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Title: Towards more open citizenship : exorcising the colonial ghost, re-imagining urban space, and critical spatial practice in Wenzhou, China
Authors: Chen, Xi
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This practice-based research focuses on Jiangxin island, which is a place of nostalgia, religion, colonial history, and modern entertainment in Wenzhou, China. It starts with an investigation of the socio-cultural significance of this place. It then searches for a more open citizenship through rethinking the colonial heritage while revealing the socio-political mysteries within Chinese society. In the end, it questions what alternative future the island could have and how that could contribute to a more open citizenship in Wenzhou. “More Open Citizenship” is a polysemic phrase. It can refer to people’s spatial rights to the city, or to identity construction, as well as agency within the production of space in China. The term critical spatial practice is used to address the difficulties in developing public spaces for public events on the island with regards to the complexities of the socio-political structure in China. Drawing on the researcher’s roles as an architect, a political participant and a son in a Chinese family, this research is facilitated by different agencies. It applies feminist theory, auto-ethnography, mapping, political engagement, two public participatory events, two design workshops, and spatial design. All these factors aim to re-imagine an open future for Jiangxin Island and the British Consulate buildings. This is tested through the intervention of food as a daily cultural practice.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

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