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The Great Wall of China does not exist
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CitationRingmar, E. (2018). The Great Wall of China Does Not Exist. Horvath, A., Benta, M. I. ve Davison, J. (Ed.), Walling Boundaries and Liminality: A Political Anthropology of Transformations içinde (122-135 ss.). Oxford: Routledge.
Walls are distinct, man-made features of an environment, and to the extent that they block our way or our vision they are impossible to ignore. As such they arc inherently in need of an explanation. Yet walls can be built with many purposes in mind and serve several functions, and functions, moreover, are likely to vary over time. A tall, solid wall appears impassable in its concrete concreteness, yet walls, no matter how high, are never actually all that daunting. If we keep on moving, keep on exploring, we will sooner or later find a way around, across or under them; a gate wi 11 be found ajar, a tower unmanned or a guard who can be bribed (Lattimore 1962b: 486). Walls in the end are nothing in themselves and only something as a part of a tactic, but tactics often change - for technological, political or cultural reasons and the walls, as a result, will be rendered obsolete and useless. Walls are not final conclusions as much as temporary statements awaiting refutation. As a result, walls will tell us a lot about the outlook of the societies that built them. Walls tell stories about presumptions and premonitions, fears and ambitions; about who we take ourselves to be and how we relate to others. Yet as far as storytellers go, they are annoyingly silent. Walls cannot talk; they stonewall us; and it does not help if we plead with, or wail before, them.