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Title:Forgotten Homes
Author(s):Zhao, Wei
Abstract:This image depicts a present reality in rural China: traditional houses are being abandoned and eventually demolished, and vernacular villages are disappearing at the rate of 80 to 100 every day. This phenomenon is largely the result of a nationwide political movement, Building a New Socialist Countryside, launched in 2006. With the underlying idea that modern houses make better homes, residents in rural China are being relocated to rows of newly constructed modern houses. Meanwhile, vernacular homes are demolished; social relations are broken down; cultural traditions are forgotten. In this context of transition, my dissertation examines how heritage affects the meaning of home for the residents of Yanxia, Zhejiang Province, where I took this photograph. During my research, I asked residents to take photographs of aspects of their homes that they valued. I then followed with in-depth interviews about the content of their photographs, which largely focused on things outside their homesteads and on the cultural heritage shared by the social group to which they belong. My dissertation will provide alternative design guidance for the construction of the new socialist countryside, where collective heritage can be preserved, vernacular houses can be saved, and meanings of home can be sustained.
Issue Date:2015-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Wei Zhao
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-04-29

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