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MUSEUM International N°245-6
Shared Heritage Shared Future

Museum245-6 Eng Large.gifTable of Contents

Heritage: Conflict and Consensus


Chap. 1: Heritage from Conflict to Consensus

Chap. 2 Diasporic Communities and Religious Heritage in a Globalized World

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Heritage in Conflict and Consensus: towards an international agenda for the twenty-first century, Elizabeth Chilton & Neil Silberman

This special issue of MUSEUM International offers a glimpse of the provoca-tive and stimulating discussions that took place in November 2009 at an international work-shop entitled ‘Heritage Conflict and Consensus’. The workshop highlighted the work of scholars and heritage professionals connected with projects in the European Union; the United States; Israel, Palestine and Jordan; India and Southeast Asia; South Africa and Mauritius; and African American and Native American communities of Canada and the United States − all scenes of sometimes bitter conflicts over the right to possess and interpret archaeological and human remains.  TOP

Promoting Understading of Shared Heritage (PUSH), Elizabeth Ya’ari

Shared heritage is at the root of consensus building within conflicting ideas and places. The project Promoting the Understanding of Shared Heritage (PUSH) supported by the European Union (EU) Partnership for Peace has set in hand a process for the harmonization of sites by a multidisciplinary team of Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian academics and developed narratives that can be appreciated by local and regional communities alike. TOP

Cultural Heritage and Conflict: the view from Europe, Gabi Dolff-Bonekaemper

Why focus on cultural heritage and conflict?  Should we not keep conflict out of our own discourse on heritage because it could spoil the positive impact we wish to create? We have to face the material and semantic complexity of historic buildings, archeological sites, artworks, artifacts, collections – and give an interpretation that takes into account, among other things, their capacity to provoke debate. Both the Fribourg Declaration of Cultural Rights (Fribourg, 2007), which declares that everyone has a personal right to heritage and the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro Convention, 2005) open up new perspectives on social participation in heritage making and new lines of tension, opposition and debate. TOP

Sites of Conscience: new approaches to conflicted memory, Liz Sevcenko

For better or for worse, heritage is a key terrain on which societal conflicts are expressed. Instead of treating conflict over heritage sites defensively, shielding them from attack,  proactive steps can be taken to offer heritage sites as resources for addressing contested social questions. This article explores strategies used around the world by “Sites of Conscience” – heritage sites that foster dialogue on contemporary issues – to help communities to confront the questions that divide them. TOP

Global Conversations, Whitney Battle-Baptiste

The African Diaspora is not a site. It is not a place.  It can be, however, a state of mind, a frame of reference or a way of thinking.  Often in African Diaspora theory coming from the United States there is a displacement of the African continent.  This paper focuses on an archaeological site, The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States, and demonstrates the power and possibilities of expanding the research comfort zones to enhance our historical interpretations. TOP

Dealing with the Past: shared and contested narratives in ‘post-conflict’ Northern Ireland, Leah Wing

This article explores a West Belfast commemoration project that challenges dominant narratives shielding State-sponsored violence from interrogation and demands that these acts be recognized and redressed. The remembrance trail offers a counter narrative by presenting memory that contests hegemonic constructs and articulates the need for justice. Both the trail’s temporality and its insistence on making conflict visible rather than homogenizing the past demonstrates its innovation and necessity in a society in transition. TOP

Communities of Conflict: intersection of the Global and the Local in Cyprus, Diane Barthel-Bouchier

The island of Cyprus is renowned for its heritage sites that reflect the layering of cultures.   The paper examines how the long-running conflict between Turkish and Greek communities is impacting heritage interpretation. It argues that the presence of two relatively new communities, namely a European settler population and a population of migrant workers and refugees, is complicating a situation that ecological pressures threaten to further aggravate. TOP

Archaeological Heritage and the Turkish War of Independence in central Lydia, Christina Luke

Here research from the last five seasons of the Central Lydia Archaeological Survey is presented. The article argues that a future management plan for central Lydia should approach the concept of preservation from a dynamic perspective of living landscapes in a liminal zone between east and west. It demonstrates that central Lydia has always had a balanced, multi-ethnic population. These contested landscapes offer innovative ways of seeing multiple narratives of history. TOP

Intangible Heritage and Community Identity in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Karel Antoine Bakker and Liana Müller

The recent geopolitical transformation in South Africa from a society in conflict to one embodying consensus invites inquiry into the use of heritage in the production of community identity, and the manner of commemoration and presentation of intangible heritage. This article presents case studies to indicate that there is an emerging shift away from hegemonic representation by the post-apartheid state in the form of very tentative individual or community-based expressions of struggle history. TOP

Conflict and Consensus in Great Barrington: remembering W.E.B. Du Bois, Robert Paynter & David Glassberg

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most influential and controversial scholar-activists of the twentieth century. However, in 1969 attempts to dedicate a memorial park to Du Bois were met with vociferous and threatening opposition from some in the community. The article describes the significance of the memorial park, the circumstances surrounding the controversial dedication ceremony and work that has since sought to confront the racial and political opposition to Du Bois in the town of his birth. TOP

African Burial Ground Project: paradigm for cooperation? Michael Blakey

The eighteenth-century African Burial Ground in New York City began as a municipal cemetery in which the remains of 15,000 enslaved Africans were buried. It was abandoned to urban development during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but rediscovered at the turn of the twenty-first, its location in the heart of downtown Manhattan becoming the site of extraordinary religious, political and scientific conflict and collaboration. The site went from desecration in 1991 to becoming a US National Monument in 2007, representing a successful example of bioarchaeology in the service of a descendant community’s human rights struggle. This article suggests lessons from that struggle and points to the ethical and epistemic value of publicly engaged anthropology. TOP

Jewish Graves in Europe: public commemoration or ritual space, Max Polonovski

Max Polonovski is in charge of the mission for the Protection of Jewish Heritage at the French Ministry of Culture. This article studies the conflicting roles of cemeteries, the ethical aspects of dealing with human remains as well as science and religious law. TOP

A conflict of Interest: a case study for community archaeology in the canadian artic, Brendan Griebel

This article follows the evolution of a year-long community fieldwork programme, designed to bridge archaeology’s methodological approach and thematic concerns about the past with the interests and social realities of Inuit people. Focusing on a series of practical workshops run in partnership with the Kitikmeot Heritage Society of Cambridge Bay, the work explores how the development of a broader, more acculturated practice of archaeology allows the discipline to better navigate new directions in both academic and local understandings of history. TOP

Approaching Montjuïc as Part of the Historic Legacy of Barcelona, Laia Colomer

Barcelona is host to important medieval heritage of Jewish origin, including ancient burial grounds. When local authorities undertook archaeological activities to rescue this shared heritage, they encountered the strong opposition of religious groups. How we respond to religious claims in secularized societies? How can common cultural assets in the public domain reconcile with today’s religious sensibilities in Europe? TOP

Three Graves of Mary Magdalene, Bruce Chilton

Vézelay, Saint-Maximin-la –Sainte-Baume, and Magdala Nunayya are by no means the only alleged burial sites of Mary Magdalene. However, they are the most prominent, and each provides insight into the ways that preservation, religious observance, commercial interest, and historical research may co-exist, even as they pursue their own programmes. In each case the ecology of various interests has permitted cultural sites to be preserved, and offers prospects for the practice of a more balanced, progressive ecology in the future. TOP

Ironic Heritage: overcoming divisions between communities through shared laughter about the past Cornelius Holtorf

The essentializing and exclusive nature of collective identities defined by cultural heritage often fuels conflicts between nations and other social groups. This article asks what kind of heritage might be able to unite rather than divide civil society. It is suggested that heritage can only contribute to social cohesion when it is perceived as distant from everyone in present society. Such distance is achieved not only through freely invented, inauthentic heritage, but also through ironicized heritage, using humour to undermine conventional understandings of the subject. The article presents several specific examples of such ironic heritage, which have sought to provoke laughter and, thus, create implicit social bonds across national, political and social divisions. TOP

Does Diaspora Test the Limits of Archaeological Stewardship? Stewardship and the ethics of care Andreas Pantazatos

In this paper the author argues that although stewardship has been criticized for its failure to provide archaeologists with morally relevant advice, it can still provide ethical guidance. This is possible if we shift our attention to those ethical values which form the normative framework, such as care. TOP

Diaspora and Heritage: a perennial source of conflict H. Martin Wobst

This article explores the interactions between populations and their diaspora, as sources and amplifiers of problems and conflicts. Whether in terms of their tangible or intangible properties, populations and their diaspora mutually constitute one another, with the diasporas often contributing more to the semantic load of heritage, and to easily demarcatable conflict lines, than the population from which they originally derived. TOP

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