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Chusseau-Flaviens, Jerusalem Juifs Se Rendant au Mur des Lamentations, ca.1900-1919

 

 

 

Abstracts for Heritage in Conflict and Consensus: New Approaches to the Social, Political, and Religious Impact of Public Heritage in the 21st Century

Alphabetical by author

Gustavo Araoz, International Council on Monuments and Sites
Karel Bakker, University of Pretoria
Diane Barthel-Bouchier, Stony Brook University
Michael Blakey, College of William and Mary
Michael Chazan, University of Toronto
Laia Colomer, Barcelona History Museum
Brian Daniels, Penn Cultural Heritage Center, and Kimberly Hahn, Rutgers University
Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper, Technical University of Berlin
Amesewar Galla, University of Queensland
Brendan Griebel, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology University of Toronto
Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen, Association of the National Committees of the Blue Shield, and Friedrich Schipper, University of Vienna
Cornelius Holtorf, University of Kalmar, Sweden
Dorothy Lippert, Smithsonian Institution
Christina Luke, Boston University
Michael Atwood Mason, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History
Judith Neulander, Case Western Reserve University
Andreas Pantazatos, Durham University
Robert Paynter, UMass Amherst
Max Polonovski, Ministry of Culture, France
Laurie Rush, United States Army
Liz Sevcenko, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience
Amber Lee Silva, McGill University
Leah Wing, Legal Studies, UMass Amherst
Elizabeth Koch Ya'ari, Friends of the Earth – Middle East

Rethinking the Meaning of “Authenticity”
Gustavo Araoz, International Council on Monuments and Sites


Intangible Heritage and Community Identity in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Karel A Bakker, University of Pretoria
Liana Műller, University of Pretoria

The recent geopolitical transformation in South Africa from a conflict society to a consensus society invites inquiry into the use of heritage in the production of community identity and the commemoration or presentation of intangible heritage per se. In the post-1994 attempt at forging a nation better and different from the pre-1994 condition a new hegemony of cultural representation has replaced the old. Heritage commemoration has been identified as a main driver of nation building, and cultural heritage tourism as a mode of wealth production and development.
A lack of clear guidance on the nature of intangible heritage in the South African heritage legislation has resulted in an emphasis on the use of static monuments, ignorance of the cultural dimensions of landscape, a lack of interpretation of place, event and oral history and subsequent deficiencies in presentation and meaning.
Three short case studies illustrate how intangible heritage related to the Struggle has been commemorated with the overriding purpose of transferring a static concept of vicarious cultural identity to a new generation.
In response, two short case studies show how massacre sites can allow for the celebration of reconciliation, the protection of human rights and freedom through inclusion of oral histories and literature and through creating spaces for civic dialogue and debate, and further how the concept of the anti-monument, the exploration of the cultural landscape and the use of abstract representation, inclusiveness and multivocality provides the opportunity for a myriad of voices and authentic interpretations to an otherwise monolithic, commodified historical representation closed to the formation of individual or new collective expression of identity.

Communities of Conflict: The Intersection of the Global and the Local in Cyprus
Diane Barthel-Bouchier, Stony Brook University

The island-nation of Cyprus is renowned for its World Heritage sites that reflect the layering of cultures, from the Neolithic through the Hellenic to the Byzantine. The late twentieth century added new layers that reflect the conflict between the Turkish and Greek communities while also adding contributions from two additional sources. One of these sources is comprised of an affluent and leisured population, namely the British. The other is related to the presence of guest workers and refugees.
In this paper, I examine how the long-running conflict between Turkish and Greek communities is impacting heritage interpretation on Cyprus and how the conflict itself is becoming part of heritage interpretation on the island. I also suggest how the presence of these two new communities, British resident and guest workers/refugees, is complicating the situation, and how new social forces, notably development and deforestation, are impacting traditional cultural landscapes. This research is based on a combination of methods, including participant observation, content analysis of primary and secondary materials, conference attendance, and expert interviews conducted in Cyprus during November 2008.
The organization of the discussion will be as follows:
1.) The structure of heritage conservation in a divided nation: difficulties created by the disputed history of land-ownership and the non-recognition of the Turkish-controlled sector by nations other than Turkey, discussion of actual projects including the bi-lateral effort to preserve Nicosia, the interpretation of the demilitarized zone, and the relative neglect of Famagusta.
2.) The role of the new social actors: The British move from peacekeepers to source of conflict, the guest workers/refugee presence in old Nicosia.
3.) The impact of new social forces: development and deforestation as they impact the cultural landscapes of both coast and agrarian interior and as they risk intensifying underlying ethnic conflicts.

The African Burial Ground: Paradigm for Cooperation?
Michael Blakey, College of William and Mary

The 18th Century African Burial Ground in New York City began as a municipal cemetery in which the remains of 15,000 enslaved Africans were buried. Abandoned to urban development in the 19th and 20th centuries, this rediscovered Burial Ground in the heart of downtown Manhattan became the location of extraordinary conflict and collaboration (religious, political, and scientific) at the turn of the 21st century. The site went from desecration in 1991 to becoming a U.S. National Monument in 2007 and represents a successful effort of bioarchaeology in service to a descendant community's human rights struggle. This paper suggests lessons from that struggle and points to the ethical and epistemic value of publicly engaged anthropology.

Research, Identity, and Tourism: The Context of Site Development at Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa
Michael Chazan, University of Toronto

The deposits that fill Wonderwerk Cave, located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, are a unique archaeological and paleontological resource. The initial hominin occupation dates to 2 million years ago and there is discontinuous evidence of occupation through modern times. Adding to the importance of the site is the excellent preservation of botanical remains and other sources of paleoclimatic information and evidence aspects of symbolic behavior stretching back hundreds of thousands of years. The South African government has recognized the importance of this site by placing it on the tentative World Heritage list. Development of the site is imperative as there are significant issues related to visitor safety and protection of archaeological deposits. This paper will examine some of the issues that have emerged in this process and the difficulty of creating a unified vision for the site that incorporates research needs, tourism and the identities of the sites’ multiple stakeholders. The paper will also consider the ways in which this project is shaped by the unique socio-historical context of contemporary South Africa. It will be argued that an expanded idea of what research entails is essential to successful development of Wonderwerk Cave and that this principle can be expanded to apply to other heritage contexts.

Approaching Montjuïc as part of the Historic Legacy of Barcelona
Laia Colomer, History Museum of Barcelona

As many cities of Spain, Barcelona has an important medieval heritage of Jewish origin, including an ancient cemetery. And as many cities in Spain, when the local authorities wanted to excavate and manage this shared archaeological heritage, many Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups had answered with successfully strong opposition. The arguments under discussion had mainly focus on the apparently incompatibility between archaeological heritage and the Halakha laws, but presumably the core of the conflict lies somewhere else: both, how we answer to religious claims in secularised societies, and how we engage common cultural assets of public interest and within the public domain with today’s religious sensibilities. The paper will focus on the case under discussion in Barcelona, Montjuïc Jewish cemetery: to comment on the legal and cultural basis that we are going to consider when planning the future of Montjuïc after the History Museum of Barcelona undertook a public debate, inviting all the parts involved, to clarify the roots of the conflict and to set better negotiation milieus.

Coalition Building and the Protection of a Native American Graveyard in Northern California: A Case Study in Community Development
Brian Daniels, Penn Cultural Heritage Center, and Kimberly Hahn, Rutgers University

This paper discusses the development of a “heritage land trust” (HLT) that will protect a Native American graveyard in northern California. The project involved working with indigenous activists in order to create a non-profit structure that can accept the legal title to a graveyard and arrange for the care and upkeep of the property. Called the Mt. Shasta Sacred Sites Coalition, the HLT coordinates efforts between several California Native America tribes, local governments, and other stakeholders. Individuals associated with this effort include tribal members from the Shasta Indian Nation (federally unrecognized), Karuk Tribe, and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon. This pilot project will serve as an organizational model for other tribal organizations who wish to protect sacred sites and their culture heritage.

Heritage Across Borders and Boundaries: The View from Europe
Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper, Technical University of Berlin


Heritage in Afghanistan: Eight Years after Bamiyan
Amesewar Galla, University of Queensland

Community building through ecomuseology and sustainable heritage development as tools in poverty alleviation has taken on a new dimension in the 21st Century. Bamiyan Buddha to the Bamiyan Ecomuseum; Ustads as carriers and transmitters in Safeguarding Intangible Heritage; promotion of cultural diversity where ethnicity is about reconciliation, the challenges in Afghanistan are numerous but the possibilities are heartening for those who believe in world peace. Intercultural dialogue, intergenerational ethic and conflict resolution take on a new meaning even as the dust hardly settles down from frequent bomb blasts. Hopes and aspirations impregnate the lives of people stoically rebuilding neighbourhoods. This lecture provides comparative perspectives on heritage and peace building from four different countries based on the past fifteen years of the speaker’s firsthand knowledge in Afghanistan, East Timor, South Africa and Vietnam.

A Conflict of Interest: A Case Study for Community Archaeology in the Canadian Arctic
Brendan Griebel, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Can archaeology help transform the world? For a discipline whose utility is popularly considered to be as antiquated as the artifacts it excavates, suggestions of its deployment as a tool for social change are often met with scepticism. In recent years, however, both archaeologists and the ethics guiding their discipline have become increasingly insistent regarding the altruistic potential of the trade. The challenge now, it seems, lies in the ability to publicly communicate archaeology as a useful and constructive means of viewing both the past and contemporary world. In short, archaeology must become more 'interesting' to those communities it seeks to serve.
Over the last decade, the archaeology of Nunavut has been particularly affected by this quest for relevance and community betterment. The drive towards an archaeology of mutual scientific and social benefit has been guided by a complex, and often tension-laden, combination of 'required' and 'desired' relationships, resulting in a current form of practice that is often shaped more by territorial policy and permit applications than novel or creative advances in the collaboration between archaeologists and Inuit populations. While the practice of archaeology in Nunavut has become outwardly reliant on terms of 'community partnership,' the more tacit understandings of how this involvement can bring about positive transformations in both the public and scientific spheres remain, to this day, significantly unresolved.
This paper will discuss the results of an ongoing study designed to more closely investigate the impact of various models for community archaeology in Nunavut. The research explores how archaeology's unique methodology can be meaningfully and productively bridged with the concerns and interests of multi-generational and socially diverse Inuit populations in such a way as to generate new ways of thinking about the history, present, and future of the Arctic. The paper will focus on a series of practical workshops, educational curricula and cultural programs developed by the author over the last year in partnership with the Kitikmeot Heritage Society of Cambridge Bay. By following thematic threads of 'continuity' and 'change' through multiple narratives of history and modern experience, these programs seek to encourage a new direction in archaeological and local awareness regarding the past and its relationship to present day conditions.

The Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict: Meeting the Standards of the 1954 Hague Convention and Going Beyond
Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen, Association of the National Committees of the Blue Shield, and Friedrich Schipper, University of Vienna

The protection of archaeological heritage is not merely about monuments and artifacts but about people and identity, it is not about the past but about the present and future of humankind. The history of the past 25 years demonstrate that, despite international conventions and public awareness, archaeological heritage and cultural property in general are a target of increasing priority in the event of armed conflict. Such conflicts often form the context of the looting of archaeological sites. The looting and destruction connected to armed conflicts threatens scientific investigation on, conservation of and general access to our archaeological heritage, and to the World Cultural Heritage sites in particular. An additional factor is the illicit trade in antiquities which forms according to various calculations about 90% of international trade in archaeological assets. In this context also NGOs play world-wide a vital role in protecting cultural heritage - This presentation is intended to inform how the NGO network of Blue Shield functions. It also informs how to communicate and interact with the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) and the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS) as the prime international NGOs that officially deal with the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict and natural disaster on the basis and by the mandate and within the framework of the conventions of international law. As well it informs how to establish a national committee and to communicate and interact with other national committees – all in order to enhance cultural heritage protection on NGO level. The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (HC) and its 1st Protocol were drafted against the backdrop of experiences of World War II when combat damage to cultural property was most likely to have happened as collateral damage (e.g. in the event of bombardments of a city or artillery battles in urban contexts). Since then, warfare and conflict scenarios have changed dramatically, even though regular armed forces of many national states have applied elements to the military rules of engagement to meet the principles and standards of the HC and the 2nd Protocol to the HC intends to cope with these changes. Nevertheless: Today – and most likely also tomorrow, armed conflicts are to a lesser extend limited to “classical” conflict scenarios as war in its sense of international law (as the HC) fought by regular armed forces of national states. More and more we face inter-ethnic and inter-religious armed conflicts fought by irregular forces that are not constrained by the conventions of international law. As well, we have to deal with long lasting post-conflict scenarios in situations of political instability as well as long term military occupation provoking violent insurgency and guerrilla resistance. Even when conflicts are carried out by national entities that are constrained by the conventions of international law, it is increasing reality that governments tend to deploy also private military and security companies in addition to regular armed forces that act also as no subject to international law. All these developments added largely to the dramatic loss of cultural property since the end of World War II, which is almost 50 % of all cultural property according to UN estimates. Facing the dramatic changes in warfare and the incredible loss of cultural property, the archaeological community has react to it. - This presentation explains – by referring to the Austrian system - how cultural property protection can be implemented within the Armed Forces of a country on the basis of specialized liaison officers rather than of embedded civil experts, e.g. archaeologist.

Which Future for Cultural Heritage in Increasingly Diverse European Societies?
Cornelius Holtorf, University of Kalmar, Sweden

I am arguing in this paper that the increasingly diverse and multi-cultural societies in Europe make it necessary for the heritage sector to reconsider some fundamental assumptions. Familiar notions of heritage that relate to national pasts and aim at reinforcing the citizens’ common collective identity are unsustainable when significant parts of the population immigrated over the past few decades, as is the case in many parts of contemporary Europe. National heritage is no longer able to unite increasingly diverse populations. By the same token, indigenous perspectives emphasizing the rights of the ‘natives’ to ‘their’ cultural heritage exclude immigrants and risk chauvinism. If we are committed to the important principles of equality and equal opportunities that modern democracies proudly embrace, we must realise that the immigrants’ claims and responses to the common cultural heritage are as valid and significant as those of any other residents. Taking this insight seriously means questioning the established character and role of heritage. Cultural heritage cannot continue to be used as a way of defining who is and who is not part of a national or state community, as this easily excludes people living in their midst. Discounting heritage, the question is, how else increasingly diverse communities of our time can acquire a shared sense of belonging (together). Another unresolved question is whether there is any new significant role that heritage could play in a future Europe. The question I will address is thus not how to honour the heritage of distinct communities in the diaspora but whether heritage as such should have a future when it splits rather than unites diverse communities in contemporary Europe. Does heritage inevitably fuel conflicts?
Reference: Holtorf, Cornelius (forthcoming).
A European perspective on indigenous and immigrant archaeologies. World Archaeology (December 2009)

The Legacy of Battle in the Repatriation Process
Dorothy Lippert, Smithsonian Institution

Until recently, among most Native American tribes, few ceremonies existed for reburial of the dead once they have been treated appropriately. Yet in the 21st century, a myriad of traditions have been reworked to accommodate the need to rebury Indigenous human remains that are repatriated from museums and other institutions. The development of these traditions should be read as a form of endurance, and resistance to the forces that brought about the collections of Native remains in non-Native places. For their part, museums and universities have had to follow legal procedure in determining to whom remains must be repatriated and have their own processes for accomplishing this; usually the procedure followed is the same one that an institution takes when "deaccessioning collections." In repatriation, the tribes have had to formulate and adapt to new rituals, while museums simply follow an existing process. This dichotomy reveals that in some ways, repatriation follows in the existing battle lines. This presentation will consider the process of repatriation and provide some suggestions for de-escalating the conflict.

Archaeological Heritage and the Turkish War of Independence in central Lydia, western Turkey
Christina Luke, Boston University

Central Lydia is best known for the region of Bin Tepe, the royal burial grounds of Lydian Kings (Iron Age). The earthen mounds – tumuli – and the chambers that they cover have been and continue to be looted. Archaeologists and the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism have focused on legal remedies in-country and on the international stage to quell the plunder. This paper argues that hard power associated with legal instruments, criminal sentences, and land appropriation is ineffective in Bin Tepe. Rather, ethnographic research and community working groups provide a more dynamic understanding of landscape preservation and local perceptions of heritage. Heritage specialists and archaeologists have often promoted local education as the answer to combating heritage; here I explore how taking a step back and educating ourselves (the so-called specialists) about what local communities see and remember may be a welcomed approach. Three main points will be made for the Gygaean Lake Basin and Bin Tepe: 1) The perception of “American” ownership of tumuli by local communities and their resistance to foreigners controlling lands; 2) how heritage is “officially” controlled by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism; 3) memories linked with the Turkish War of Independence as an entry into building social cohesion and unity focused on heritage management. The results of ongoing work in Turkey demonstrate the sensitivities as well as the potential opportunities of contextualizing the recent past in western Turkey.

Cultural Exhibits at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History: Community Engagement, Intersubjectivity, and Meaning-Making
Michael Atwood Mason, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Museum exhibits have long been sites of contestation, presenting cultural heritage to diverse publics and with diverse agendas, and the work of national museums has come under great scutinity. For more than twenty years, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History has been refining a process of engaging living communities to create museum representations and programs that reflect their values and concerns. The recent Discovering Rastafari! exhibition serves as a case study of this time-tested process for successful community engagement. An international advisory board of twelve Rastafari elders collaborated with the museum’s team to develop the statement of purpose for the exhibition and review each iteration of the exhibition until its installation. The final exhibition highlights a video of Rastafari speaking to visitors about their tradition, echoing the Rastafari key concept of word-sound-power. The opening gala brought together more than 300 Rastafari, most thrilled to see a representation of their religious culture organized according to their values. Moving beyond the practical process, the anthropological and phenomenological concept of intersubjectivity provides a useful starting place for theorizing how museum staff and community members can collaborate to create exhibits that reflect the concerns, ideas and meanings relevant to both sides. What voices are included and how? Which narratives are included and who decides? What conflicts within the cultural are represented and which ones are left out? The process of dialogue and mutual discovery allows both sides to enter into a process of meaning-making with each other and - equally importantly - with visitors.

Negative Social Consequences of New Mexico's Ersatz Crypto-Jewish Claims: Results from the First Folkloristic-Genetic Study
Judith Neulander, Case Western Reserve University
Wesley Sutton, City University of New York

In Fall 2008, Professors Judith S. Neulander (CWRU/JDST) and Wesley K. Sutton (CUNY/NYCEP), received grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law (CGREAL), and from The Rosenthal Center for Judaic Studies, to conduct collaborative genetic-ethnographic research on "secret-" or crypto-Jewish survivals in modern Portugal and New Mexico.
In the 1990s the notion that Spanish-American New Mexican folklore is in great part a colonial 'crypto-Jewish' survival was widely touted in the popular press by a small group of academics, none of whom is a folklore specialist. Neulander then undertook a scholarly ethnographic documentation for her doctoral dissertation at the Folklore Institute at Indiana University (Ph.D. 2001). Unexpectedly, she found that all crypto-Jewish interpretations of New Mexican folkways are demonstrably unfounded, while the theories and methods by which these discoveries are made are unrelated to ethnographic scholarship norms.
Contentious attempts to legitimate crypto-Jewish claims followed Neulander's award-winning publication in 1996, eventually prompting an independent DNA study in New Mexico, conducted in 2004 by a team of scientists at Stanford University. The study, led by Wesley K. Sutton for his doctoral dissertation (Ph.D. 2007, NYU), found Y-chromosome evidence from Spanish-American males to be unequivocal: regional claims of significant crypto-Jewish descent are refuted by the genetic profile of this population. The DNA evidence is indisputable; the results negate crypto-Jewish claims and support Neulander's dissertation findings.
In their shared presentation, Neulander will open by reviewing the history of their collaboration, and by discussing the social consequences of crypto-Jewish claims on accurate history and traditional heritage in New Mexico and Portugal. Sutton will explain pertinent DNA results and their meaning, and will comment on ethnographic-genetic collaboration as a powerful means for recovering history and heritage that has been (or is being) distorted, subverted, or otherwise lost.

Does Diaspora Test the Limits of Archaeological Stewardship?
Dr Andreas Pantazatos Durham University

In this paper I argue that diaspora, the migration of any community which moves from their place of ethnic origin and shares the same identity, challenges basic principles of archaeological stewardship. If archaeologists hold that they are primarily stewards of the past who ought to protect the archaeological record for the knowledge of future generations, diasporic communities put this claim under scrutiny. Dispersed communities might feel that information regarding their past affects their full integration in the society in which they have been settled. So, there is a conflict of interests between the obligations of stewards and those communities who have an interest in the archaeological record. Arvanites, for instance, an ethnic community which was invited to Greece during the Byzantine era, have been integrated in Greek society, but traces of their material culture are not acknowledged as part of Greek 'national heritage'. Additionally, they might feel that a rediscovery of their identity might be disadvantageous to them and their children, since this will highlight their emigrant ancestry. I propose that ethical archaeological practice can be performed in the light of stewardship under the condition that the latter is shaped by value pluralism.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Boyhood Homesite Project, Great Barrington, MA
Robert Paynter Anthropology, UMass Amherst

David Glassberg History, UMass Amherst

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most influential and controversial scholar-activists of the 20th century. His legacy, in addition to his best known The Souls of Black Folk, includes shelves full of pathmaking scholarly works, novels, plays, pageants, and essays. But he is best remembered for his political work, as a co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, editor of its journal The Crisis, and co-convener of Pan African Congresses that paved the way for the decolonization of Africa, among a few of his accomplishments. This man of distinction was born not far from here in 1868, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. One would think that his birth community would take pride in having him as their most world-famous son. However, in 1969 attempts to dedicate a memorial park to Du Bois were met with vociferous and threatening opposition from some in the community. This presentation describes the significance of the memorial park, the circumstances surrounding the controversial dedication ceremony, and work since then that has sought to confront the racial and political opposition to Du Bois in the town of his birth.

Jewish Graves in Europe: Public Commemoration or Ritual Space?
Max Polonovski, Ministry of Culture, France


Stewardship and Community Building: A Partnership Approach in Regions of Conflict
Laurie Rush, United States Army

Strong feelings of cultural identity, especially when that identity is linked to heritage properties and sacred spaces, can and does divide communities. However, the act of partnering to preserve cultural heritage can work to bring extremely disparate communities together. This paper will describe a series of efforts where heritage professionals, working in partnership with members of the military and interested citizens, have not only saved cultural property but also have built relationships and brought members of disparate communities together to work toward a common goal. When looting began in Iraq, an Art Historian from the Netherlands donned a military uniform and served two missions. One of his most important accomplishments was to secure and pay for Bedouin stewardship for the ancient city of Uruk. Unlike other Mesopotamian cities in the immediate area, Uruk was spared from the looters as a result of these efforts. Protection of Ur by US military personnel beginning in 2004 also prevented looting and enabled the transition of the ancient city in good condition back to Iraqi stewardship in May of 2009. The US is continuing to work on the education of deploying military personnel concerning cultural property issues. The British Ministry of Defence has recently initiated Operation Heritage where British military personnel are working with the Iraq Ministry of Culture to transform one of Saddam’s palaces in Basra into a museum. The preservation of cultural heritage in all these cases will strengthen their host communities in the post conflict era. These examples all serve as models for how to proceed in areas and situations of conflict and illustrate the critical potential for heritage management in cooperation with the military as an instrument of peace.

Sites of Conscience: New Approaches to Conflicted Memory
Liz Sevcenko, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience

In 1999, nine historic sites in wildly different contexts – including the Slave House in Senegal, Terezín Memorial in Czech Republic, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in the US -- came together to explore a common question: how could heritage sites serve as new forums for societies to confront the most pressing issues they faced today? Each of the sites’ histories was deeply contested in their societies. Why? Because it raised questions and problems that were still unresolved today. The Gulag Museum preserves a Stalinist labor camp in a moment when the shape of democracy is hotly debated in Russia. The 1834 Workhouse begs sensitive questions about how England should support poor people today. In Argentina, Memoria Abierta’s excavations of torture sites ignited a society struggling with whether to prosecute perpetrators.
Is conflict over the past a proxy for conflict over the present? How can heritage sites use the process of preserving their heritage to open a new space for societies to come together in dialogue around the contemporary issues that divided them? Drawing from a diversity of contexts and experiences, this founding group imagined a new type of space, which they called “Site of Conscience,” dedicated to: interpreting history through a site; engaging in programs that stimulate dialogue on pressing social issues; and sharing opportunities for public involvement.
Sites of Conscience wrestle with a variety of issues, including: what does a heritage practice for human rights look like? What is required to promote a lasting culture of human rights and civic participation in a society – and what role can heritage play in that process? Should Sites of Conscience advocate for particular political positions or serve as spaces for open public dialogue?
This presentation will explore tensions and creative innovations from Sites of Conscience around the world.

Documenting an Ethno-religious Diaspora: The Russian Old Believers of Alaska
Amber Lee Silva, McGill University

Heritage preservation efforts from monuments to historical texts are primary to group-identification, particularly to marginalized groups and in post-conflict periods. However, diasporic and migratory populations cannot rely on monument building and national remembrance days to maintain their connection with lands left and lives lost. The Russian Old Believers, with four centuries of conflict with the 'homeland', physical, spiritual, and institutional connections range from nominally affiliated to anxiously avoided. The majority of the faith’s survivors fled during the Revolutionary and Soviet periods, but nation-state conflict is inherent to the movement which denied the ritual and translatory 'reforms' of the mid-17th century Patriarch. Since the Russian Orthodox Church Synod of 1666-7 anathematized dissenters, Old Believers experienced fluctuating periods of oppression-induced migration and relative freedom of practice in obscurity. This case-study focuses on my fieldwork on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, where the almost exclusively Old Believer village's public school has been instrumental in recording the elders' oral narratives and cultural knowledge (from taxidermy to embroidery patterns). Bilingual texts preserve the memories of flight and the fight for religious freedom, memories that have not been publically acknowledged and remembered (in apology and reconciliation or monument-building) by the Russian state. Ethnohistory raises authority concerns even within a village of 500, and must be addressed given intradiasporic (and here, intra-village) conflicts between the 'priestly' and 'priestless' Old Believers. Furthermore, differences in dialect and lifeways between the multiple migratory groups present a plurality of potential voices. The processes of heritage preservation can elucidate intradiasporic divisions while clarifying the complexities of diasporic identity. The efforts of this grade school demonstrate how chronicling linguistic, artistic, and historic heritage of minority populations within a state can aid migrants' English acquisition and promote local understanding of the ethnic other.

Dealing with the Past: Shared and Contested Narratives in 'Post-Conflict' north of Ireland/Northern Ireland
Leah Wing, Legal Studies, UMass Amherst

Since the Good Friday Agreement (1998), the legal apparatus in 'post war' north of Ireland/Northern Ireland has continued to be deemed insufficient by both state and non-state stakeholders to effectively address the legacy of the conflict. Supplemental legal and extra-legal mechanisms have been designed and put to use; and new ones, such as a Legacy Commission, are under negotiation. The development and management of heritage sites and commemorations are viewed as playing a crucial role in aiding or hindering these processes of truth recovery and reconciliation. A brief examination of two projects--The Ballymurphy Massacre Committee (BMC) and the Storytelling Subgroup of Healing Through Remembering--can provide insights into innovative strategies for handling contested views of history in a society in transition. We will examine BMC’s campaign for demanding the truth related to the 1971 internment period murders and the erection of a remembrance trail to the sites where people were killed. Both these actions challenge hegemonic narratives that shield state sponsored violence from interrogation and demand that it be recognized and redressed. The campaign for a commemoration trail suggests a counternarrative by presenting memory of the incidents that contest hegemonic constructs and address unmet needs of the survivors and families of the dead. Healing Through Remembering has played a lead role in developing strategies and principles for engagement and handling the legacy of the conflict which have been widely accepted across the political spectrum. What can we learn from these jointly crafted principles developed for public and private sharing of memory and archiving of stories? How might having agreed upon ethical principles for managing contested stories impact the development of a Living History Museum and other heritage sites and activities?

The PUSH Project: A Unique Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian Initiative
Elizabeth Koch Ya'ari, Friends of the Earth – Middle East

The narratives told at numerous sites around the world often fail to convey the many aspects of the site's heritage or demean the heritage and perceptions of different cultural, ethnic, or national groups. While found in the most mundane regions of the world, this trend is particularly evident in areas of on-going conflict like the region of Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The continued ignorance, disrespect, and distortion of the heritage of the other—with its implications for continued conflict and cultural misunderstanding—is a situation that the PUSH Project's Shared Heritage approach aims to negate.
The PUSH Project (Promoting dialogue and cultural Understanding of our Shared Heritage) is a unique collaboration founded on the cooperation of teams of archaeologists, architects, historians, ecologists and planners from Israel, Palestine, and Jordan who have developed new approaches and tools to heritage management and presentation that attempt to bridge existing cultural differences. The project partners Al Quds University (Palestine), Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Israel) and the Jordan Society for Sustainable Development with the aim of creating a regional dialogue on issues of cultural and natural heritage, resulting in concrete benefits at the national and regional levels. The project benefited from the experience and coordination support of Friends of the Earth Middle East, the only tri-lateral organization operating in the region.
Since PUSH was initiated in October 2006, its partners have published a series of publications which sought to illustrate the important historical, cultural and natural heritage shared by the peoples of the region. These publications were strengthened by a series of workshops, symposia and cross-border site visits. During the second phase of the project, PUSH engaged directly with communities in shared heritage pilot sites. At each site the project produced brochures and information boards, conducted tour guide trainings and published site manuals which challenged site managers to address shared heritage in a comprehensive manner, while giving them the necessary tools to put shared heritage into action.
All of the PUSH project's publications, detailed summaries about the project's activities and a wealth of other information are available at www.pushproject.org.

 

 
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