Musealisation of Tibet: A Critical Review of the Potala Palace
Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies,
Tibet is a controversial topic of discussion in relation to ethnography, culture, and politics. The conceptions of Tibet were (re)constructed by various agencies with complex and intertwined motivations. Being one of these strategic agencies, musealisation has contributed significantly to the (mis)representation of Tibet. The Potala Palace has been one of the most crucial catalysts in shaping the imagination of Tibet. In 1999, the Tibet Museum was established near the Potala Palace, where many artefacts were relocated into the new Tibet Museum. This gesture transformed the Potala Palace from a historical religious site into a hybrid institution.
This paper intends to highlight specifically the establishment of the Potala Palace, unpacking controversial terms such as “Shangri-La” and “Tibetophilia”, which resulted in accelerating the interest to musealise Tibet. Potala Palace is methodologically leveraged as both a catalyst and representation of such a musealisation mechanism. Furthermore, it is to initiate a critical discourse for the (mis)representation of Tibet through the institutionalised and internalised forces of musealisation in the postcolonial contexts.
- Potala palace
- (Mis) Representation of Tibet
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