Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

"We owe a historical debt to no-one": The re-appropriation of photographic images from a museum collection

Lookup NU author(s): Helen Mears


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


A collection of photographs by colonial officer and amateur anthropologist James Henry Green now in the collections of Brighton Museum & Art Gallery has been extensively reappropriated and reused by members of the Kachin community from northern Burma who originally formed their subject. This article considers one specific use, in a music track and video produced as part of a collaboration between a Burma-based Kachin rap artist and a Kachin singer and media producer currently living in China. Released at a critical moment for the Kachin community, following the recent breakdown of a long-standing cease-fire agreement between the Kachin IndependenceOrganization and the Burmese government, the track and video reveal some of the tensions at play between the outward-looking, transnational, and cosmopolitan tendencies of the growing overseas Kachin community and the nostalgic, territorially based ethnonationalism that has been at the heart of Kachin demands for greater politicalautonomy since the 1960s.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mears H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Museum Worlds: Advances in Research

Year: 2017

Volume: 5

Issue: 1

Pages: 162-176

Print publication date: 01/07/2017

Online publication date: 01/07/2017

Acceptance date: 01/01/2017

ISSN (print): 2049-6729

ISSN (electronic): 2049-6737

Publisher: Berghahn Books Ltd.


DOI: 10.3167/armw.2017.050114


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Find at Newcastle University icon    Link to this publication