Reconstructing the past to shape the present

October 1, 2019 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Niu Dayong (Peking University), Giuseppe Gabusi (T.wai & University of Torino) and Enrico Fardella (TOChina Hub & Peking University) introduce the latest issue of OrizzonteCina.

On the eve of a series of momentous anniversaries – 1919, 1949, 1989 – Xi Jinping summoned the top cadres of the Chinese Party-State at the HQ of the CCP Central Party School to recommend that celebrations and reflections on the past be handled with special care.
While history is political everywhere, in current China authorities are especially sensitive vis-à-vis attempts at contesting the orthodox interpretation of the country’s past. Events such as the founding of the PRC on Oct. 1st 1949, or the start of the May 4th Movement on May 4th 1919, played a key role in shaping the identity of the Chinese polity and society. Remembering them is as much a duty as it is an exercise in political historiography and contemporary narrative-building. Equally functional to the shaping of collective identity is maintaining the blanket silence surrounding other anniversaries – the violent suppression of the Tian’anmen Square movement on June 4th 1989 in primis – intact.
The upcoming issue of OrizzonteCina (vol. 10, n. 2) retraces the political relevance and ideological potency of this year’s anniversaries, and their role in shaping the socio-political morphology of today’s China.

This issue of OrizzonteCina will be published here.


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