About this issue

Liangshan (凉山) is a mountainous region in Southwest China characterized by its diverse range of scenic landscapes. It also contains a large percentage of China’s ethnic minority communities, including the largest population of Yi, who have resided in the region for over 3,000 years. Over this period, Zhen Wang argues, Yi culture has evolved together with the surrounding environments of Liangshan. In the last four decades, however, the People’s Republic of China has undertaken radical economic development projects in the region under the banner of “building a new socialist countryside.” Using a collection of photos, maps, and interviews with current Liangshan residents, Wang looks in detail at how these nearly 40 years of urbanization and rapid economic development have transformed the past, present, and future of the Yi and of China’s rural and cultural landscapes.

Wang,Zhen. “Out of the Mountains: Changing Landscapes in Rural China,” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society 2018, no. 2. doi.org/10.5282/rcc/8523.