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Migration, Displacement, and Movements in the Global Space: Ming-Yuen S. Ma’s Multi-Media Project Xin Lu: A Travelogue in Four Parts

  • Author(s): Zhou, Xiaojing
  • et al.
Abstract

In her recent work, Sau-ling Cynthia Wong draws critical attention to the implications of the formation of an Asian American “diaporic community” in cyberspace, where race still operates as an organizing principle of power relations. Although cyberspace is not confined by national borders, Wong examines how subversion of and intervention in race- and sex-based hierarchies in cyberspace can articulate Asian American identities in relation to diasporas and the nation-state. This essay explores the politics of artistic invention in diasporas as embedded in the disruption, dislocation, and fragmentation in Ming-Yuen S. Ma’s multi-media project, Xin Lu: A Travelogue in Four Parts—a series of four experimental videos about Chinese diasporas. It argues that by moving outside the nation-space into the experiential and virtual “global space” of diasporas, Ma’s work addresses Wong’s concerns and enacts a viable “virtual mediation” that situates Chinese diasporas in the historical contexts of British colonialism and American racial exploitation and exclusion. This movement also entails confronting other forms of oppression, including sexism and heterosexism in both the East and West. While giving voice and visibility to the struggles of racial and sexual minorities across national borders, Ma demonstrates the possibilities of a historicized critical approach to diasporas, one which underlies Wong’s insistence in critiquing gendered and racialized power structures both within and outside the nation-state.

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