2 Abos und 1 Abonnent

Empty Homes and Dead Goat Bones on Xiji Yu: Field notes of a cultural landscape and co-creating digital deep maps

This article documents the abandoned cultural landscape found on the islet of Xiji in the Penghu Archipelago, in the Taiwan Strait, a heritage site that has been slipping into ruins and rewilding since 1978. This article is written as a response and contribution to the dialogue begun by Cal Flyn (2021) on nature's return to abandoned spaces. In documenting the ruination of Xiji's cultural landscape, I suggest that a new motivation for exploration and documentation of abandoned environments such as Xiji and Cal Flyn's case study island of Swona lies in anticipating the needs of future researchers. The digital turn in the social sciences and humanities has produced conditions in which simple digital survey and research tools are capable of documenting, capturing and reproducing entire cultural landscapes with ease. Collaborative data collection is now a driving force behind spatial humanities, enabling the production of navigable time maps, deep maps and spatiotemporal storyboards. This article presents the cultural landscape of Xiji as it existed in 2017, relying on photographs and observations, and tracks the process of its rewilding through accounts from informants and earlier documentation. Although Xiji's material heritage continues to deteriorate, digital tools have made it possible to reproduce and reclaim it as a dynamic digital space that can be mapped across time.

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