Heritage and the Politics of Culture
The LDE Centre for Global Heritage and Development and Irasec/Interdisciplinary Centre for East Asian Studies (IZO) joint panels discuss the notion of “contested heritage”, in light of the politics of memory, trauma and mobility.
Wars and conflicts have a direct impact on the tangible environment. Military architectures, war ruins, wrecks and monumental memorials all together form what is known as conflict heritage. In Asia, a significant share of conflict heritage remains absent from the heritage discourse. This may be attributed to many reasons, of which: the lack of a proper recognition of this specific category of heritage. Second, the contested nature of the heritage, and especially in the cases where human causalities were involved, prevent governments from touching upon the subject. Third, the conflict of interests which results from the economic value of this heritage. For instance, the collection of rare types of aircraft wreckage or the activities carried by metal salvagers. What can we do to safeguard this type of heritage from its biggest threat: oblivion?
With the first panel we hope to raise awareness on this particular category of heritage, especially with policy makers. The panel includes contributions that address the following topics:
. New theoretical approaches to defining conflict heritage, with respect to the Asian context.
. Case studies from Asia that investigates the politics and dynamics of memory that surrounds contested heritage.