Memory and Cultscapes of Conflict: Obelisks of China
The project zooms in on the role of ancient aesthetics in the commemoration of modern conflicts. One can trace a line from ancient Egyptian obelisks to modern counterparts as a representative and product of conflict. Many Chinese obelisks are so-called martyrs’ monuments commemorating collective violence, going back to the earliest days of the Chinese Republic. The ancient became a glocal symbol of the modern. Today, obelisks and associated cultscapes are sites of regular performative rituals. Chinese adaptations inhabit a central ideological position in the political China. They mediate the memory of conflicts since the mid-19th century and serve as domestic education base, especially related to Chinese-foreign relations and perceptions. As such, their role in Chinese society deserves greater scholarly attention; from an ancient studies perspective especially as a product of East-West and North-South cultural exchange over time that may allow for (diachronic) comparative studies.