2018: Bury Me With My Comrades

Source:  The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus [info@japanfocus.ccsend.com]
The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 16 | Issue 14 | Number 4 | Jul 15, 2018
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis

Bury Me With My Comrades:
Memorializing Mao's Sent-Down Youth
Magnus Fiskesjö

Abstract
Over the last decade or so, China has seen an unprecedented building boom of museums and memorials. One curious new genre is the museums for Mao-era "Cultural Revolution" youth "sent down" to the countryside by Mao during the 1960s and 1970s. After Mao's death, they struggled to return to the cities. Surviving returnees have recently established several museums commemorating their suffering and sacrifice, even though the topic is politically fraught and the period's history is strictly censored in official museums and histories. One museum, the Shanghai Educated Youth Museum, doubles as a memorial site and a collective cemetery for former sent-down youth who wish to be buried together. This paper locates these memorials and burial grounds in their historical and political context. It also reflects the Shanghai institutions' copying of the design and architecture of the Korea and Vietnam war memorials in Washington D.C.


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