CRIC Identity and Conflict

Cultural Heritage and the Re-construction of Identities after Conflict



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Recent conflicts in Europe, as well as abroad, have brought the deliberate destruction of the heritage of others, as a means of inflicting pain, to the foreground. With this has come the realisation that the processes involved and thus the long-term consequences are poorly understood. Heritage reconstruction is not merely a matter of design and resources - at stake is the re-visioning and reconstruction of people's identities! This project aims to investigate the ways the destruction and subsequent selective reconstruction of the cultural heritage impact identity formation. The project seeks to illuminate both the empirical and theoretical relationship between cultural heritage, conflict and identity. In particular, it will examine how destruction as well as reconstruction affect notions of belonging and identities at different scales ranging from the individual to the pan-national. Five regional case studies will provide historical depth, variation, and different trajectories, while the shared methodologies and axes of investigation will ensure comparative measures are reached. Collectively the project will aim to answer the following questions:

1. what conditions and ideologies inspire the destruction of cultural heritage and what is selected for destruction?

2. what are the consequences at local, national and regional levels of such destruction and the subsequent reconstruction of parts of people's heritage?

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