TDSR16.2 Spring 2005

INDIGENOUS URBANIZATION AND AMAZONIA’S POST-TRADITIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMY
Daniela M. Peluso and Miguel N. Alexiades

RETHINKING CULTURAL HERITAGE: LESSONS FROM SANA’A, YEMEN
Michele Lamprakos

UTOPIA OR EUPHORIA?: SIX SITES OF RESISTANCE IN DISNEYLAND & SINGAPORE
Eunice Seng

THE ‘STATE PHILOSOPHICAL’ IN THE ‘LAND WITHOUT PHILOSOPHY’: SHOPPING MALLS, INTERIOR CITIES, AND THE IMAGE OF UTOPIA IN DUBAI
Ahmed Kanna

QUESTIONING THE ‘PUBLICNESS’ OF PUBLIC SPACES IN POSTINDUSTRIAL CITIES
Z. Muge Akkar

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Volume 16.2

INDIGENOUS URBANIZATION AND AMAZONIA’S POST-TRADITIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMY
Daniela M. Peluso and Miguel N. Alexiades
This article examines the makings of post-traditional environments through processes of urban ethnogenesis among the Ese Eja, an indigenous Amazonian group living in the border areas of Peru and Bolivia. We argue that the use of “tradition” as social currency by the environmental service sector, particularly by a thriving international ecotourism industry, has exacerbated processes of urbanization, dislocation, and social and ecological alienation of indigenous peoples. We examine how an Ese Eja “past” is selectively reinvented through discourse and appropriated by “participatory” projects and development. This unearthing and reburial of history is then used to “authenticate” the present and its environmental agenda in a postglobal world of environmental moral righteousness.

RETHINKING CULTURAL HERITAGE: LESSONS FROM SANA’A, YEMEN
Michele Lamprakos
The unique architecture of Sana’a has been the focus of international conservation efforts, which have stimulated local interest and contributed to the formation of a local discourse. Because conservation followed so quickly on the heels of modernization, Sana’a provides an opportunity to study the interplay of these two global ideologies in the context of a strong local tradition of building. After a brief discussion of the history of conservation in Sana’a, this article will discuss how conservation discourse and practice have been appropriated and transformed by residents, builders, and conservation professionals. It suggests that a unique approach is developing on the ground, which can contribute to the critical reevaluation of conservation on the global “periphery.”

UTOPIA OR EUPHORIA?: SIX SITES OF RESISTANCE IN DISNEYLAND & SINGAPORE
Eunice Seng
Why are the spaces of Disneyland and Singapore, despite their totalizing tendencies, duplicable, or even desirable? In trying to answer this question, this article begins by identifying six shared utopian projects of Disney and Singapore — Island, Garden City, Housing, Leisure, Travel, and Technology — and the collective for whom they were constructed. Then, by seeking out six other spaces which emerged during the realization of these Cold War utopias, it aims to uncover alternative agencies and forms of power which undermine and reconfigure the original projects. Through this analysis, the article demonstrates that despite the academic and ironic parallels between Disneyland and Singapore as totalizing spaces of consumption, Singapore remains a place whose inhabitants must practice everyday life. This work in progress therefore attempts to evaluate the island state beyond the totalitarian frame — as a sustainable place imbued with political discourse, grappling with issues that confront all postindustrial cities.

THE ‘STATE PHILOSOPHICAL’ IN THE ‘LAND WITHOUT PHILOSOPHY’: SHOPPING MALLS, INTERIOR CITIES, AND THE IMAGE OF UTOPIA IN DUBAI
Ahmed Kanna
The relationship between literal and spatial discourse and spatial symbolism underpins the analysis of urbanism of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). Are Imarati, or U.A.E. nationals (muwatinun), being swept up in historical forces too powerful for them to understand? Are so-called “modal” types of urban development exacerbating that process? It is argued that utopian discourse and symbolism form the link between historical and urban experience, mediating rapid social and cultural change. In this, the first part of a larger critique of the utopian self-representation of state-corporate complexes, I analyze how politics are aestheticized and made emotionally persuasive.

QUESTIONING THE ‘PUBLICNESS’ OF PUBLIC SPACES IN POSTINDUSTRIAL CITIES
Z. Muge Akkar
The proliferation of alluring, distinctive and exclusive public spaces in many postindustrial cities raises the question of how far these environments are truly “public.” Focusing on this question, this article explores the changing “publicness” of a recently redeveloped space in the city center of Newcastle upon Tyne, Britain, in relation to the dimensions of access, actor and interest. It further seeks to underline two emerging trends: the blurring of distinction between public and private spaces in the public realms of postindustrial cities; and the threat posed by image-led regeneration strategies to the need for, and the civic functioning of, genuine public spaces.

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