"Reformation" Beyond the Gate: State Power and the Making of Bare Life in the Xinjiang Uyghur Region
4: "Change Old Habits; Change Old Perspectives": State-Imposed Housing Reform and Dispossession in the Uyghur Homeland
Saturday, March 26, 2022
10:30am – 12:00pm EST
Virtual Paper Presenter(s)
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, United States
The foundations of Uyghur identity are built upon geographical, cultural, and sentimental “footings” entrenched in a geographic homeland (Uy. wätän). The Chinese Communist Party is eliminating and replacing this foundation. Recent public works projects, education reform, and restrictions on religious practice in the region seek to reorient the Uyghurs away from the Islamic umma and Central Asia and towards Beijing. Since 2017, the CCP has extended these tactics from public spaces and thrust them into private homes. Drawing on extensive research conducted in the region between 2010 and 2017, Xinjiang government documents, cadre blogs, and post-colonial theory, this talk introduces and examines the “Three News” program (Ch. san xin huodong). It argues that the “Three News” project effectively erases and re-draws indigenous organization of space by introducing new floor plans and furniture, all of which contribute to the dispossession of Uyghurs from the wätän.