Resistance to Places of Collective Memories: A Rapid Transformation Landscape in Beijing

  • Florence Graezer Bideau


Focusing on the Beijing neighbourhood of the Bell and Drum towers, commonly called Gulou, Graezer-Bideau describes the shaping and reshaping of local inhabitants’ collective memories in the changing urban landscape. Located in the north-east of the Forbidden City, this popular traditional area, generally seen as a microcosm of the broader city, is currently undergoing a rapid and radical transformation with a strong likelihood of gentrification. The analysis focuses on the role played by three main groups of stakeholders for the preservation of the site: local authorities, heritage preservationist groups and local communities. Graezer-Bideau examines the challenges posed by everyday heritage-making aimed at maintaining historic characteristics and protecting the sociocultural setup. By offering insights into the strategies of resistance employed for the appropriation and representation of space in relation to individual and collective memory, she sheds light on the current debate on Chinese urban built environment and heritage conservation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florence Graezer Bideau
    • 1
  1. 1.EPFL, Institute for Area and Global StudiesCollege of HumanitiesLausanneSwitzerland

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