Tây Nguyên: Lifeworld or Heritage?

In colonial Indochina, the Tây Nguyên region was formally connected with Việt Nam (Annam) in 1904; around 1938 the last indigenous revolts were suppressed, and from 1945 until 1979 it was a highly contested arena of war with France, the US and Democratic Kampuchea (Khmer Rouge).

With Đổi Mới the region became rapidly and indelibly integrated – militarily, politically, economically, demographically and culturally – into Vietnam’s sovereign territory. In the process, forests were converted to coffee, rubber, tea plantations, mostly owned and worked by millions of relative newcomers from the lowlands. This transformation changed beyond recognition the environmental and cultural lifeworlds of the Highlanders, who largely abandoned their traditional livelihoods and religious practices. Simultaneously, there is a nostalgia for that lost world among Kinh intellectuals, who seek to preserve what has been lost as ‘intangible cultural heritage’ (e.g. Space of Gong Culture). This paradox will be addressed in the seminar.

Oscar Salemink

in dialogue with

Trương Công Tùng on the project Across the Forest
and Nguyễn Phương Linh on the project The Last Ride


Date: Saturday 17th Dec. 2016
Time: 14:00 – 16:30
Address: 5th floor, Hanoi Creative City, 1 Lương Yên, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội

Share on FacebookGoogle+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail to someonePrint this page