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Heritage Temples, Replicas, and Repetitions: Theorizing the Significance of Repeats as Resistance

Journal article
Authors Mona Lilja
Mikael Baaz
Published in International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society
Volume 32
Issue 3
Pages 323–336
ISSN 0891-4486
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Law
School of Global Studies, Peace and Development Research
Pages 323–336
Language en
Keywords Heritage, Repetitions, Resistance, Preah Vihear temple, Replicas, Cambodia, Thailand.
Subject categories Sociology


This paper discusses the potential of different Preah Vihear temple replicas to resist “discursive orders” that have been used to legitimate war in the border area between Thailand and Cambodia. The replicas of the Preah Vihear temple are embraced as “repeats” of the “original”; by this, we take off from linguistic theorizing of repetitions. The temple replicas could be considered as resistance against the very idea of one, single “original” temple. By consequence, the replicas, understood as “repeats,” have contributed to negotiate different relations of power and challenge various heritage discourses. The replicas’ appearances and the resistance that they constitute ought to have the potential to contribute to “peace-building.” However, instead of contributing to peace, the repeats, as the paper displays, have rather fueled the conflict between the two countries.

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