The City Doesn’t Have a Future
When seen in light of the long history of center-oriented, charismatic space, the Northern Thai culture industry, especially that seeking to revitalize the city, is re-enacting the theater state, attempting to recreate the charismatic potential of the past in order to mobilize it for the future. This leads to a fusion between two cosmologies, or, rather, the adaptation of a past cosmological knowledge to fit the frame of the present. What emerges is a center-oriented, urban notion of progress, one which is juxtaposed to a rural that represents not nostalgia, as it did in European contexts, but the uncanny emergence of ghosts, criminals, and decline.
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