How has foreign occupation shaped culture? What has been the lasting cultural legacy of foreign occupation in those societies where it represented a common state of affairs for much of the modern era? The Cultures of Occupation in Twentieth Century Asia (COTCA) Project (an ERC-funded project under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme: Grant Number 682081) will address these questions by analysing how occupation – be it under colonial, wartime or Cold War powers – gave rise to unique visual, auditory and spatial regimes in East and Southeast Asia in the modern era.
COTCA’s three streams
The COTCA Project is run along three interconnected streams:
- Representations of occupation
- Sounds of occupation
- Spaces of occupation
The objectives of Stream 1 (Representations of Occupation) are to:
- provide a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which occupation was represented by those who experienced it in twentieth-century Asia
- trace how the experience of occupation led to the development of specific visual cultures in East and/or Southeast Asia. In other words, what did occupation look like?
The objectives of Stream 2 (Sounds of Occupation) are to:
- understand how individuals or groups who operated under occupation developed new forms of auditory expression which justified their responses to occupation
- explain how the experience of foreign occupation led to specific auditory cultures and soundscapes which were unique to such a context. In other words, what did occupation sound like?
The objectives of Stream 3 (Spaces of Occupation) are to:
- determine how occupation gave rise to new forms of cultural expression in the spatial realm (eg. manipulation of the natural and built environment for cultural purposes; the re-ordering of existing spaces or architectural forms in the occupation context, etc.)
- trace how cultural representations, and interpretations of space and landscape, were altered by occupation. In other words, what was the shape of occupation?
The COTCA Project hosts regular external speakers at the University of Nottingham, while COTCA team members also present their work regularly at conferences and workshops, and publish work developed under the Project. You can learn more about COTCA-related events by following us on our web site, on Facebook and on Twitter (#COTCAProject).