNITY: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC INVESTIGATION OF RITUALISTIC PERFORMANCE ART AND CULTURAL RESILIENCY IN ETHNIC MINORITY REGIONS IN CHINA
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBy way of a literature review pertaining to both ethnographic fieldwork and secondary sources analyzing cultural history and development, I aim to unearth the ways in which performance art is harnessed by minority groups to establish cultural resiliency in an increasingly manipulated and televised world. In Chinese provinces such as Yunnan, Xizang, and Xinjiang, performance art plays a key role in the development of shared realities and communal understandings of the world within their respective cultures. However, the Han majority consistently manipulates and commodifies minority culture for their own purposes, thus leading to the weaponization of performance art to control minority communities through both violent and silent means. The People’s Republic of China continues to repress these marginalized communities through the creation of ethnic theme parks, televised performances, and highly stylized galas. Despite this ongoing oppression, marginalized communities have continuously reclaimed their cultural heritage in the past century through resistance and revolution. This has led to greater recognition of minority communities on a global scale, thereby resulting in the creation of various cultural protection policies, administered most notably by the United Nations. Ultimately, it is the outsiders who define a culture yet the insiders who redefine it, using performance art as a political act of creation that reaches beyond the confines imposed by the majority, as minority groups continuously prove their resilient nature.
Degree ProgramEast Asian Studies