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The Other's Oher

Slf-exoticism and national identity in postcolonial Philippine architecture

Gilbert Prim

on 17 February 2013

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Transcript of The Other's Oher

“The other's other: self-exoticism and national identity in postcolonial Philippine architecture, 1946-1998.” By Edison Cabalfin Edison Cabalfin Content and Structure The Philippines and
the Post Colonial Experience Nationalism Modern Architecture
and the Exotic Other Methodology Modern Architecture
and National Identity PROBLEMATIZING
MODERN ARCHITECTURE Engelbert C Prim, Sn 00-13628
Art Studies 277: Philippine Architecture
Tessa Maria Guazon
February 14, 2012 Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture and Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati, teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses for architecture and interior design. Courses include design studio, lecture and seminar courses on theory, materials, history.

Design architect for an international architectural consultancy firm responsible for creating design concepts, conceptual architectures, schematic designs and design development designs for commercial, mixed-use and master planning projects in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Architectural historian specializing in 20th century architectures of the Asia and the Pacific, with particular focus on the Philippines. Research interests include the relationship of colonialism/postcolonialism and nationalism with architecture, identity politics, socio-cultural systems in architecture, power relations and representations of architecture.
The article by E. Cabalfin is a review of the current trends in Philippine Architecture and how it evolved into current forms through the concepts of “self-exoticism” and the search for a national identity in comparison to the global concept of Euro-centric / Modern Architecture.

These dynamics, or lack of, is used to explain why there is a self limiting boundary to the concept of architecture in the Philippines, and why the current forms are looking back to a more primitive style instead of building up on the results of post-colonial forms. The article illustrates the role of "Self-exoticism" in the development of Philippine Modern Architecture and National Identity by exploring the processes that led to the development of an anti-colonial mindset and how it has been reflected in the forms used to represent Philippine Architecture. The Philippines is the end result of foreign occupation dating from the Spanish period from 1570-1890 (catholic convent) and the American period from 1890-1946 (Hollywood).

This strong foreign influence on prevailing Philippine culture has led to a strong anti-colonial sentiment which led to a push for pre-colonial histories as a source for the nation’s cultural identity without reflections of of foreign influence. Questions Anthony Smith’s concept of “Nationalism” where the prerequisite for a nation to be accepted into the global community is the concept of a “genius” that will identify a Nation and can contribute to the “common fund of humanity”

The role of Nationalism and its fostering of self-exoticism in order to define the difference between countries.

The use of indigenous cultural traditions through the appropriation of forms, ideas, concepts and visual imagery in modern architecture to define a national identity.

International Pavilions as manifestations of a countries cultural image and a representation of a nations standing in the international stage.

Philippine International Pavilions as a showcase of indigenous materials and forms, and a portrayal of the countries pre-colonial cultural heritage as a result of "Self-exoticism".

The Philippine Centennial Expo as an attempt to establish a shared history for the Post-Colonial Philippines.

The Expo Filipino as a"recolonization of the past"
Philippine modern architecture as a reflection of the various images of what "modern" means.

The role of architecture in establishing a national identity and how the current forms are used as benchmarks in defining the country on an international level.

Issues on the politics of determining what constitutes identity and who gets to choose what is represented and what is left out.

Modern Philippine Architecture as an anti-colonial response to its colonial history, and how the current search for a national identity leads to a local reproduction of the same biases during its colonial history.
Philippine Pavillion, Brussels Universal Exposition, Brussels Belgium 1958 Philippine Pavillion,
Seville Universal Exposition 1992 Philippine Pavillion, New York World’s Fair
New York, USA 1964 Freedom Ring, Expo Pilipino
Clark, Pampanga, 1998 CONCLUSIONS The process of establishing a post colonial identity raises questions on how a nation identifies itself as unique in the international community.

Strong anti-colonial sentiments in the post colonial Philippines has led to a turn to "Primitivism" and "Self-.exoticism" to be able to establish a National Identity that is unique.

Modern-Philippine Architecture should not be limited by its colonial heritage and should also acknowledge it.

Modern Architecture as a reflection of national identity should be used to empower post-colonial nations in establishing their position in the global scheme and that their colonial heritage is part of the experiences necessary in creating their own unique identities.

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