Collections: Jessica Anderson Turner - The EVIA Digital Archive Project

Cultural Performances in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China (2003-2004)

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Song and Dance Group, Yinshui Dong Village, Longsheng County, 2004. Image © Jessica Anderson Turner.

The videos in this collection contain footage from performances and interviews from several sites in the mountains of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China. This research footage was taken by Jessica Anderson Turner from 2003-2004 during dissertation fieldwork on the rapid tourism development in this area and comprises approximately one fourth of her video footage from this time period.

Videos include interviews and footage of cultural performances at various tourist sites and local festivals. These performances were often produced for either domestic or international tourists and illustrate how performance groups make creative and critical choices when they display their cultural traditions to different audiences. Interviews included in this collection provide contextual information and include discussions of performance styles and production choices.

Performances in this collection were filmed in the city of Guilin and in the counties of Longsheng, Sanjiang, and Leye. Most of the performances in this collection are produced specifically for tourists and contain overarching themes of minority traditions and scenic landscapes. These tourism productions induce rapid changes to the musical, social, and political infrastructures of these areas; they also display how local people choose to present themselves and their complex identities to others. While much of the footage contains cultural performances produced for the tourism industry, other contexts for public display such as the March Third Song Festival are also included.

This collection is peer reviewed and available online in the EVIA Project Archive.

Image © Jessica Anderson Turner

Jessica Anderson Turner is an ethnomusicologist and folklorist whose work focuses primarily on cultural performances in China. This collection is part of her dissertation research at Indiana University on cultural performances at ethnic minority tourist sites in southern China. Her interests include the negotiation and public display of identity and place through cultural performance, festival, and tourism. She has taught courses at Indiana University, and in 2005 she helped to write, along with two Chinese folklorists, a book titled Handbook of Chinese Mythology. Turner is also a recipient of the Laura Boulton Jr. Fellowship for a research project at Indiana University's Archives of Traditional Music.

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