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Xinjiang Surreal

This site is about the anthropology of space, translocal cultural resilience and change, as expressed through the visual, material culture and the built environment in Northwest China and Central Asia. The author’s most recent research has analyzed public parks of Xinjiang as sites of cultural performance and levity which coexist with the militarized state, widespread cultural displacement and pervasive social friction in the region.  Propelled by a fascination with the ways in which differently positioned artists, musicians, and poets represent “being Chinese” in the desert and mountain landscapes of China’s Central Asian frontier and how these representations are in turn related to understandings of human ecology and politics, this site attempts to follow the weird vectors of estrangement toward a fictocriticism of Northwest Style.

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Dr. Darren Byler is a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington where he teaches social theory, urban ethnography and the biopolitics of life in Chinese Central Asia. He also writes a regular column on the Uyghur human rights crisis for SupChina.

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