[ndlr] Présentation de l’éditeur. Atlas paru le 14 janvier 2016.
Installée dans « le coude du fleuve Rouge », Hà Nội compte parmi les plus anciennes capitales d’Asie du Sud-Est. Au fil des siècles, la ville s’est constituée sur un dense substrat de villages. Avec l’ouverture économique des années 1980, Hà Nội rencontre de nombreux blocages pour s’étendre : l’absence d’un réel marché foncier, des densités très élevées, une politique d’autosuffisance alimentaire qui limite les expropriations et la contrainte hydraulique de ce delta très vulnérable.
Depuis le début du nouveau millénaire, le changement de vitesse opéré par l’État et les promoteurs immobiliers dans la construction et la planification de la province-capitale pose le problème de l’intégration des villages qui s’urbanisent insitu, du maintien d’une ceinture verte et de la protection contre les inondations. La fusion ville-campagne, qui a toujours fait la spécificité du delta du fleuve Rouge, semble remise en cause.
À partir d’un riche corpus de cartes et d’études de terrain, cet ouvrage collectif montre comment l’urbanisation au ras des terroirs est confrontée à l’urbanisation « par le haut », la métropolisation. Combinant les approches disciplinaires à plusieurs échelles spatiales et sociales dans une perspective dynamique, il permet de mesurer l’impact des grands projets de développement urbain sur la vie des villages intégrés dans la fabrique de la ville, et de replacer la strate villageoise périurbaine comme acteur à part entière de la diversité sociodémographique de cette métropole en formation.
[ndlr] Message de Jean Michaud paru initialement sur VSG et reproduit sur Mémoires d’Indochine avec son aimable autorisation.
This to congratulate Richard Owens who has recently defended successfully his PhD dissertation in social anthropology at University of Georgia (USA) titled “Measuring smallholder land investments in Northwest Vietnam: A cross-cultural study of three highland villages in Phỏng Lái commune, Sơn La province.”
His abstract states:
“In this dissertation, I investigate the connection between land tenure and the conservation of natural resources in the northwestern uplands of Vietnam (Son La province) through a focus on the political and economic forces that shape smallholder investment practices. Within a historically-informed context, I analyze and compare smallholder land use decisions among Kinh, Hmong, and Thai groups considering identity, cultural practices, and household economics. Recently, Vietnam has banned swidden agriculture in favor of the intensification of upland agriculture. To that purpose, it has provided technology, subsidies, and extension services targeted to lowland majority development models.
During the course of this dissertation, I analyze soil conservation activities in three villages (between and within designs) and across the commune at the household level. Results from investment activities (short-term, long-term and household rate categories) show that smallholders’ long-term investments are significantly smaller in relation to household investments. I contend that there are a number of social, economic, and environmental reasons for why Hmong, Thai and Kinh are not making significant soil conservation investments. State polices aimed at suppressing swidden agriculture have been replaced with intensive upland farming, leading to increased erosion and land degradation. Traditional swidden systems do not require inputs, hence they are not receiving long-term investments. Upland farming is possible through the use of inorganic fertilizers that are necessary for HYV maize production. Examining the failure of the property rights to conserve natural resources this research makes a significant contribution to the theory of property rights This study considers the socio-cultural and economics dynamics of land title and natural resource management. “
What I would also like to stress about Richard’s work is that he finds that ethnicity matters when locals get to assess economic opportunities and make strategic choices. The Hmông and Thái ways, he finds, are distinct from the Kinh’s and express different views on modernity, identity and aspirations. His research thus dovetails nicely with other recent dissertations based in rural communities of the northern highlands stressing that these non-Kinh societies show creativity and pro-activity in the course of their social and symbolic reproduction, such as (among others) Jennifer Sowerwine (Berkeley 2004), Bent Jørgensen (Göteborg 2006), Tran Hong Hanh (Freie U. Berlin 2006), Christine Bonnin (McGill 2011), Achariya Choowonglert (Chiang Mai 2012), Ho Ngoc Son (ANU 2012), and O’Briain (Sheffield 2012).
Département d’Anthropologie / Université Laval (Québec)
[ndlr] Avis de parution de l’ouvrage de l’anthropologue Lauren Meeker sur le chant traditionnel de la province de Bac Ninh : Sounding Out Heritage: Cultural Politics and the Social Practice ofQuan Ho Folk Song in Northern Vietnam (University of Hawai’i Press, 2013).
Sounding Out Heritage explores the cultural politics that have shaped the recent history and practice of a unique style of folk song that originated in Bắc Ninh province, northern Vietnam. The book delves into the rich and complicated history of quan họ, showing the changes it has undergone over the last sixty years as it moved from village practice onto the professional stage. Interweaving an examination of folk music, cultural nationalism, and cultural heritage with an in-depth ethnographic account of the changing social practice of quan ho folk song, author Lauren Meeker presents a vivid and historically contextualized picture of the quan họ “soundscape.” Village practitioners, ordinary people who love to sing quan họ, must now negotiate increased attention from those outside the village and their own designation as “living treasures.” Professional singers, with their different performance styles and representational practices, have been incorporated into the quan họ soundscape in an effort to highlight and popularize the culture of Bắc Ninh province in the national context.
With its focus on the politics of rescuing, preserving, and performing folk music, this book makes a timely contribution to studies of cultural politics by showing with considerable nuance how a tradition can become a self-conscious heritage and national icon. In 2009, Quan Họ Bắc Ninh Folk Songs was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Defining and reframing quan họ as cultural heritage has further complicated the relationship between village and professional quan họ and raises crucial issues about who has the authority to speak for quan họ in the international context. Sounding Out Heritage offers an in-depth account of the impact of cultural politics on the lives and practices of quan họ folk singers in Vietnam and shows compellingly how a tradition can mean many things to many people.
This film documents the life and activities of elderly quan ho folk song singer, Nguyen Thi Ban, in Diem Village, Bac Ninh Province, Vietnam. As Ba Ban (grandmother Ban) tells her life story, it becomes clear how closely her life story is intertwined with her love of the music, indicating the intimate connection between quan ho folksong and the rhythms of village life.
The even, slow tempo of the village quan ho singing, narrow pitch range, and controlled body language of the singers belies the intensity of emotions generated through singing partnerships that are cultivated over long periods of time. Adherence to the rules of exchange in the genre, proper spoken language exchanged among singers and correct bodily comportment are for these singers, expressions of morality and of sentiment (feeling, emotion). Sentiment, proper feeling is not demonstrated openly through words of affection but rather through song and behavior. The strong sentiments created through singing come out strongly in Ba Ban’s explanations of her participation in quan ho activities, how she learned to sing, and how she balanced her love of the music with her work and family.
In recent decades, quan ho has become ever more visible to national and international audiences. In 2009, quan ho was accepted to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which has resulted in redoubled attention to the genre and, in particular, to its elderly singers in the villages of Bac Ninh Province. The portrait of quan ho presented in this film is meant to challenge the pervasive media and film representations of quan ho singers as objects of heritage in which their craft is presented as static and divorced from the daily lives of the singers. Here, in her own words, Ba Ban demonstrates that village quan ho is inseparable from the socio-cultural context of village life in Northern Vietnam.
Institute of Cultural Research, Vietnamese Academy of Social Science, Hanoi, Vietnam, July 2013.
NYCAS (New York Conference on Asian Studies), Film Panel entitled “Vietnamese Traditions on Film: the Old and the New,” September 29, 2012.
Vietnamese Studies Group, Yale University, November 16, 2011.