Archive for November, 2019

Forthcoming events

Friday, November 8th, 2019
Material Mediation: Heritage Politics Across Rwanda’s Borders
Dr Annalisa Bolin
Stockholm University – Critical Heritage Studies Network
November 21, 2019, 3-5 PM, with discussant Elisabeth Niklasson
Since the genocide in 1994, Rwanda’s government has focused on building a new nation with a new, stronger position in the international arena. In part, this has involved the strategic use of cultural and genocide heritage to transform the nation, such that the government mobilizes heritage within a number of sociopolitical projects. These projects operate simultaneously in domestic and international spheres, drawing on local and global forces to shape the construction of heritage.
This talk discusses how heritage’s materiality both manifests and challenges ideas about development and progress in the creation of the “New Rwanda” by tracing conservation work at two parallel—but very different—genocide memorials. The dynamics at these memorials demonstrate how globally-circulating discourses about material heritage are transformed by domestic politics. However, I further argue that for Rwanda, heritage politics do not stop at international borders. I introduce the government’s attempts to transform international relations through heritage negotiations, with attention to recently-launched efforts to repatriate items from collections held in German museums. Collectively, these cases indicate the potential of heritage to materialize and mediate larger sociopolitical processes both within and between nations.

First Swedish World Heritage Strategy

Friday, November 8th, 2019

For the first time, Sweden has adopted a World Heritage Strategy, for 2020-2030 (not available in English yet). Earlier this year, the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures had submitted comments on a draft text.

The Strategy emphasises that the underlying idea and aim of World Heritage is the promotion of peace, international collaboration and human rights, and that all who work with World Heritage need to keep this in mind in everything they do. The Strategy also states that additional capacity needs to be built in understanding how World Heritage can contribute to societal development and to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.

Background information is provided by the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO (in Swedish): https://www.unesco.se/sveriges-forsta-varldsarvsstrategi-ska-starka-de-svenska-varldsarven/