Multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism and making heritage in Malaysia

Overview from the Straits of Malacca (2006-2011)

This research project, conducted in collaboration with Mondher Kilani from the University of Lausanne, was part of a reflection on multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism in Malaysia.

These reflections focus on the perception and representation of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the three main communities of the Federation (Malay, Chinese and Indian) based on a series of case studies in George Town (Penang Island), Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

The comparative analysis of these heritage processes highlights various political, economic, social, religious and cultural issues. They relate to Malaysia as a “rainbow” nation while questioning certain aporias of UNESCO‘s universalist discourse (contradictions between tangible and intangible culture, commodification of living culture, consequences of gentrification, etc.)

Recent publications:
Graezer Bideau, Florence and Mondher Kilani, (2016). “Tourisme et patrimoine dans la ville de Malacca, Malaisie. Un couple bien assorti ?”, Ethnologies, 38, 1-2: 83-105.