Beyond the ‘China Dream’: Re-Imagining Communities in Contemporary Chinese Art and Poetry on the Russo-Ukrainian War (81384)

Session Information: Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts
Session Chair: Qian Cui

Monday, 27 May 2024 12:45
Session: Session 2
Room: Room B (Live-Stream)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

This study proposes to revisit the debate about nationalism and ‘imagined communities’ in Chinese visual art and literary narratives about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Since Sun Yat-sen led China into the age of ‘modernity’ in 1912, the concepts of nation (minzu), nationalism (minzu zhuyi) and patriotism (aiguo zhuyi) have been playing important roles in China’s official discourse as tools to stabilize the political leadership. Investigating China as an ‘invented nation’, Harrison (2001) has described the ideology of nationalism as ‘a vital ingredient’ in the political situation of the PRC. In 2012, Xi Jinping declared the ‘China Dream’ as the motto of his rule, sparking new narratives about processes of identity formation and ‘imagined communities’ (Anderson, 1983) of the nation-state. This paper addresses the urgent need to examine the intensifying discourse on nationalism under Xi Jinping. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine China’s official media amplified Russian propaganda while boosting public discourses on nationalism. Alongside the official narrative, China’s mediasphere has become a dynamic site for intellectual contemplations and artistic representations of the war from different perspectives. This paper examines poetry on the Russo-Ukrainian war by Liao Weitang, Liu Weicheng and Tang Ying, and artworks by Xu Weixin to investigate how nationalism feeds into Chinese narratives constructing and deconstructing imagined communities beyond the nation-state. Such reimagined communities map out visions challenging the official narrative of a unified ‘China Dream’.

Qian Cui, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Daria Berg, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Qian Cui is a University Postdoctoral Fellow or Instructor at University of St. Gallen in Switzerland

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00