Remaking the Fort: Familiarization, Heritage and Gentrification in Sri Lanka's Galle Fort
MetadataShow full item record
Seeking to widen the existing literature on postcolonial cities, this thesis conducts an inquiry into the multilocality of postcolonial space. Through ethnographic research in Sri Lanka’s Galle Fort, it investigates how different social groups differently use and interpret the city’s former colonial built environment. Specifically, it examines how the postcolonial city is socially produced and constructed as a place of home for local communities, a World Heritage Site, and a gentrifying neighborhood. Using interviews, observations, and spatial analyses, it teases out the local, national, and transnational socio-economic forces that drive these processes, as well as the power-dynamics and resistances that come into play. It finds that postcolonial uses of space often relate to, and sometimes recall, social struggles that characterized urban space under colonialism. Drawing on these findings, it highlights the importance of studying social relations, heritage management, and gentrification in postcolonial cities in conversation with literatures on colonial urbanisms.