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Harris, Rachel (2024) 'The Aesthetics and Imaginaries of Uyghur Heritage, Chinese Tourism, and the Xinjiang Dance Craze.' International Journal of Heritage Studies. (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

In parks and town squares across China in 2023, amateur dance enthusiasts engaged in a nationwide ‘Xinjiang dance’ craze, a phenomenon reflected and amplified on social media. For outside observers this might seem a bizarre development following the Chinese media discourses of terrorism, and the intense securitisation of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region which so recently preceded it, but it aligned neatly with new initiatives across Chinese government, media and heritage to promote the region’s burgeoning tourism industry, to fundamentally shift perceptions of the region in the national imagination, and to counter revelations of mass incarceration and cultural erasure in international media. This article highlights the ways that Uyghur heritage, music and dance have been harnessed in government projects to remodel the region’s history and situate its peoples more firmly within the sphere of the Chinese nation, thinking through the ways in which the aesthetic formations and imaginaries of Uyghur heritage articulate the links between tourism and territory, colonialism and desire.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Uyghur – China – heritage – tourism – dance
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of Music
ISSN: 13527258
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2024.2342289
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2024 12:39
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/41708

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