New article by Annalisa Bolin on Rwandan heritage and international relationships

07:45 by Annalisa Bolin

The UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures’ Postdoctoral Fellow Annalisa Bolin has recently published “The Strategic Internationalism of Rwandan Heritage“, a fully open-access article in Journal of Eastern African Studies. The article covers heritage diplomacy, shared heritage and repatriation, and how heritage mediates the relationship between Rwanda and Germany:

“Heritage, a practice shot through with political forces, is mobilized by states within their international relationships through methods such as heritage diplomacy. Focusing on the connections between Rwanda and Germany, this article traces how heritage serves as a technique of foreign relations for the Rwandan state. The uses of heritage are shaped by the state’s higher-level political orientations, especially the project of agaciro, which pursues an agenda of increased sovereignty for Rwanda in relation to the rest of the world. This conditions how ‘shared heritage’ and heritage repatriation contribute to establishing strategic alliances and decolonizing, making heritage part of a suite of tools used to advantageously reposition the country in the international arena. The article deepens our understanding of the Rwandan state’s governing techniques and examines heritage’s role as a mediator of international relationships, even for less-powerful nations whose agency is sometimes neglected in discussions of heritage diplomacy.”

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Annalisa Bolin
Annalisa Bolin is a postdoctoral fellow in the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures, Linnaeus University.

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