Heritage as a Vessel of Transformative Values in Post-Conflict States?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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. Drawing upon Araoz’s [1] description of cultural heritage as ‘vessels of value’, which are not set in aspic and “simply emerge from and exist in the ether of the communal public consciousness” (2009), this paper discusses the role that heritage interventions can play in both emphasising gulfs and building bridges in divided post-conflict societies (Fojut [2]).
This paper will consider how heritage values can become a “contact zone where
different pasts and experiences are negotiated” (Stephanides [3]) before discussing how changing the prevailing narratives and authorised heritage discourses associated with contested sites can serve equally to heat up or cool down conflicts in divided societies. This discussion will consider the challenges which prevent heritage interventions from assisting in playing a transformative role which creates more inclusive relations in post-conflict states.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeritage for Future
Subtitle of host publicationHeritage in Transformation - Cultural Heritage Protection in XXI Century: Problems, Challenges and Predictions
Place of PublicationLublin
PublisherICOMOS (Poland)
Number of pages92
ISBN (Print)978-83-944481-2-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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