Urban transformations in Phnom Penh: creative collectives, the white building and the production of space

Louth, Jonathon, and Potter, Martin (2017) Urban transformations in Phnom Penh: creative collectives, the white building and the production of space. In: Louth, Jonathon, and Potter, Martin, (eds.) Edges Of Identity: The Production of Neoliberal Subjectivities. Issues in the Social Sciences, 10 . University of Chester Press, Chester, UK, pp. 245-273.

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Abstract

In this chapter we explore the evolving role of art and storytelling programmes in an inner-city building in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, known as the White Building.1 This work rep-resents a tentative exploration into a community of people and their history – their cultural work and their identity. We chart the history of the Building from the late 1950s, before focussing on art and storytelling programmes from 2008 to the present. The underpinning concept of the programmes under analysis has been around establishing a vision for communal transfor-mation and then acting on that vision through an iterative process of action and reform. Within this setting, art and story-telling practices have become a way of articulating pluralistic modes of struggle in a post-conflict society that is dealing with the onset of a new neoliberal order of accumulation and dis-possession. Importantly, these practices look both to the past and to the future. Our interests in these practices lie, in part, through applying a Lefebvrian lens to problematize the contes-ted and dominated nature of the space within which these emergent forms of expression take place. We argue the possi-bility that the dominant discursive acts of the more powerful can be challenged through the expression of the ‘lived’ and the elevation of everyday life. Furthermore, we argue that the very perception of the space and the sense of place can be (re)produced through these alternative interactions. Indeed, it is hoped – if the emerging White Building community can hold off govern-ment interests and property developers – that current and future programmes play a role in transmitting an inclusive vision of a subaltern community as a form of resistance that comes from, but extends beyond the everyday (see Davies, 2016).

Item ID: 51456
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-908258-24-3
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2018 00:33
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200102 Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies @ 30%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200103 International and Development Communication @ 20%
19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190205 Interactive Media @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 50%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9403 International Relations > 940304 International Political Economy (excl. International Trade) @ 50%
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