Heritage and nation narration in contested societies

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The targeted destruction of heritage sites in recent conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Mali has tragically illustrated how the treatment of heritage, as the tangible manifestation of the identity of the ‘other’, can be a symptom of the nadir to which group relations can descend. In a world in which the nation-state remains the primary means of identification, the following overarching research question was investigated: How do nation-states narrate their pasts in the built form? Drawing upon the conceptualisation of heritage as a present-orientated and political construct that is utilised to represent the values of the “dominant political, social, religious or ethnic groups” (Graham, Ashworth & Tunbridge 2000: p.183), this paper discusses the role that heritage interventions can play in both emphasising gulfs and building bridges in divided post-conflict societies (Fojut 2009).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2016
EventHeritage 2016 Conference: 5th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development - Lisbon University, Lisbon , Portugal
Duration: 12 Jul 201615 Jul 2016
Conference number: 5


ConferenceHeritage 2016 Conference
Internet address


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