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“Original Ecology” Performance (2009美國人類學學會年會文章摘要) by 大頭萱


“Original Ecology” Performance: Place-making and Politics of Body in Northwest Yunnan, China


“This is a performance acted by soul…Ten strong men from majority nationalities, common farmers from 16 villages, it is the over 500 non-professional dark-skinned performers…They use the most original actions, the most native songs, the most boiling hot sweat, dancing with the heaven, singing with the nature, bringing absolute shock to your hearts.”


This is a quotation from a pamphlet introducing an “original ecology” (yuanshengtai) performance in northwest Yunnan, China. According to the words of the pamphlet, an “original ecology” performance is especially characterized by “farmers,” “unprofessional performers,” “native,” and “nature.” “Original ecology” performances have become not only the way for the world to imagine northwest Yunnan, but also the stage for the local farmers, the so-called “unprofessional performers,” to perform their identity as a new way for livelihoods. “Original ecology” performances, therefore, have provided an arena for investigating the relationship between place-making and politics of body in the context of post-socialist development. On the one hand, the image and rhetoric of “original ecology” performance has made the performers of ethnic minorities rearticulate their bodies with the capitalized imagination of a lost utopian society. On the other hand, “original ecology” performance becomes the “embodiment” of a new post-socialist imaginary life, in which ethnic minorities in northwest Yunnan are marching ahead together with the Chinese state into a future of economic well-being and modernity. Therefore, behind this emerging style of performance is a relational process mobilizing “ethnic body” as an essential landscape for place-making of post-socialist development.

11 則迴響 leave one →
  1. 痞子揚 permalink*
    12/15/2009 3:57 上午

    “Ten strong men" 是指表演裡只有男的嗎? 所以原生態裡是沒有女人的, 是這樣嗎?

    我也是 non-profession 而且 dark-skinned 耶, 我也要上場啦, 他們有在招人嗎?:p

    • 大頭萱 permalink
      12/17/2009 3:02 下午


      • 痞子揚 permalink*
        12/18/2009 8:35 上午



  2. Kuang-chi Hung permalink*
    12/17/2009 3:17 上午

    This abstract is fascinating and looks very interesting. However I am wondering if you should put “the" before “body."

    Sorry for being too picky…

    • 大頭萱 permalink
      12/17/2009 3:05 下午

      Hey, thanks! Yes, it should have “The" before “Body".
      And, eventually, my presentation in AAA did something a little differently from this abstract. I told something about the embodiment of spatial significance in Dayan Old Town.

    • 痞子揚 permalink*
      12/18/2009 8:38 上午

      KCH wrote: However I am wondering if you should put “the” before “body.”
      Correction: –> However I am wondering if you should put “a" the before “the" body.


      • Kuang-chi permalink
        12/21/2009 12:24 上午

        Thank you for your attention. But I don’t think you can put “a” before “the.” The appropriate way to phrase your sentence should be as follows: “… put an article “the” before the norm “body.””

  3. geoanthro permalink*
    12/17/2009 3:28 下午

    Hey, Kuang-Chi,

    How are you? Welcome back to our blog!
    About the “the" issue, instead of adding “the" before “body," maybe I would directly use “body politics" for the title.


  4. Kuang-chi permalink
    12/18/2009 3:38 上午

    Hi folks!

    Sorry for being silent for such a long time! I just got my thesis proposal approved, and I am now literally living in the archives…

    Regarding the issue of “the," I was TFing a class about history of “the" body, and eventually became sensitive to the word “body."

    The term of “body politics" is undoubtedly a good word to characterize the essence of the abstract!

    • 痞子揚 permalink*
      12/18/2009 8:46 上午


      • Kuang-chi permalink
        12/21/2009 12:25 上午

        I am working on Asa Gray and the botanical trades between East Asia and North America. So I am working at the archives of the Gray Herbarium at Harvard. I actually plan to visit the herbarium at Berkeley. A huge amount of Gray’s letters is housed there…


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