Projecting the road: Topological photography on the Yunnan-Burma frontier

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    This article examines photography of the Sino-Burmese border at the turn of the twentieth century. Focusing on the road between Tengyue (Tengchong) in Yunnan and Bhamo in Burma, the article considers a photographic series by Albert Pichon of the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs to explore how the frontier was perceived and understood in the context of imperial expansion, infrastructural transformation and foreign-mediated globalization. The Maritime Customs, at the frontier between Chinese and foreign power, had a key part in controlling and conceptualizing the borders of late Qing China. This article examines photography as a projection of the topological understanding of space within the Maritime Customs, in which frontier locations were seen as a ‘link in the chain’ and a ‘stage on the journey’.


    • Projecting the road:Topological photography on the Yunnan-Burma frontier

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      Accepted author manuscript, 212 KB, PDF-document

      Embargo ends: 02/05/2020


    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages20
    Pages (from-to)143-162
    JournalThe Chinese Historical Review
    Journal publication date02 Nov 2018
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 02 Nov 2018

      Research areas

    • China, Yunnan, photography, frontier, Tengyue, roads, Maritime Customs, Albert Pichon

    ID: 137389267