Redrawing Taiwanese spatial identities after martial law: text, space and hybridity in the post-colonial condition
Colonial powers exert dominance over their subject countries in multiple registers, for example, education and spatial constructions, which foster the colonised other‘s identification with the colonial power centre. Racial and local cultures of subject nations are thus systematically distorted and the transmission of memory through material culture is obscured. Focusing on contemporary Taiwan, this research examines how architectural and ideological strategies were employed by the dominant authorities to consolidate the power centre and explores possible means for shaping Taiwanese spatial subjectivity in the historical aftermath of such situations. The research examines the Formosans‘ ambiguous identification with local cultures and marginal spatial propositions, as well as discussing the inculcation of the 'great Chinese ideology‘ by analysing the teaching materials used in modern Taiwanese primary education. Reviewing aspects of contemporary post-colonial theory, the research explores the spatial implications of Taiwanese post-colonial textual narratives and argues for them as a potential source for the construction of contemporary spatial conditions, as these novels are shaped by an awareness of the importance of local cultures and the voices of marginalised people. The thesis thus suggests that a re-thinking of Taiwan‘s public spaces can be stimulated by spatial metaphors in textual narratives that associate peoples‘ memories of political and local events with spatial images that were previously suppressed. To explore the potential for the generation of space through reference to literary works, this research studies the ‗narrative architecture‘ experiments of the 1970s and 80s and goes on to propose a series of representational media for the construction of spatial narrations in Taiwan. Multiple spatial propositions concerning the island‘s post-colonial condition can be suggested by the visualisation of spatial metaphors that are embedded in Taiwanese textual narratives. At the end of the thesis, two proposals for post-colonial spatial narration are put forward, which transform the spatial propositions latent in the devices developed through a new juxtaposition with existing urban contexts. The intention of the research is to indicate a new urban spatial strategy for Taiwan, one that can allow its people to grasp the multiple layers of their conflicted spatial history while at the same time responding to the ongoing spatial confrontation between the power centre and the voices in the margins.