Southeast Asia's Modern Architecture: Questions of Translation, Epistemology and Power, Jiat-Hwee Chang (ed), Imran bin Tajudeen (ed) (NUS Press, January 2019)
Southeast Asia’s Modern Architecture: Questions of Translation, Epistemology and Power, Jiat-Hwee Chang (ed), Imran bin Tajudeen (ed) (NUS Press, January 2019)

What is the modern in Southeast Asia’s architecture and how do we approach its study critically? This pathbreaking multidisciplinary volume is the first critical survey of Southeast Asia’s modern architecture. It looks at the challenges of studying this complex history through the conceptual frameworks of translation, epistemology, and power.

Many years ago, when I was about thirteen and home in Khartoum for the holidays from school in England, my mother took me on a train trip to Port Sudan, from where we drove to Suakin, an extensive deserted city on the Red Sea. Old Ottoman-style buildings lay scattered around us in ruinous states ranging from the almost intact to mere piles of bricks and stones. I was particularly struck, I remember, by the enclosed balconies which jutted out from the second floors of some of them, and remember wondering what the people who looked out from them might have been like. Why didn’t anyone live there any more? What happened to them?