Revisiting Shangri-la: Photographing A Century of Environmental and Cultural Change in The Mountains of Southwest China

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China is changing fast. Seemingly overnight it has become an economic and political powerhouse on a global scale. Although it is the recent rise of China that makes the daily news, the last century saw other large and rapid changes: the fall of the last imperial dynasty, the failure of the Nationalist government, and the ascent of Mao Zedong and the new China. How have these changes affected the land and people of China? Can lessons from the past give us insights about the future? For six years, Robert Moseley lived and worked as a conservation scientist in the mountains of northwest Yunnan Province. As part of that work, he set out to answer these questions and apply the results to the conservation of nature and culture. Northwest Yunnan provides a compelling backdrop to explore these issues, with its spectacular mountain environment and diverse ethnic cultures that were once remote, but are now confronted with unprecedented rates of change. Following in the footsteps of early twentieth century explorer-photographers, Moseley and colleagues traveled extensively through this region rephotographing original scenes and comparing them with modern conditions. In Revisiting Shangri-La , he uses this collection of repeated photographs as a powerful visual tool to portray the dynamic and resilient character of people and the land and to communicate future opportunities for conservation.

Editor's Recommendation
The causes of landscape and environmental change in China during the past century are endureing questions. There is much speculation, but little direct evidence. 
But repeat photography does more than just document changes on the land. It also documents change in people during the past century and how cultural changes can influence the patterns of environmental change. This is especially important in the mountains of Yunnan and elsewhere in western China, which today experience unprecedented development pressures. Many people are aware of the great changes that have taken place in eastern China during the past several decades. Western China is poised to see a similar transformation. Understanding the human-nature interrelationships of the past can help ensure that we manage these resources to maintain the biological integrity of the land and provide benefits to all people of China.

Table of Contents
Foreword by Professor Ma Keping
Prologue: Whence Shangri-La
Part h Introduction
Repeat Photography: Finding the Perfect Match
The Place: Subtropical Forests and Alpine Splendor
The People: Communities of Diverse Cultures
Conservation: A Wealth of Natural Resources
Western Explorers: Missionaries and Plant Collectors.
Part 2: The Photographic Record
Yunnan Tea and Horse Road
Mountain Villages
Towns and Cities
Sacred and Religious Sites
Three Great Rivers
High Mountains
Impacts of Climate Change
Epilogue: The Future of Shangri-La
Select Bibliography
Photo and Map Credits
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Revisiting Shangri-la: Photographing A Century of Environmental and Cultural Change in The Mountains of Southwest China