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Posts Tagged ‘World Heritage’

World Heritage: alternative futures

Rudolff, Britta and Kristal Buckley. 2016. World Heritage: alternative futures. In W. Logan, M. Craith and U. Kockel (eds.). A Companion to Heritage Studies. Wiley-Blackwell: West Sussex.

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Protecting intangible heritage values through the World Heritage Convention?

The world is scattered with jewels from our collective pasts. From the glittering Mogul mausoleum of the Taj Mahal in the heart of northern India, to the Neolithic stone huts on the remote, windswept island of Orkney in the Outer Hebrides. Material remnants remind us of extinct civilizations, forgotten people and lost worlds. What then of the things for which there are no material remains? What of the memories, ideas, beliefs and events that shaped the lives of these civilizations and of our own? What of this intangible heritage? We can record, preserve and protect for posterity the material leavings; can we do the same for the shadows that form the intangible associations with these places?
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Our island home: Difference, marginality, community construction and implications for heritage

This paper considers considers the understandings of attachment, identity and place found within the communities of a small offshore Queensland Island: Magnetic Island, which is located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area. Individuals, as members of the island community (which is characterised by various unbounded community groups), in living their day to day lives on the island, engage in a quest for identity and authenticity that is involved in a relationship between identity-making as a process and the way in which worlds and ways of living are meaningfully constituted. One of the outcomes is that the past is selectively constructed and organised in a relationship of continuity with the lived experience of the island environment and the nostalgic recreation and reinforcement of both place and community. In so doing the various physical features and intangible aspects of the island, and indeed the community itself, is imbued with cultural meanings that also act to reinforce the islander sense of marginality, difference and separation.
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Marking four decades of World Heritage – The view from Australia

The celebration of the milestone of the fortieth year since the adoption by UNESCO of the World Heritage Convention provided a global stimulus for reflection that included activities in Australia. Four decades of experience of implementing the idealistic and international notions that underpin the Convention had demonstrated the distinctiveness of the potential contributions from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. With that in mind, the starting premise of this volume of Historic Environment has been to provide a snapshot of the experiences of World Heritage in Australia – essentially the view from ‘here’, and a specifically oriented view based on the experiences and priorities of cultural heritage practice.
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Managing intangible cultural heritage: Competing global and local values

The competition between global and local values is one that is faced on a daily basis by many of us working in heritage management. It is commonly manifest in the potential conflict between professionally ascribed heritage values – based as they are on internationally accepted standards and guidelines – and the values that arise out of community ascriptions that are grounded in local voices, knowledge and uses. This paper considers intangible heritage in the context of such ongoing uses and narratives and the way in which community values are addressed in places that have been formally ‘caught up’ in the World Heritage system. This is addressed in the first instance through the way in which the environment, community and practice remain an important part of the Port Arthur Historic Site in Australia, followed by a discussion of community attachments at Avebury in England.
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Drawing a line around a shadow? Preserving intangible cultural heritage values through the World Heritage convention

If we draw a line around a shadow, does this mean that the shadow will not move from where it is initially cast? If we include a place on the World Heritage List for its intangible cultural heritage values, will this prevent those values from diminishing or changing? Intangible cultural heritage value is not an ‘intrinsic quality’ or an ‘inherent meaning’ of a place; it is an ascribed value (Tainter et al. 1983). If the physical fabric of a place is preserved, it will not necessarily preserve the intangible values ascribed to it. Conversely, if a place is destroyed, the intangible heritage values associated with that place may still remain.
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Drawing a line around a shadow? Including associative, intangible cultural heritage values on the World Heritage List

As we move through the first decade of the 21st century, it is noticeable that intangible cultural heritage values are very much in vogue in today’s discourse on cultural heritage, its preservation and management. In this thesis, I illustrate that intangible cultural heritage values are not a new phenomenon to the heritage arena, and I demonstrate how they have been recognised through UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention – The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage- since its inception in 1972. My thesis explores key issues in relation to associative, intangible cultural heritage values and their inclusion on the World Heritage List. Intangible heritage value is, by definition, non-material and mutable. In order to illustrate the changing nature of perceptions of what intangible heritage value is, how it has been utilised, and how it performs through location in place, this thesis explores the history of policy and process in relation to the recognition and protection of associative, intangible cultural heritage values through the World Heritage Convention, its List and its criteria. The Convention and its instruments have been chosen for analysis because they are the highest form of international recognition for places that are deemed to hold exceptional or outstanding universal values. All places are imbued with associations, memories and meanings, both by individuals and collectively by society. It is these that form the intangible connection of people to place. The connection may be one of a memory of an event, an inspiration or a spiritual belief. Although many places have been included on the World Heritage List for their intangible cultural heritage values, very little study of the history of the mechanisms that allow such inclusion has been undertaken. As part of the development of this history, my thesis focuses on those places that have been included on the List exclusively for their associative, intangible cultural heritage values. It focuses on those places that mark key policy changes or debates in the history of the application IX of the Convention to those values. These places include the Island of Goree, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Robben Island. They are what Nora (Nora 1989) calls lieux de memoire, places of memory, or what could be called lieux d ‘expiation, places of atonement. In examining how the World Heritage Convention has accommodated intangible heritage values on the List, my thesis examines the political influences that were in play when these key places were considered for inscription on it. It also looks at how these influences shaped the ideas and policies relating to the inclusion of intangible heritage values on the List then, and in the future. My thesis argues that intangible cultural heritage value is mutable and subject to social preference and construction. Intangible heritage values alter over time, and each generation or society will construct the place, and its values, in a way that serves its current ends. In utilising these intangible values, I argue that State Parties to the Convention have employed the World Heritage List, and nominations to it, as part of a wider process of nation building, constructing national identities and collective memories. My thesis questions whether, in spite of a compulsion to locate such values in place, as a ‘materialized discourse’ (Schein I 997), intangible values can be circumscribed and conserved purely by protecting their locus.It also questions whether such values can be effectively included on a heritage register as static and immutable. My thesis draws on key texts of memory and heritage, which are examined through application to World Heritage places.
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Cultural Landscapes in Asia and the Pacific: Implications of the World Heritage Convention

The notion of cultural landscape has been accepted in the World Heritage Convention since 1992 but the adoption for World Heritage inscription is different among regions. This paper aims to address the issues of applying the concept of cultural landscape in Asia and the Pacific. The article first takes an overview of the World Heritage List and current issues related to the cultural landscape. This is followed by a discussion of the cultural landscape by referring to previous studies, with detailed analysis pointing out the major characteristics of the listed cultural landscapes in Asia and the Pacific, which are tabulated using the numerical data. The final discussion concludes by addressing the discourse on applying the World Heritage Convention and the current issues on cultural landscape conservation in Asia and the Pacific.
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Cultural landscape in the World Heritage List: Understanding on the gap and categorisation

The imbalance of the number of sites listed as the cultural landscape in the World Heritage List is one of the major issues since cultural landscape was adopted in the World Heritage Convention in 1992. Though the List is supposed to adequately elicit the heritage diversity in the world, most of cultural landscapes in the List as well as the Tentative List are situated in Europe and North America region. To fill this gap, it would be useful to focus the analysis on the regions other than Europe and North America which would provide insights and understanding for the future strategy. This paper points out that one of the major factors on preparation for the nomination which influences the imbalance in the list is the political and economic stability in each state party. As for the cultural lands cape, this situation calls for attention from international action on heritage safeguarding. Moreover, the imbalance raises the question whether the existing guideline on cultural landscape identification is practical for the state parties. The landscape types proposed in this paper aims to add depth to the understanding on the existing categorisation of cultural landscape in the Convention. It focuses on the landscape setting based on the existing cultural landscapes in the World Heritage List. Seven cultural landscape types in both rural and urban setting landscape are discussed.
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