Internal Colonialism and Uyghur Representation in China’s Emerging Global Media Dave Lyons CEU
Introduction <ul><li>Historical narratives/distortions and cultural representations of minorities, particularly Uyghurs, w...
Chinese Nationalism <ul><li>Liu Binyan, 1995: “Nationalism and Han chauvinism are now the only effective instruments in th...
China’s Minorities as ‘Other’ <ul><li>…  in the state-sponsored English language pictorial  Chinese Nationalities   (minzu...
Travelogue <ul><li>When it comes to handy tips and warnings, first-time China visitors cling to this &quot;Travel Bible.&q...
Travelogue Cont. <ul><li>Han travel hosts as “western” </li></ul><ul><li>Minorities essentialized </li></ul><ul><li>“ auth...
Wang Luobin <ul><li>“ King of Western Folk Songs” to Han </li></ul><ul><li>“ Thief” to Uighurs </li></ul><ul><li>Imprisone...
Dabancheng Girl <ul><li>Uyghur intellectuals claim it is actually “Qambarkhan”, a folk song of historical merit (khalq nak...
The Travelogue Interpretation <ul><li>&quot;Daban Girls&quot; is the first Uigur folk song Mr. Wang adapted and introduced...
Other Contested Narratives in Xinjiang Tourism <ul><li>Tarim Mummies </li></ul><ul><li>Apakh Hoja Tomb and the Fragrant Co...
CCTV International <ul><li>State sponsored English language channel </li></ul><ul><li>Established in 2000, created French ...
Conflicting Narratives <ul><li>A farmer travelling to the Sunday Market on a horse and cart with a bundle of straw, for in...
Political Consequences <ul><li>Combat external dissent by building international media distribution and compelling content...
Societal Consequences <ul><li>Project the image of Han Chinese as “Western”, “developed”, “modern” abroad. </li></ul><ul><...
Economic Consequences <ul><li>Western Development Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic Tourism - representation of Uyghur his...
Directions for Further Research <ul><li>Examination of available CCP documents for policy on ethnic tourism, Xinjiang stab...
Further Directions for Research <ul><li>Impact on Uyghur community, economy and identity in Xinjiang as tourism industry g...
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Uyghur Representation in China's Global Media

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A Presentation given at Central European University in 2005.

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Uyghur Representation in China's Global Media

  1. 1. Internal Colonialism and Uyghur Representation in China’s Emerging Global Media Dave Lyons CEU
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Historical narratives/distortions and cultural representations of minorities, particularly Uyghurs, within the PRC </li></ul><ul><li>The projection of these narratives and representations outside of the PRC, specifically through ethnic tourism </li></ul><ul><li>The emergence of a Chinese state global media network </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution of narrative as China develops an international communication capability </li></ul>
  3. 3. Chinese Nationalism <ul><li>Liu Binyan, 1995: “Nationalism and Han chauvinism are now the only effective instruments in the ideological arsenal of the CCP… Any disruption in the relationship with foreign countries or among ethnic minorities can be used to stir ‘patriotic’ sentiments of the people to support the communist authorities”. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure of Maoism (Cultural Revolution), Deng Xiaoping’s “Opening Up” policy as ideological capitulation - “make everyone rich” </li></ul>
  4. 4. China’s Minorities as ‘Other’ <ul><li>… in the state-sponsored English language pictorial Chinese Nationalities (minzu huabao 1989)… 53 [minorities] are represented by a beautiful, alluring minority young woman, in a colorful “native” dress. Significantly, however, the Han are represented in the same book by conservative, middle-aged women, in an urban setting… in Western-style [dress].” - Dru Gladney, Representing Nationality in China </li></ul>
  5. 5. Travelogue <ul><li>When it comes to handy tips and warnings, first-time China visitors cling to this &quot;Travel Bible.&quot; Knowing what she's up against, Ma Jing, the producer of a new English-language programme called &quot;Travelogue,&quot; promises that she and her colleagues at the China Central Television station will topple the Lonely Planet's monopoly. - China Daily, July 2, 2002 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Travelogue Cont. <ul><li>Han travel hosts as “western” </li></ul><ul><li>Minorities essentialized </li></ul><ul><li>“ authentic” exotica like western tourism </li></ul><ul><li>3 episode “Music Leads The Way” - Chinese musician as guide to minorities </li></ul>
  7. 7. Wang Luobin <ul><li>“ King of Western Folk Songs” to Han </li></ul><ul><li>“ Thief” to Uighurs </li></ul><ul><li>Imprisoned several times by Communists </li></ul><ul><li>Rehabilitated late 80s </li></ul><ul><li>1993, copyrighted folk songs in royalties battle with Luo Dayou </li></ul>
  8. 8. Dabancheng Girl <ul><li>Uyghur intellectuals claim it is actually “Qambarkhan”, a folk song of historical merit (khalq nakhshisi)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Von Le Coq: The poem sings of the love of one of the warriors of Yakub Beg for the most beautiful woman of the East, Ambar Khan of Dabancing [where] Beg’s army made their last desperate attempt to drive back the superior forces of the Chinese. It failed, however, and the two lovers parted forever. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Travelogue Interpretation <ul><li>&quot;Daban Girls&quot; is the first Uigur folk song Mr. Wang adapted and introduced to the Chinese world, and probably the most popular one. They say wherever there are Chinese people, there is the song of Daban Girls. </li></ul><ul><li>No mention of any Uyghur interpretations or narratives. In fact, no history at all. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Other Contested Narratives in Xinjiang Tourism <ul><li>Tarim Mummies </li></ul><ul><li>Apakh Hoja Tomb and the Fragrant Concubine (Xiangfei/Iparhan)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>12 Muqams as Uyghur History within China, not linked to broader Central Asian culture </li></ul>
  11. 11. CCTV International <ul><li>State sponsored English language channel </li></ul><ul><li>Established in 2000, created French and Spanish language channels in 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Currently broadcasting on Time Warner Cable (U.S.) and News Corp’s DirecTV (satellite)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>News Corp. also provides content advising </li></ul><ul><li>84% of news content recycled AP footage </li></ul>
  12. 12. Conflicting Narratives <ul><li>A farmer travelling to the Sunday Market on a horse and cart with a bundle of straw, for instance. This has authenticity and is of great cultural interest. The same farmer driving a pick-up truck, transporting a fridge and a washing machine home to his wife and family: that would be most unwelcome scene, revealing how consumerist materialism has run wild, leaving precious local traditions behind. Those responsible for administering [Xinjiang] ... are seen as slightly suspect. Encouraging the people of Xinjiang to aspire to the living standards enjoyed in coastal China is regarded as somehow reprehensible. - Shanghai Star on Western views of Xinjiang http://french.china.org.cn/english/TR-e/39588.htm , August 15, 2002 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Political Consequences <ul><li>Combat external dissent by building international media distribution and compelling content to control narratives. Use both Chinese produced material (Travelogue) and partnerships with foreign media (News Corp, Discovery Channel) and travel industry (STA travel, American Express)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Project doctrinal CCP history into global discourse through a medium often considered politically neutral or irrelevant </li></ul>
  14. 14. Societal Consequences <ul><li>Project the image of Han Chinese as “Western”, “developed”, “modern” abroad. </li></ul><ul><li>Linking Han Chinese with North Americans and Europeans as “unmarked” categories in contrast to “exotic” marginalized minorities </li></ul><ul><li>Bolsters Han ethnic identity as well as normalizing Han Chinese to Westerners, at the expense of minorities </li></ul>
  15. 15. Economic Consequences <ul><li>Western Development Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic Tourism - representation of Uyghur history and identity according to state narrative - growing source of employment for Uyghurs </li></ul><ul><li>Job Discrimination in other sectors </li></ul>
  16. 16. Directions for Further Research <ul><li>Examination of available CCP documents for policy on ethnic tourism, Xinjiang stability and global media outreach - the “Smoking Gun” </li></ul><ul><li>Examination of recent Chinese intellectual discussions of US soft power/media hegemony and responses </li></ul><ul><li>Media and tourism partnerships between China and the world </li></ul>
  17. 17. Further Directions for Research <ul><li>Impact on Uyghur community, economy and identity in Xinjiang as tourism industry grows </li></ul><ul><li>Other markets beyond North America: Spanish and French channels, African media partnerships, Xinjiang is a popular tourism spot in Japan </li></ul><ul><li>Joining global discourse means Chinese narratives will evolve and adapt - How? </li></ul><ul><li>As the presence of Chinese media grows in other countries, how will it be received? </li></ul>

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