Autores: Cano Sanchiz, J. M.; Zhang, R.; Lei, L.
Revista: The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice
|China Railway Museum - Eastern Suburb Exhibition Hall|
ABSTRACT: This paper analyses how the evolution of the railway sector and the changes brought by the railways are perceived and represented in the People’s Republic of China. In doing so, we focus on four railway collections (three of them belonging to the same museum) and three temporary exhibitions, among other materials. That lets us build an interpretation giving prominence to material culture and to the symbolic use of objects and images, allowing us to pursue the meanings of railway heritage and history in China. Furthermore, this analysis compares the information available in Chinese and English in the museums, exhibitions, and some media (in this last case we include Spanish too). In terms of methodology, we combine tools from archaeology, museums studies, applied linguistics and cross-cultural communication. We think this approach is innovative and also appropriate to perceive the messages created by the Chinese museum sector and sent both to national and to international audiences – ie, how China uses railway heritage and history to represent itself domestically and to the rest of the world.
KEYWORDS: railway museums; industrial heritage; image of industry; heritage discourses; Chinese railways; semantics.