The portuguese calçada in macau: Paving residual colonialism with a new cultural history of place

Sheyla S. Zandonai, Vanessa Amaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Drawing on ethnographic research, this article examines the ways in which the calçada portuguesa (“Portuguese pavement”) that the late Portuguese administration developed in Macau (China) was converted into a “cultural item” of Macau’s visual and urban identity. It shows how a project loosely linked to the demise of the colonial, while reclaiming space through a contested operation of urban renewal, transformed the calçada into a seemingly desired spatial and historical narrative, tied to the production of heritage and the emergence of a stronger “theming” strategy of tourism promotion for Macau. Primarily an urban project employed in the revitalization of the cityscape, the incipient calçada encountered culturally inspired resistance and animosity from the Chinese population. At first embodying a contested image and legacy, the pavement has, nevertheless, undergone symbolic regeneration through discursive and material readjustment following its localization into the cultural history of place. Throughout this process, past and present were conflated in a fabrication that eventually undermined the reminiscent equivocal nature of interethnic relations that marked the transition from colonial to postcolonial Macau.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-396
Number of pages19
JournalCurrent Anthropology
Volume59
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

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