Imagining maritime conflict landscapes: Reactive exhibitions, sovereignty, and representation in Vietnam

Graeme Were

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

9 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


During the summer of 2014, a wave of reactive exhibitions was launched across Vietnam that responded to the political crisis in Bien Dong or the South China Sea. This chapter provides a means to be able to understand how conflict landscapes are imagined and brought into view in a highly volatile and contested geographic zone which lies off the east coast of Vietnam. It contributes original research to discussions about how museums are deployed as resources to symbolically shore up territorial borders by making visible the nation’s geo-body. Vietnam is firmly fixed in the popular imagination as a place that has been afflicted with conflict and destruction, propelled by Hollywood films and US political narratives about American military intervention in the region. During the summer of 2014, at the height of tensions between Vietnam and China over the South China Sea, the Museum of Da Nang put together two exhibitions asserting Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConflict Landscapes
EditorsNicholas Saunders, Paul Cornish
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003149552
ISBN (Print)9780367711535
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 selection and editorial matter, Nicholas J. Saunders and Paul Cornish.


  • museums
  • aritime conflict
  • landscapes
  • history
  • Vietnam


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