WARMAP – Past wars in Asia Today

Mark Frost, Daniel Schumacher, Edward Vickers, Tim Winter, Brenda Yeoh, Hamzah Muzaini,

At a time of increasing state militarization across Asia and heightened tensions in East Asia and between India and Pakistan sensitivities over previous conflicts in the region have reached unprecedented levels. Today the wars in Asia of 1931 to 1945 remain an open wound, triggering diplomatic disputes and new social movements and modes of political activism linking communities divided by national borders and even continents. Such developments represent the latest phase of a war memory ‘boom’ in Asia. Over the last ten years or so we have seen a rapid proliferation of museums, memorials, commemorative rituals, battlefield tours and re-enactments emerge across the region, all dedicated to the conflicts of the twentieth century. WARMAP traces these trends and developments, mapping both the multiple sites and events now dedicated to Asia's violent pasts, and the social and political forces which give rise to such heritage and memory practices today.

 Post-Conflict Heritage (Image © Tim Winter)

Post-Conflict Heritage (Image © Tim Winter)

The Role of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Transformation Societies

Tim Winter

The project will build a social-scientific framework through a series of international case studies. The framework will advance our understanding of how cultural heritage impacts and affects conflict transformations and post-conflict societies. Within each case study, the project will focus on understanding how culture is endangered or destroyed by conflict; what role governments play in maintaining culture; how material securities (shelter, food etc.) can be advanced through the prospect of non-material securities (e.g. culture); how localised culture can create a sense of ownership and how the reconstruction of cultural heritage is integrated into a society. Four societies will be examined across these analytical themes: Kashmir, after more than fifteen years of conflict and violence; Sri Lanka following the long standing civil war; Cambodia after the clash over the temple complex of Preah Vihear; and Croatia after the conflict of the 1990s. In Croatia, for example, the project will examine how tourism and cultural heritage have played a part in reconstructing the country’s post-conflict national/cultural identity.

  Salmon Rock eastern Victoria (Image © Anoma Pieris)

 Salmon Rock eastern Victoria (Image © Anoma Pieris)

Indigenous Placemaking in Central Melbourne

Janet McGaw, Emily Potter, Anoma Pieris, Graham Brawn

Out of this working group evolved the idea for a research partnership between academics from the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, University of Melbourne (Janet McGaw, Anoma Pieris, & Grahamn Brawn) and Deakin University (Emily Potter), The Melbourne City Council’s Indigenous Arts Program (Janina Harding) and Reconciliation Victoria. This research project was funded by the Australian Research Council, 2010- 2014. It followed three lines of inquiry which produced distinct outcomes: a precedents study, a collaborative creative engagement with Indigenous architects, artists and Traditional Owner communities and a theoretical inquiry.

 Cowra Japanese cemetery photo (Image  ©   Anoma Pieris )

Cowra Japanese cemetery photo (Image © Anoma Pieris)

Temporal Cities, Provisional Citizens: Architectures of Internment

Anoma Pieris

Through comparative case studies in Australia, Singapore and the USA, this project will examine how expertise in architecture and related fields was mobilised in their production. Resultant discourses of citizenship, community and commemoration will be studied. Their significance for understanding political, racially-inscribed and temporal environments will be explored.

 Visual Cultures of the Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia  (Image   ©   Abidin Kusno)

Visual Cultures of the Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia (Image © Abidin Kusno)

Visual Cultures of Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia and North America

Abidin Kusno

2006: UBC-Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies’ Theme Development Grant

    Hidden traces of shared history (Image   ©   Amanda Achmadi)

  Hidden traces of shared history (Image © Amanda Achmadi)

Hidden Traces of Shared History: Colonial Built Landscapes in late 19th and early 20th centuries photographs of Asia Pacific

Funded by ABP Research Development Grant 2016/17

Amanda Achmadi, Prof. Paul Walker and Dr. Karen Burns

This symposium brings together leading researchers who are working on 19th and early 20th century collections of Asia Pacific photographs. Alongside a broader consideration of the significance of the history of photography in the region, explorations of visual and built traces of identity formations, globalised trading and agricultural industrialisation, and the envisioning of modernity and nationalism during the late colonial era will be highlighted.