The Portuguese calçada in Macau: Paving a new cultural history of place

18/10/2018 (Thursday) 13:00-14:00 E21-G002

This talk examines the ways in which the calçada portuguesa (“Portuguese pavement”) that the late Portuguese administration developed in Macau was converted into a “cultural item” of the city’s visual and urban identity. It shows how a project loosely linked to the demise of the colonial has transformed the calçada into a desired spatial and historical narrative, tied to the production of heritage and the emergence of a stronger “theming” strategy of tourism promotion for Macau. Primarily an urban project employed in the revitalization of the cityscape, the incipient Portuguese pavement encountered culturally inspired resistance and animosity from the Chinese population. At first embodying a contested legacy, the pavement has, nevertheless, undergone symbolic regeneration through discursive and material readjustment following its localization into the cultural history of place.