The conservation and integration of immigrant communities: the military dependants’ villages in Taiwan

Lu, Yin-Chao (2017) The conservation and integration of immigrant communities: the military dependants’ villages in Taiwan. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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In general, one of the significant aims of conservation for a historical settlement is saving the authentic physical settings and presenting the residents’ culture to the public for reproducing the sense of the place and to pass down its culture to next generations. As same as the fact that it is impossible to retain every perspective of history; in practical aspects of heritage conservation, it is impossible to protect and demonstrate everything of a place. The different selections of historical materials variously describe historical stories, memories and the meanings of a place. On a conserved historical site, the conservation strategies and practices and visitors’ experiences construct the presented narratives of the place. However, still a lot of narratives that offer other meanings of the place are neglected.

Starting with an analysis of theories about the meaning of spaces, this research set uses a multi-layered framework for analysing what the narratives of the conserved sites are presenting. The framework integrates history studies, physical settings analysis, and narratives studies; and then the three aspects may affect people’s conception and perception about the historical landscape. Their experiences may apply to reform the landscape and may product new narratives of the historical landscape.

Before analysing the narratives of Military Dependants Villages (MDVs), this research critically reviews the visions of current cultural heritage conservation; and then it suggests that the criteria of valuing heritage are changeable following the changes in political, economic, social or cultural conditions over time. Furthermore, protecting the authenticity of a heritage is not only keeping its original circumstance, but also has to concern the needs of present people; they have to strike a balance to present the real situation of a historical site. Also, on the aspect of the distinction between tangible heritage and intangible heritage, this research suggests that the feature of combining tangible and intangible aspects of significance in one cultural property should be considered when practicing a conservation project. In addition, on the aspect of the authenticity of contemporary conserved heritage, this research suggests that the authenticity of a conserved heritage cannot be objective, but subjective, and it exists in the communication between people who are related with the site via their perceptions and conceptions.

Based on the suggested multi-layered framework and the suggestions for current cultural heritage conservation, this research set out to explore the narratives of conserved MDVs of Taiwan. First, from the perspective of the history of conservation in Taiwan, the conservation activities of MDVs reveal that the conserved sites are no longer political tools that serve for government and the residents gradually turned their sights from China to the Taiwan where they now live and to the history of the place when the sense of protecting heritage gradually grew among people. Furthermore, this research analysed the meaning of MDVs from the macro perspective, which are relating to the development history of these villages and their spatial and general image, and from the perspective of narratives that are dependent on subjective experiences. The former perspective represents the general image about the conserved MDVs among people; and that is the image of MDVs introduced in museums. The residents’ and people’s narratives and perspectives of organisations about MDVs are neglected. Thus, the perspective of narratives offers other meanings of MDVs and enriches the cultural diversity of MDVs. Last, this research analysed visitors’ experiences to check the result of the conservation strategies of MDVs; and found that MDVs have get rid of the image of ghettos and started to integrate into the society of Taiwan. Moreover, most visitors think that the conserved sites are leisure places with a historical and nostalgic atmosphere.

Therefore, this thesis contributes to offer an analytic framework to explore comprehensive meaning and dynamic sense of place of historical landscape, e.g. MDVs. The analyses can be used to check the results of conservation strategies applied on historical sites. According to the analysis of MDVs and results of conserved MDVs, this thesis suggested the Cultural and Creative Quarter for Tangible and Intangible Heritage of MDVs and Integrated Conservation are two better strategies.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Hale, Jonathan
Hanks, Laura
Keywords: Sense of Place, Tangible Heritage, Intangible Heritage, Heritage Conservation, Military Dependants' Village, Taiwan
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 43243
Depositing User: Lu, Yin-Chao
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 04:41
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 11:31

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