Article ID: CBB799372141

'Difficult Heritage' & Selective Elision: The Seoul Power Plant (April 2021)


DiMoia, John P. (Author)

Technology and Culture
Volume: 62
Issue: 2
Pages: 561-572
Publication date: April 2021
Language: English

Publication Date: April 2021
Edition Details: Public History section

In the early twenty-first century, postcolonial cities such as Seoul possess built structures and support infrastructure (electric power, gas, and water) dating to earlier periods of history. The challenge of doing public history lies in approaching the heritage issues associated with how these structures may be retained. In the Korean case, using the Dangin-ri power plant site as a case study, this article illustrates how national planners, developers, and city officials have elided and emphasized certain aspects of history embedded within these structures. Originally a Japanese-built coal plant, later augmented with American and Korean construction, Dangin-ri continues to supply power to Seoul through new underground construction. At the same time, KOMIPO, the power company, has altered the site's features to include a public exhibition space, along with a wetlands and nature area. The "difficult heritage" associated with the Japanese colonial period (1910–1945) appears less conspicuous within this revised scheme, while also exhibiting the changes that came to the city following the heavy industrialization campaigns of the 1970s.

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Authors & Contributors
Af Geijerstam, Jan
Bergman, Yoel
DiMoia, John P.
Jeon, Chihyung
Kelly, Jack
Konagaya, Daisuke
American Heritage of Invention and Technology
Business History Review
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Environmental History
History and Technology
Technology and Culture
University of California Press
The University of Chicago Press
Berlin GNT-Verlag
Chemical Industry
Public history
Kerr, Roy Patrick
Kettering, Charles Franklin
Nobel, Alfred Bernhard
Midgley, Jr., Thomas
Time Periods
20th century
21st century
19th century
20th century, late
East Asia
Seoul, Korea
Du Pont Company

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