The 60thanniversary of the Bandung Conference and Asia
ABSTRACT The 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference adopted the Bandung Message 2015, suggesting Asia and Africa be committed to eradicate poverty, narrow the gap in living standards, and foster closer cooperation across the regions. Whilst the historic 1955 Bandung Conference can be understood as a reaction to the Cold War system in the form of an alternative framework for cooperation among nations that resisted the hegemony of economic and military alliances dominated by specific countries, present day Asia witnesses significant attempts to reshuffle the world order; such as the Asia-Pacific system and China’s “One Belt One Road” project. Equally, there are also signs of a determination towards openness and to cross boundaries in a spatial sense that may lead to the reshuffling of both institutions and everyday lives. These attempts are aimed at realizing a different Asia and a different world, rather than becoming part of a world order led by a specific country. The “people” of Asia have experienced colonization and forced emigration, drifting around the region, while at the same time, fleeing from one place to another result in numerous interactions with diverse social systems and cultures. In this process they have shaped new spaces, places and social relations within the shifting landscapes of imperialism, the Cold War and globalization. These could be defined as a “historicized Asia” in which various movements, ruptures and hostilities generated by imperialism and the Cold War overlap, but at the same time crystallize the reality of Asia in the era of globalized capitalism. In this context, it is important to explore the way Asia is being constructed within the everyday lives of people as well as from the top; to focus on a different Asia that sits outside modern constructions of ethnicity and nation state, and to locate Asia in the context of its relationship with Africa and Latin America in this historic moment of the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference. Therefore, this is the time we may need to question whether or not “Asians in Asia are still alive and well.”
KEYWORDS: the Bandung Conference, Asians in Asia, inter-referential framework, New Affiliation for another Asia, Asian Thoughts
Paik Wondam 白元淡 currently is a professor of Department Chinese Studies & Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Graduate Course, Sungkonghoe University. Her research concern is alternative regionalism and cultural solidarity across Asia. She has also been working as an editor of황해문화黃海文化Hwanghae Review and 人間思想Renjian Thought Review, and has organized many international conferences. She has published many books and articles about modern Chinese culture and east-Asian thoughts, and the most recent books are (in Korean): The Production and Regulation of Culture in East Asia (2012), Cultural Landscape of the Cold Asia I(2008), Cultural Landscape of the Cold Asia II (2009).