Originally, the term "Zomia" was used to describe peripheral territories cutting across the boundaries of four academic regions (East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Central Asia). However, with the advent of globalization and post-colonial systems, this term has gradually gradually became a symbol of trans-regional spaces, accentuating the "continuity" of sociocultural entities.
- James C. Scott's concept of "non-state spaces" and presents Zomia as a space that resists state control through alternative governance and self-organization, providing a crucial theoretical framework for understanding the societal structures in the Zomia region. This project further extends Scott’s ideas by examining the cultural dynamics of these non-state spaces, their resistance to globalization and post-colonial pressures, and their strategies for cultural continuity.
- Jean Michaud and Tim Forsyth’s work provides insights into the shifting semantics of cultural resilience and how marginalized societies navigate the pressures of globalization and state integration. By engaging with their scholarship, this project seeks to illuminate the adaptive strategies employed by Zomia communities to maintain their cultural autonomy and identity.
- Bhabha's concept of the "third space" and Spivak’s theories on subaltern voices provide essential tools for understanding the hybrid cultural forms of Zomia and the resistant cultural archives of the region. These theoretical constructs will help critique and challenge Eurocentric perspectives in cross-regional cultural studies and illuminate the role of internal differentiation and individual agency within marginalized societies.
- Integrating contemporary art practice with visual culture research theory in the study of Zomia presents new research avenues (Bishop, 2012; Meyer, 2015). Future research should aim to understand Zomia from a localized perspective, recognizing internal differentiation and individual agency in shaping its cultural forms (Michaud, 2016).
The first stage of this project concentrate on the 'antagonistic' cultural forms of Zomia, aims to visualize the everyday dynamics of cultural conflict and multicultural amalgamation in Zomia through the lens of contemporary art and mixed-media materials. Expanding the multiple expressions of dialogue between ethnography-based visual archives and cultural dislocation.