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Keynote I: Heritage at the Intersection of Politics and People – India’s Archaeological Heritage

Speaker: Nayanjot Lahiri (Ashoka University)

Nayanjot Lahiri will look at the archaeological heritage of India in the post-independence era (1947 till the present) from the perspective of politics and people. The presentation will begin by highlighting the visibility of politics in relation to monuments, museum collections and research in the immediate aftermath of independence and the partitioning of a united India into the nation-states of India and Pakistan. It will then move on to impart a sense of the fate of monuments and sites since then till the present. How do sites get protected, who gets them protected, why do many of them come under pressure or get destroyed? In exploring these themes, it will explore the nature of engagement of India’s political leadership, the dangers posed by antiquity smuggling, the pressures that emanate from large development projects, and legal interventions around iconic monuments like the Taj Mahal. While India’s archaeological heritage forms an irreplaceable archive, as the presentation will highlight, it is endangered in many ways. Its ownership across all sections of society is urgent and necessary if it has to matter more than it does at present.

Morning Session I: Heritage Dynamics: Politics of Authentication and Aesthetics of Persuasion

Heritage Dynamics: Politics of Authentication and Aesthetics of Persuasion

Speaker: Birgit Meyer (Utrecht/Berlin)

Contrary to popular perceptions, cultural heritage is not given, but constantly in the making: a construction subject to dynamic processes of (re)inventing culture within particular social formations and bound to particular forms of mediation. Yet the appeal of cultural heritage often rests on its denial of being a fabrication, on its promise to provide an essential ground to social-cultural identities. This paradoxical feature is central to the dynamics of heritage formation. Based on a collaborative (book) project on heritage formation, this presentation (delivered by Meyer) will spotlight two heuristic concepts that may help address these dynamics: the “politics of authentication” and the “aesthetics of persuasion”. The “politics of authentication” recognizes the importance of notions of the “really real” in heritage formations, but purports that heritage forms have no ontological grounding in an objective reality out there. The authenticity of a heritage form can only be achieved through procedures of representation and certification that profile it as present and real to its beholders. In this sense, the authentic is not given – though often posing as such – but rather a result of a careful “cultural construction of the real”. The concept “aesthetics of persuasion” seeks to provide new inroads into the analysis of the sensorial, emotional and mental entanglement of heritage forms and their beholders.

National Treasures for Modern Japan – Protective Legislation, Issues of Cultural Authenticity and the Necessity for a Nationwide Cultural Consciousness


Speaker: Katharina Rode (Heidelberg)


Understanding the Meiji period (1868-1911) as a transitional period this paper examines issues of authenticity relating to cultural policies, which grew out of the need for a nationwide cultural consciousness as one pillar for the modern Japanese nation state. Until 1868 Japan had been an often changing feudal system consisting of a conglomerate encompassing well over two-hundred fluctuating domains and even more local cultural spheres. The change in system and centralization of power under one imperial government led to severe reactions such as the Haibutsu Kishaku (Abolish Buddhism and destroy Shakyamuni) movement making apparent the need for culture as common ground, and also what needed to be saved to form its basis. The ensuing processes involved a re-interpretation of Japanese (art) history and resulted inter alia in the founding of museums, art schools and the National Treasure system, introducing a new parallel and nation-wide object hierarchy with the Western gaze in mind. The selected objects were to authentically represent the cultural heritage of new Modern Japan to the outside as well as the inside. This went hand in hand with the separation of fine art from craft and the better part of the painting craft turning fine art. However most of these initially included works, especially paintings, were selected on the basis of their pre-modern awareness level in biased popular and art historical writings by a relatively small committee located in the capital. To raise awareness of these often very old works as well as to protect them the government commissioned reproductions and skilfully promoted them in exhibitions – practices that still continue today.

Producing my own selection of selected objects, I will inquire as to how authentic these works actually were as National Treasures at the time and now - and what happened to them due to their re-location and re-labelling.

Re-fashioning the Ancestors: Post-secular Negotiations of Colonial Heritage in the Netherlands

Speaker: Markus Balkenhol (Utrecht)

This presentation examines two recent examples of heritage formation by Dutch Afro-Surinamese. Amid wider concerns about the colour of “Dutchness”, origins, cultural heritage, and historical canons, demands have increased to also include the “dark pages” of Dutch history: slavery and the colonial past. Seeking to visualize a diasporic identity and unite Dutch Afro-Surinamese with regard to narratives of the nation, a grass roots initiative petitioned for a statue of Anton de Kom (1898-1945), an Afro-Surinamese intellectual and activist. Unveiled in 2007, the statue was highly contested immediately because people felt offended by the statue’s style: a naked torso emerging from a tree. As they argued, this reified colonial phantasies of wildness, sexuality, and blackness instead of providing an image of De Kom “as he really was”.

The Kabra (ancestor) Mask is part of a project by Marian Markelo, a priestess in the afro-Surinamese Winti religion in the Netherlands, and Boris van Berkum, a Dutch artist. Addressing severe budget cuts in the Dutch cultural and museum sector (and the intended sale of African items), they seek to “safeguard” African heritage in the Netherlands and to re-appropriate African masks to honour the African ancestors. Using 3D technology six wooden Yoruba masks were scanned in the Africa Museum, computer rendered, and milled into polyurethane foam. The new 3D masks situate the project in a politics of authentication that promises to grant material and palpable access to the past and the spirit world through material form.

In this presentation I will pay particular attention to the material form in which the past is rendered in these projects. How is the past designed and styled, indeed fashioned to achieve what is felt to be an “adequate” rendition of past violence. I propose a post-secular approach to this question: Not only are the ancestors both historical persons and spiritual entities, but a material approach to religion and cultural heritage can provide important insights into the politics of authentication and the aesthetics of persuasion at play in the dynamics of postcolonial heritage in the Netherlands.

The Making of a Transcultural Divinity. The Politics of Religious Heritage in the Gold Coast of Ghana

Speaker: Annalisa Butticci (Utrecht)

The paper discusses the politics of religious heritage in the Gold Coast and focuses on the life of religious artifacts that had the power to destabilize relations of powers and shape post-colonial imaginaries. Some of these objects were destroyed, some were preserved but hide, and other were displayed as symbols and icons of a superior sacred and social power. Among them there is a particular religious artifact that became emblematic of the ethics of saving, making, breaking, and transforming that characterize the politics of religious heritage of the Gold Coast. The paper will examine the historical, religious and social trajectory of an old statue of Saint Anthony of Padua brought by the Portuguese in 1632 and will highlight how the preservation and re-iconization of the statue along with the destructions of other religious artifacts that surrounded it untangled local, national, and global histories and transforming sets of power relations.

Chair: Birgit Meyer (Utrecht/Berlin)

Morning Session II: Cultural Heritage – Beyond the Salvage Paradigm. Conceptual Formations, Methodological Approaches, Architectural Case Studies

Panel Organizer: Michael Falser (Heidelberg)

Cultural heritage is does not exist sui generis. As a highly dynamic and multi-layered complex it can be conceptualized at once as a social construction, an intellectual concept, and a material reality. Form this viewpoint, it isconstituted a) through social negotiation processes around cultural identity formations, political claims and institutional regimes (as a ‘sociofact’), b) through theoretical and scientific reflection, and aesthetic and normative ascriptions (as a ‘mentefact’), and c) through concrete strategies of performative and physical manipulation of intangible and tangible culture (as an ‘artefact’). In its contemporary global usage, the theoretical concept of “cultural heritage” was formed within the processes of Western modernisation and nation- building in the 19th century, within which the disciplines of art and architectural history, architectural preservation and conservation were gradually formed and institutionalised. The art historical discourse about tangible and intangible cultural heritage has long carried through the taxonomies and value structures of Western modernity, however with a claim of universal validity. At the same moment, those modern-time typologies and methods of cultural classification and stylistic attributions were globally spread and implemented through colonialism; or they underwent a process of reinterpretation and appropriation to be more suitable for the site- specific construction of national (and past colonial) pasts and their cultural heritage canon.

Only through the critical approach of the postcolonial studies were these processes of an often rather violent transfer of Western conceptions into the Non-West de-constructed in their inherent power structures at play. However, with the acceleration of the global circulation and exchange of concepts, disciplines and knowledge (in our case ‘cultural heritage’ itself, its methods and approaches); of individual agents and institutional agencies (in our case global elites for the research and protection of cultural heritage); and of tangible objects (such as art works and artefacts; iconic architecture) those explanatory patterns for the global dynamics and challenges of cultural heritage need a new methodological reflection. Even if rather new disciplines of ‘Global Art History” and the ‘Visual Studies’ with their translational and pictorial turns have started to do so in recent years with a focus of mobile artworks, travelling artists, cultural practices up to the digital worlds, the medium of the built environment (from singular architectural monuments to urban ensembles) – conceived as ‘immobile’ – was rarely touched by those reflections on global implications and challenges.

In order offer different approaches to the above-mentioned desideratum, this panel a – proposed for the first section of the conference – aims at investigating the nexus between urban configurations and architecture as omitted, recently discovered and/or already canonized element of history and culture (qua cultural heritage); the conceptual formations and the institutions entrusted with its research, mapping, evaluation, categorization and (maybe) care; and, finally, the involved disciplines – in our case transcultural studies, environmental research, and architectural conservation – to produce, order and apply the knowledge about its uses and meaning. Taking James Clifford’s discussion on the “salvage paradigm, reflecting the desire to rescue something authentic out of the destructive historical changes” (1989) as a provoking title, this panel presents three different approaches and architectural case-studies in South, Southeast and East Asia on how the originally Western conceptions of architectural history and cultural heritage protection can be historicised and adapted to the new challenges of a globalized world.

Cultural Heritage as Civilizing Mission and the Transcultural Pathways of Angkor Wat

Speaker: Michael Falser (Heidelberg)           

This contribution intends to set the methodological approach of ‘transculturality’ in relation to the formation of the modern concept of cultural heritage by charting its colonial, postcolonial- nationalist and global trajectories. By bringing to light many unresearched dimensions of the twelfth century Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat – the world’s largest religious stone – during different phases of its modern history, the study makes a powerful argument for a conceptual history of the notion of ‘cultural heritage’ that unfolded within the transcultural interstices of European and Asian projects.

With the thematic focus on Angkor Wat, we shall see that in the asymmetrical power relations of French Indochina from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, architecture played a crucial role in the formation and justification of a civilizing mandate in which the colonial Western power staged itself as the symbolic custodian, legitimate inheritor, legal owner, institutionalized preserver, and conservator-restorer of the salvaged pasts identified as cultural heritage. This notion was perfectly suited to the nineteenth-century European self-appointed conquest to civilize, uplift, improve, and develop the colonial world by salvaging its ancient relics and sites. As the most visible, overtly plausible, communicable, and exploitable form of the secularized but semi-religious concept of “cultural heritage”, architecture served colonial discourses for the legitimization of political hegemonies and their ideological dogmata. However, this process cannot be reduced to colonialism alone; as we have see it was also appropriated for Cambodia’s own ‘self-civilizing’ efforts during national independence in the 1950s and 1960s, perverted during Khmer Rouge terror and Vietnamese occupation (1970s and 1980s), and again instrumentalised during the country’s rebirth under a UN mandate around 1990. In this context, ‘cultural heritage’ continued to be a strong presence in the discourses around ‘universal values’ that exist today in the form of inter- or transnational institutions under the self-appointed authority of (inter)national and global elites: the ‘Archaeological Park of Angkor’ became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992, with ambiguous effects until today, as we shall see.                        

Capacity Building Activities of ICCROM: Reaching Wider Audiences and Focusing on Traditional Knowledge Systems              

Speaker: Gamini Wijesuriya (Rome)            

The ‘International Centre for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property’ (ICCROM) is an international intergovernmental organisation with 135 member countries and is the only institution of its kind with a worldwide mandate to promote the conservation of all types of cultural heritage. Created by UNESCO in 1956, it has contributed enormously to the training and capacity building among heritage practitioners world wide disseminating most up-to-date knowledge and trends in conservation of heritage.

However, with the expansion of the heritage discourse, the need to reach new and wider audiences for promoting and enriching the debate with new voices and to gain their support for more effective and sustainable conservation of heritage, prompted ICCROM to break new grounds in the recent years. One such paradigm shift was the moving from ‘training’ to ‘capacity building’ which aims at strengthening the abilities of individuals, policy makers and communities and networks with the identification of new learning environments. This is being done in partnership with the natural heritage sector thus sharing the synergies and experiences. The search for wider audiences and in particular the focusing on communities was underpinned by ICCROM’s ‘Living Heritage Sites programme’ developed in the Asian world. It promoted the need to focus on ‘communities’ and their inextricable connection to heritage as the key to decision making in conservation of heritage. This is a major shift from the conventional approach to conservation, which had its focus mainly on material remains of the past, to a ‘people centred approach’. One of the key components of this programme was the consideration of communities as knowledge holders or the custodians of ‘traditional knowledge systems’. This effort was further strengthened by a recently held ICCROM-CHA Forum on ‘Adaptability and Applicability of Traditional Knowledge Systems in Conservation and Management of Heritage in Asia’. This presentation will discuss selected case studies in South Asia.

Mass Housing as Cultural Heritage? The Differing Challenges of Reception and Valorisation in Eastern Asia and the West   

Speaker: Miles Glendinning (Edinburgh)    

Traditionally, the discipline of architectural history has been bound up in a mutually reinforcing way with elite heritage, with concepts such as rarity, authenticity (etc.) strongly dependent on authoritative ‘expert’ value judgements and privileging the ideal of ‘art’. However, even as early as a century ago, in total-landscape concepts such as ‘Heimatschutz’, this tightly integrated elite value system was challenged and destabilised by a process of broadening-out and inclusion of ever more recent heritages, culminating from around the 1980s with the embrace of post-war Modernism and its vast building stocks – many still ubiquitous and lacking any kind of elite rarity.

This paper, written from within a discipline-context of ‘built environment history’, explores the ramifications of these value-shifts and fragmentations in the area where they are arguably most acute – that of state-sponsored, modernist ‘mass housing’. Here we are dealing with a building type that is not only ubiquitous and, in many places, highly controversial, but which is also, globally speaking, not unambiguously of the past: while in some parts of the world, mass housing construction is clearly ‘finished’, in others, especially in Eastern Asia, very large public housing programmes of modernist towers and slabs are still in progress. Correspondingly, the reception and valorisation of modernist mass housing is also highly fragmented (by comparison with the unity of valorisation of the ‘old’ canonical building types). The paper will outline briefly how, in the cases of the areas of the world where mass housing construction is

seen as ‘concluded’, historians have come to strongly divergent interpretations, although sharing a general consensus that the building type is intrinsically problematic for various reasons, and that any large-scale preservation of the complexes is therefore implausible and impracticable. In Eastern Asia, the paper will suggest, the open-ended character and the relative lack of cultural/political controversy – indeed, popularity – of most mass housing programmes gives a rather different slant to any historical evaluation, let alone heritage advocacy. Focusing especially on the longstanding public housing programmes in Hong Kong and Singapore since at least the 1950s, but also on the public housing in mainland Chinese cities, the paper will argue that the ongoing character of the HK and Singapore programmes, including very large rolling programmes of redevelopment of earlier, ‘obsolete’ phases, makes any concept of systematic ‘protection’ quite implausible – in contrast to Europe, whose Modernist housing programmes were no ‘earlier’ in origin but came to an end many years ago.          

Chair and Discussant: Ralph Bodenstein (Berlin)

Afternoon Session Ia: Contested Spaces and Places: Ruins of the Past and the Presence of Memories


Speaker: Joseph Maran / Thomas Meier (Heidelberg)

Recent studies on cultural and social memory have often had the tendency tostress the inherent capacity of „collective memory“ to foster the identityand cohesion of groups, while disregarding the contested and antagonistic ways of how such memory is constructed in inner-societal practices and discourses. This emphasis on the harmonizing effects of social memory was accompanied by notions of architecture serving as a „Speicher von Erinnerung“ (Aleida Assmann) or of sites as „lieux de memoire“ (Pierre Nora)through which the relation between the built environment and the formation of social memory was essentialized. In order to avoid such an essentialization, the inner-societal processes need to be studied through which at specific times and places architectural features in the widest sense became the focus of social imaginations and practices and were integrated into narratives about the past. The panel will deal with the material engagement with ruins and abandoned sites as places of the active creation of social memory in the framework of preservation and tradition. The emphasis of the panel will be on the dynamic, fluid and contested character of such processes on a trans-cultural scale. What and how one remembers and how one relates to it, is assessed differently from generation to generation. Dependent on the inner-societal discourses in which the past is re-collected, features that were once regarded as important may recede into the background or even sink into seeming oblivion. But through narrative traditions and the materiality of monuments seemingly forgotten features may suddenly be reinvigorated and re-presented as important factors because, under new social and political circumstances, they are assigned significance by certain groups and are employed to achieve certain ends. It is this very act of re-collecting and re-ascribing meaning through social memory and the practices deriving from and constituting it that make certain places persist for such a long time. For the long-term preservation of the memory of the monument across cultural changes it was not so much of crucial importance to faithfully transmit a specific meaning. What counted was the very fact that people recognized the monuments as something special and tried to give meaning to them. Thus, over the centuries, remains of monuments were appropriated, reinterpreted and reinvented. The panel is meant as a first exploration into the field of Contested Places and Spaces.

Archaeology and the Creation of Antiquities

Speaker: Rafi Greenberg (Tel Aviv)

Archaeological “discovery” denotes the exposure of an object of interest to the scientific gaze, and its subsequent classification, appropriation and incorporation in particular systems of interpretation and meaning. Voracious by nature, archaeology is constantly expanding, taking in new spans of time, new places, and new realms of interest, which by now include virtually anything anthropogenic or altered by human action. Indeed, even the lives, habits and genes of individual forebears are being exposed to the archaeological gaze. At every step in its history, then, archaeology has been engaged in the creative redefinition of things, places and people – a redefinition that often was accompanied by the institution of legal and ethical norms to enshrine, protect and preserve “antiquities”. And because these redefined things had a prior, non-archaeological existence, the rebranding of the archaeological object is potentially fraught with conflict and requires constant, value-based justification. This was true in the early days of archaeology, when archaeological excavation and conservation were employed by imperial powers or by the state to impose or promote particular modes of remembering and forgetting and to alienate places and things from their prior contexts and communities, and is certainly true today, when new technologies allow increasingly comprehensive and often invasive programs of survey, excavation and high-resolution analysis and the rapid dissemination of fragments of knowledge used to secure political, cultural or economic advantage. Antiquities and the archaeological, therefore, were never simply there for the taking, but have always been defined by specific actors and discourses embedded in relations of power and subject to contradiction and resistance by other actors.

Written in Stone - Written in Water

Speaker: Carsten Paludan-Müller (Oslo)

The understanding of and approach to the conflict-affected monuments with their associated narratives seem sometimes fossilised, sometimes fluid. How should we as heritage professionals respond? What could be our contribution? Recent years have seen an increased focus on the role of cultural heritage in armed conflicts. Sometimes it is provoked by immediate events, catching global media attention. At other times it is caused by revisiting of frozen or unsettled conflicts that remain a factor in contemporary geopolitics. Even in conflicts that are no longer frozen in the sense that they may “thaw” and turn hot again, cultural heritage can be difficult to handle. The difficulty is not merely related to reaching a unified narrative, acceptable to all parts to a particular conflict in the past, whether they see themselves as victors, victims – or even as perpetrators. Another complicating factor is the existence of different cultures of history and memory, and changing ideals within given cultures about the interpretation and representation of the past. Finally, cultural heritage may be claimed as “property” by a wider, or even by a different audience than the population living around it. The institution of World Heritage facilitates such remote appropriation, and so does the concept of “World Museums”. So whose heritage are we talking about? The answers to that question do in themselves affect the dynamics between cultural heritage and conflict. Examples are drawn from Armenia, Turkey, U.S.A., Syria, Bosnia, Peru, Germany and Japan.

Chair: Joseph Maran (Heidelberg)

Afternoon Session Ib: Politics of Heritage Making: German Archaeology in the Eastern Mediterranean c. 1900

Unexpected Monuments or how to Handle with Cultural Heritage        

Speaker: Claudia Mächler (Berlin)    

Before the start of the German Excavations in Olympia in 1875, besides of the Temple of Zeus and the Byzantine Church only little of the surviving architectural structures were visible. So Ernst Curtius legitimately assumed that the “heilige Boden der Kunst”, which was covered by the huge fluvial deposits of the Alpheios, still preserved many undamaged masterpieces of art. With the discovery of the so called Festungsmauer, entirely built of re- used materials from ancient monuments and even a whole Christian village, the excavators found themselves  confronted  with  monuments  that  seemed  to  block  the  view  on  this selfsame holy ground. Therefore decisions had to be made which changed the topography and thereby the later understanding of the cultural heritage of the site in a lasting and irretrievable way.

On these grounds, this contribution will try to discuss which motives and backgrounds guided the actions of the German Excavations in Olympia and what kind of understanding of cultural heritage can be deduced from these.

The Excavations at Olympia: In Search for the Ideal Greek Sanctuary          

Speaker: Reinhard Senff (Athen)

Ever since the 18th century discovered that Roman art in the collections in European countries was largely based or even copied from Greek prototypes, there existed the wish to search for the original inventions in their country of origin. These ideas finally led to the big enterprise of the excavation at Olympia financed by the German Empire from 1875- 1881. The reality, however, proved different from the expectations and the archaeologists had to change and adapt their strategy to the findings.

One example is the discovery of the late antique fortress and extensive settlement-remains over the ruins of the sanctuary presented in a separate paper by C. Mächler.

A similar situation occurred after the renewal of the excavations in the 1930s, when after the staging of the Olympic games in Berlin new funds were conceded by the German governement to excavate the installations for sports. Completely unexpected findings delayed these plans for decades but led to important discoveries which rewrote the history of the sanctuary.

The Mshattā Façade, Ottoman Heritage Politics and the Resistance of Osman Hamdi Bey

Speaker: Jennifer Pochodzalla (Heidelberg)   

The paper analyzes the case of acquisition of the façade of Mshattā. Being one of the so-called early Islamic Desert Castles from the mid-8th century, Mshattā’s sculptured façade was gifted to the German Kaiser Wilhelm II by Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1903 – against the will of Ottoman archaeologist and director of the Imperial museum, Osman Hamdi Bey. By examining the German plans and dealing with Mshattā, Osman Hamdi Bey’s resistance as well as both their conceptualization and use of heritage, the paper aims at looking into the different concepts of heritage and their particular connection to politics, thus revealing the dynamics and entanglements of politics and heritage around 1900. It proposes that the Ottoman interaction with heritage and specifically Hamdi’s resistance to the export of the Mshattā façade was not only closely connected to modernizing efforts but also to emerging nationalism in the Ottoman Empire, whilst Germany’s desire for it was marked by Wilhelmine Kulturpolitik and the claim to “intellectual superiority” (Bahrani 2011, 132) in terms of interpreting the past. The paper thus explores not only the intricate webs of interaction between two Empires around 1900 but also how within these webs different notions of heritage evolved.

‘Breaking Before Making’. Early Conservation Concepts for Archaeological Sites on the West Coast of Turkey (Didyma & Miletos)

Speaker: Katharina Steudtner (Berlin) / Duygu Göçmen (Berlin)

Usually, as implied in the title of the conference, dealing with heritage is supposed to be a process of making in the sense of identifying historical structures that are worth of preservation. Once identified the heritage specialists try to find sustainable ways of conservation helping to delay a monument’s aging and to prevent its decay.

In our talk, however, we will argue that through archaeological research often a kind of “breaking” occurs to some or many layers of monuments, even before they are constituted as heritage. In order to make our argument, we will proceed as follows:

In the first part – “Breaking” – we consider the aspect of destruction and losing as part of deal­ing with early excavations and research on the sites in the years around 1900. For this aspect we will raise the following questions: What were the main goals of the projects? Were research interests fixed exclusively on certain periods?

How can we reconstruct the knowledge about the objects (age/era, quantities, condition of findings) from today’s perspective? What was “demolished” in favor of the research interests? What role did the approaches of the actors – mainly archaeologists and architects dealing with building archaeology like Wiegand, Knackfuss, Kawerau, Zippelius, Hülsen, von Gerkan – play? How is this expressed in their documentations (based on descriptions, drawings, photographs), publications and self-reflections of research?

Our second focus is “Making” – here meant as process of building and designing artificial ruins: Did conservation measures take place parallel to research? How did conservation measures and concepts (including musealization) develop? Did research results and findings influence the methods of conservation – and how? What was the motivation of the actors? What kind of norms and possibly ethics of conservation did exist at the time? And what were the impacts or consequences of the changing Ottoman legislation regarding antiquities?

Finally, we will deal with the possible contradiction between research interests and conservation interests. For which objects and why did such contradictions arise? How did the actors negotiate and resolve this conflict?                             

Chair: Diamantis Panagiotopoulos (Heidelberg)

Afternoon Session Ic: Mediating Public Heritage

New Technologies and Exhibition Concepts for Mediating Archaeological Heritage in China

Speaker: Patrick Wertmann (Beijing)

Since the reform and open-door policy launched under the leadership of  Deng  Xiaoping  in 1978,  China  is  experiencing  an  enormous  economic  growth,  which  has  initiated  social, cultural   and   political   transformations.   To   prevent   national   instability, the   Chinese Communist Party is confronted with the challenge to  construct  political  legitimacy  by fostering a sense of common cultural identity, social unity, and patriotism among the people. This is done in particular through the re-evaluation and revering of the past, a common practice in China since ancient times. Tremendous financial funds are therefore granted by the state to popularize archaeological finds and cultural heritage among the people. One instrument for this is the Chinese state media, which is putting more and more effort in presenting information on archaeology and culture in a way that meets the interest of the common people. One recent example is the overwhelming media coverage about the discovery of the Han dynasty tomb of Marquis of Haihun State close to modern Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. When the cameras were live broadcasting the opening of the ancient tomb chamber by the archaeologists on 14th November 2015, millions of people sat banned in front of their televisions. Apart from television, it is popular scientific magazines and the Internet that now play increasingly important roles in the dissemination of archaeological heritage in China. This paper will present some of the latest developments and focus on the reasons behind.

Heritage, Tourism, and National Pride: The Baalbeck Festival in Lebanon

Speaker: Nadia von Maltzahn (Beirut)

Founded in 1956, the Baalbeck Festival was Lebanon’s first international festival, and remains one of its most prominent until today. Set in the Roman ruins of Baalbeck, the festival – which soon became an official institution – turned the archaeological site into a site of consumption, a “magical” venue “steeped in history”. In the absence of a consensus on Lebanon’s history due to the manifold and competing interpretations of its past, heritage sites become anchors for particular narratives of the country’s history and celebrations of the present. In this paper, I will examine the role of the Baalbeck Festival in contributing to a debate of culture in Lebanon, looking in particular at the relationship between the festival and its location. The festival has been described as illustrating a Lebanese paradox of the pre-civil war era, acting as though it was situated in the middle of an ocean, disconnected from its immediate surrounding that is the city of Baalbeck. In recent years, local politics and its geographic location in the Bekaa Valley, just west of the mountain range that separates Lebanon from Syria, could less easily be ignored. Looking at the actors, power dynamics and cultural policies of the festival, the appropriation of heritage as a tool for tourism and source of national pride will be analysed.

Measuring Extent of Economic Benefits of Archaeological Heritage Sites in Sudan – Begrawia as a Case Study   

Speaker: Ahmed Adam (Khartoum)

Begrawia is the capital of Meroe Kingdom, one of the most important early civilizations in Sudan. It dates back to 350 BC - 350 AD. This area has a proven record of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, including archaeological monuments such as a royal city and pyramids among others.  In addition, there are historic and colonial buildings and a diversity of evidence of popular cultures, which represents an important part of the cultural heritage of the Sudan that crystallized to become the modern Sudanese identity and personality.

Therefore this presentation aims to discuss the dire need for the protection and preservation of this very important humanistic heritage in order to deploy and exploit it as a source of sustainable economic heritage for the region and the Sudan as a whole.                       

Industrial Ruins as Cultural Heritage in Japan: Economic Growth Nostalgia in the Age of Abenomics     

Speaker: Harald Fuess (Heidelberg)                       

Japan has failed to see significant economic development in contrast to its East Asian neighbors for over a quarter century since its economic bubble burst. Even China surpassed Japan in its gross national product and Korea challenged Japanese technological leadership in the consumer goods industry with Samsung beating Sony in the cell phone market worldwide. In the international imagination Japan is now no longer associated with reliable cars, ubiquitous TV displays, or computer hardware but with manga, anime and video games. To its dismay or delight Japan has been transformed from a country of economic mass production to one of mass cultural creation.

As Japan is slowly coming to terms with the obvious fact that rapid economic growth in the traditional sense will never be regained in a fast aging society with a diminishing population, the industrial past is undergoing a public reassessment. The age of industry is no longer remembered for the urban smog that prevented Tokyoites from seeing mount Fuji in broad daylight or the Minamata disease killing fishermen through mercury poisoning. The economic miracle years of a productive country and a prolific population overcoming the “dark valley” of wartime damage and deprivation is receding from living memory of the working-age population and turning into a frame of reference for Japan’s large group of pensioners. As the past promise of a bright future for all has become clouded in the present amid worries about social and economic sustainability. Grimness and grit of factory work and mining labor is no longer portrayed in emotional black and white colors.

Collective forms of selective memory are common in most societies, but two dimensions may deserve particular attention in the Japanese context. One is the very recent nature of the popular acceptance of industrial heritage as a form of national culture. In a country long cherishing a notion of natural and cultural beauty rooted in some remote tradition, even when embodied in “national living treasures” such as kabuki actors, this comes as a surprise as only a decade ago remnants of factories were decaying abandoned in the countryside and stone rubbles of all kind were generally ignored as a rather uninteresting and uninspiring remnant of a Western-induced forced modernization that had been running counter to core Japanese cultural values. Museums including Western-inspired nineteenth century buildings such as Meiji Mura always suffered from general lack of enthusiasm from Japanese tourists compared to interest in “real” Japanese domestic travel destinations. The sudden but visible shift in this popular perception can best be seen when the Tomioka Silk Mill in Gumna prefecture was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in June 2014.

The second dimension is the role outside appreciation played in shaping the Japanese redefinition of its own culture. Despite common Japanese critic among the cultural establishment of the UNESCO as a white boys’ club, it is the dialogue with non-Japanese institutions that has become an integral part of the process of discovering and reshaping industrial sites as cultural traditions of Japan. One of the most curious contemporary examples is the movement to promote Gunkanjima (warship-island) off the coast of Nagasaki, as a site of culture. The Japanese government in 2008 even decided to include it as a candidate for UNESCO world heritage recognition. While the island is mostly closed to visitors due to the physical danger of collapsing buildings, Nagasaki city is hosting a Virtual Museum. What is remarkable about this commemorative location is the focus on photographs and slide shows as well as displays of material culture as a means of communication with the visitors. The focus is on the achievement of middle-class status in daily and common community life of a very young urban population. Women form the center of this display of a condensed mining town society while the men are almost visually hidden away into the mine. Achievements in technology like Japan’s first high rise building, feats of logistic and supply do also feature as part of the exhibitions. One of the small quotes by a former inhabitant, a spouse of a miner, says that she just once wanted to return to the island before she dies. The Museum is one of the most cutting-edge digital humanities institutions in the small townscape of Nagasaki rich in historical monuments such as the Dutch trading post of Dejima island, Japan’s first Catholic church and the atomic bomb memorial. While the application of the word “culture” to industrial ruins may strike the uninitiated casual observer as overstretching the term that would certainly prove to be controversial inside and outside of the country. It is only after leaving the museum that another set of question comes to mind. What is really Japanese about Gunkanjima? In a way the answer is a no brainer: the island is physically located in today’s Japan even if it probably shares many working and technologically features of coal mines not located on islands. What was absent in the virtual story of the museum were 1300 Chinese and Korean men drafted as coerced laborers during World War II. Would their inclusion have destroyed the image of Gunkanjima as the site of cultural heritage or as a place of Japanese culture?

Prime Minister Abe is known abroad for two core policies. One is rekindling economic growth through the attempt of inducing a virtuous economic cycle by the state printing money in order to increase consumer confidence, enhance domestic purchases and corporate production. The second issue closer to his heart is to change Article Nine of the constitution to make Japan a “normal nation” with a more independent security policy in a region marked by assertive Chinese territorial claims. The Japanese governments pronouncements on World War II in the last decades have become an international discursive battleground for defining Japan’s position in international relations, especially as Abe never tires to point out that his grandfather was unjustly detained for several years as a war criminal. One does wonder whether the two policies of economic revival and more assertive nationalism are blending together. The sudden recovery of its industrial heritage as cultural sites may be part of more deliberate state policy but what is more relevant is the extent to which it speaks to the emotional needs of a population disappointed at the economic development during several “lost decades” in which Japan no longer seems able to achieve an economic miracle.

Chair: Carsten Wergin (Heidelberg)

Afternoon Session IIa: Heritage, Decolonization, Nation-State

Field Notes: Archaeology, Heritage and the Decolonising Nation-State

Speaker: William Carruthers (London)

This paper examines practices of field archaeology and their relationship with heritage and the nation at a critical time in the development of these intertwined phenomena, providing a historical perspective to many of the issues under discussion at this conference. In the 1960s, archaeologists descended upon Egypt and Sudan in order to excavate ancient remains before they were submerged by the floodwaters of the Aswan High Dam. Not only did this work help to constitute the past in

these two decolonising nation-states, it also contributed to the development of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention. Discussing this process, this paper therefore develops a grounded understanding of the practices by which (field) knowledge production, heritage and the post-war nation-state helped to constitute each other.

Changing Wayang Scenes. The Politics of Heritage Formation in Colonial and Postcolonial Indonesia   

Speaker: Sadiah Boonstra (London)           

This paper deals with the politically imbued heritage discourse of the wayang theater in contemporary Indonesia in relation to the colonial and postcolonial past. Discourses of wayang with roots in the colonial and postcolonial past, shaped official - rather static standards - of wayang that resonate in UNESCO heritage discourse but not always match popular performance practice.

This paper discusses various strategies dalang [puppeteers] apply in dealing with dominant heritage discourse. These strategies range from the application of codified standards to wayang shows in art academies and official heritage discourse, to a commercial performance practice that has become the standard for official heritage and popular discourse. The third dalang successfully – albeit controversially - combines radical innovations, such as Islamic chants with sexual allusions and rude language. In 2014, this dalang was elected regent of his home province, illustrating the intertwining of culture and politics. 

Canonization of the Suppressed Iconography: Shaping the Memory of the Single-Party Period during the AKP Period in Turkey

Speaker: Umut Azak (Istanbul)

The sacralized heritage of the Kemalist Republic has been preserved, reinvented, transformed as well as being contested since the beginning of the multi-party democracy in Turkey in the mid-1940s. Heritage sites such as monuments for national martyrs or the Mausoleum of Atatürk; official commemorative ceremonies taking places in these sites; or school textbooks have been channels through which the Kemalist iconography could be reproduced. The Islamist critique of this iconography took “iconoclastic” forms, as in the case of the Tijani brotherhood’s protest acts of smashing Atatürk’s statues in the early 1950s, or less radical but more effective forms such as producing materials narrating an alternative national history which undermined the historical role of Atatürk and/or emphasized the history of the Muslims suppressed under the secularist regime. The consequent Islamist iconography rejuvenated especially in the last decades in the context of increasing electoral successes of the Islamist movement. This paper will examine the recent canonization of this narrative of alternative heroes.                           

Reconstructing Old Warsaw / Constructing Socialism

Speaker: Nikolas Drosos (Columbia)

This paper examines the post-1945 rebuilding of Warsaw’s Old Town. Still seen as an emblematic case of historical reconstruction, the campaign coincided with the restructuring of the war-torn country into a People’s Republic dependent on Moscow. Drawing on primary sources, I will focus on the ideological underpinnings of heritage management in Stalinist Poland, and the Old Town’s complex relationship with the new, “socialist-realist” architecture of the Polish capital that often mimicked the city’s historical structures. I will also trace the effects of subsequent political shifts onto reconstruction practices, such as those of the Thaw of 1956, or during the final decades of of state socialism, when the ideologically fraught restoration of the Royal Palace was finally undertaken after long neglect.

Chair: Philipp Stockhammer (München/Heidelberg)

Afternoon Session IIb: Ex Oriente Lux? Classical Music in the Hands of Chinese Musicians—Crisis, Challenge, Chance?

Roundtable-Discussion: Inga Mai Groote, Annette Hornbacher, Hsin-yi Li, Barbara Mittler, Dorothea Redepenning                          

Discussant: Odila Schröder (Heidelberg)

One of the most important elements in China’s music scene today is the practice of “classical music.” European musical traditions were first introduced by European missionaries to the Chinese imperial court in the 17th century. They only became more generally known in urban China about a century ago. Today, the world’s largest piano and violin factories are in China. Concert halls and opera houses spring up everywhere and they are probably unique worldwide in attracting a predominantly youthful audience. Many more Chinese than European children learn how to play a classical instrument  (and not just in absolute numbers). Music schools all over the world admit Chinese students who excel—international music competitions are testimony to their overwhelming success—an obvious challenge to other (and European) participants. Classical music has become the new face as well as a new phase of “Chinese” music-making.

In this roundtable discussion which brings together specialists in European musicology, anthropology and Chinese Studies, we will consider the implications of this transcultural musical practice. Our point of departure is a recent novel by French author Etienne Barilier entitled Piano chinois. It features two French music critics debating the performance of a Chinese pianist. One of them declares her the “greatest pianist of all days,” for her exquisite performance of Scarlatti, Brahms and Chopin, the other denounces her play as “lacking in spirit, artificial and imitative”—the end of music-making in its real sense. Their fictional blog exchange includes many of the typical stereotypes to be found in media critiques of Chinese musicians but at the same time, they are offering important pointers for our reflections on the meaning of classical music in a global context: why does classical music, the “emblematic product of the West” play such an important role in “the East”? And since it apparently does, how destructive, instructive or constructive can this be for classical music and its practice? Can Chinese musicians ever play classical music “authentically?” Does European music “lose its soul” in their hands or can it not, instead, actually find a new spirit, might it have an even brighter future on the “Chinese piano”?

Our discussion will take the two fictional critics and their ideas as our point of departure for a dialogue debating the rise of the Chinese/Asian musician on the global stage as crisis, challenge and chance for classical music-making, informing and transforming it in myrid ways. We will bring in views from musicology, anthropology and Chinese Studies as we debate the gains and pains of transcultural processes in music-making, experiences from participant-observations in German Musikhochschulen and Italian opera houses, analyzing views by Asian students and their European professors, Asian singers and their European producers, and deliberating (their) attributions of “authenticity” and “Chineseness” in the practice of classical music. By including a section of “blind listening” to examples from performances by Chinese and European musicians alike, we are also hoping to draw our audience into the discussion.

Afternoon Session IIc: Archives of Heritage

Excavating the City: Metro Rail Construction and Imagination of ‘Past’ in Contemporary Jaipur

Speaker: Garima Dhabhai (Yale/Delhi)

Metro Rail, a proven instrument for restructuring urban space in contemporary India, is beginning its journey in Jaipur, a city in northwest India. The material process of this ‘birth’ is being written onto the land and built environment of the city at this very moment. In Jaipur this initial moment of spatial reordering has become an exercise in reading possible pasts that are strewn across the city. Religious groups, tourist associations, local conservationist groups, NGOs and government departments are all participating in defining ‘heritage’ for the city while the digging is on. Unearthed structures, artifacts and Jaipur’s plan itself are undergoing multiple interpretations. The paper proposes to describe these processes of ‘valorization’ through which the city’s past is metamorphosed, captured and reproduced in the registers of ‘heritage’ and ‘development’ while highlighting the micro-dynamics of power and contestations that shape the ‘re-production’ of an old city in the times of ‘world class’ urbanity.                          

Lost, not Found?: Missing Provenance, ‘Lost’ Artworks, and the Making of Heritage in Turkey

Speaker: Banu Karaca (Berlin)

This paper traces the stories surrounding lost, stolen, and expropriated art, along with works of missing provenance against the background of the politics of dispossession that brought the Turkish Republic into being, and that mainly targeted non-Muslim minorities. It proposes that with these works we loose the memory of artists, collectors and audiences that are vital for our understanding of art historical taxonomies as well as for conceptualizations of heritage. I juxtapose this absence with Turkey’s current, and rather aggressive, restitution campaigns against cultural institutions abroad that seem to indicate a renewed awareness with regard to cultural patrimony. The paper asks what makes some artworks and cultural artifacts more important than others, and how heritage is (re)defined these processes.

‘Written Creeds in the Heart’?: Challenges of African Oral Cultures in Negotiating Contemporary Ethical Challenges in Zimbabwe       

Speaker: Biri Kudzai (Zimbabwe)

When an elder dies in Africa, a library is burnt! (John Mbiti)

This paper is a critique of the oral nature of African Traditional Religion and culture. Utilising the Shona (the dominant ethnic group) of Zimbabwe, I unravel the complex inter-play between ‘unwritten creeds’ and contemporary ethical issues. There are contradictions inherent in the political discourses surrounding beliefs and practices in Zimbabwe (generalizable in African contexts). Modernity and emerging multiple identities presents dilemmas in Africa. Contestations on the politics of normativity and ingenuity in the ‘absence of a sacred text’ rock the continent in response to ethical issues. The imagined past has been the yardstick of the politics of belonging and exclusion. The ‘unwritten texts’ in a globalised world with emerging complex identities provides a tapestry of both hope and challenges.     

Custodians of the Jewish Textual Tradition. The Heritage of a People Apart Curation and Retrieval

Speaker: Susanne Marten-Finnis (Portsmouth)                               

The study of the Ashkenazi Jewish press that emerged as a child of the Berlin Haskalah 200 years ago, presents a challenging task for a variety of reasons. Firstly, because it generated a transnational field of cultural production as a result of which German as the language of the Enlightenment in the West had to compete with Hebrew, Russian and Yiddish in the East. A command of the relevant languages is therefore a prerequisite for its systematic study. Another difficulty is presented by its ephemeral nature; repositories are often scattered as a consequence of either clandestine conditions of production, distribution and reception, state censorship or migrating editors and readers. Over the past 15 years, these challenges have been successfully met by the joint efforts of scholars and archivists in Germany, Israel and the countries of Jewish migration.

Whereas until the 1990s, Jewish presses were merely consulted as vehicles for the reconstruction of and hence as a product of social reality, the 2000s have seen their study as a producer of social reality. In that respect, the Jewish press was regarded as a medium combining Jewish tradition and philosophical inquiry, and as a medium for mass education rather than information. The latter was all the more important, as, in the absence of Jewish statehood, presses were seen as inculcators of Jewish values from one generation to the next. Further topics of study were its contribution to the discursive construction of Jewish national identities, and the rise of modern journalism in Europe.

As a result, the historiography of the Jewish press has now established itself both as an archive of knowledge and as an independent subject of scholarly research involving a variety of disciplines including the history of ideas, literature, art history and philology, to name but the most relevant.

Nevertheless, the question remains how to preserve this treasure house of a unique textual tradition, in which a universe of discourse replaced the physical here and now of a nation with a geographical home. Entrusted with its curatorship in the digital age, with technologies available for data storage, manipulation and retrieval, we find ourselves confronted with further challenges and responsibilities: we are the custodians of this heritage, to take stock, to examine and to sift.

This is the theme of my proposed paper. I will question how appropriate are the received concepts and policies of reclaiming, redefining and reconfiguring this Jewish library of texts, both religious and secular, together with their interpretations, when the task is to negotiate between honouring the central role of discourse in Jewish Diaspora life and telling the story of a people apart.

Conflicting Modernities: Preserving the Wall Paintings of Shekhawati

Speaker: Saumya Agarwal (Heidelberg)

The Painted Havelis in Shekhawati, Rajasthan, are visual narratives of a colonial and pre-colonial past and sites of a growing interest in the preservation of these spaces as cultural heritage. They are also privately owned residences. In my paper I will explore the complexities involved in preservation when the sites are privately owned, especially when there is a conflict between the global/western values that dictate the interest in these sites as heritage and the local values subscribed to by the residents/ owners of these spaces. In my research I will localise discourses surrounding preservation and destruction by exploring the various agents involved in this process. These include representatives, both private and state funded of the ‘educative’ post- colonial state, the affluent diasporic Marwari merchants whose ancestral properties these buildings are, and the current residents and owners of these spaces.

If the possession of heritage is a mark of modernity in the discourse of heritage making, then I would like to argue that the site of these havelis is caught between a contest of modernities, as another process of modernization and urbanization is directing the changes that these structures are undergoing, which is leading to the destruction of many of the paintings. Treating these walls as palimpsests I explore the changes which are labelled as ‘destruction’ as inherent to the forces that lead to the creation of the paintings in the first place. Contingent to these negotiations is also the effect of the heritage economy, which, with the increase in tourism in the area, is affecting a most interesting form of conservation through a ‘restoration’ of the wall paintings which is imitative of art styles popular in the rest of Rajasthan, but different from the Shekhawati idiom in both style and content. In my paper, thus, I seek to interrogate ideas of authenticity, modernity, preservation and the local community’s right to interpret ‘heritage’ in the lived-in spaces of the painted buildings of Shekhawati.

I am a PhD candidate at the Cluster of Asia and Europe in a Global Context. I am in the third year of my dissertation on the wall paintings of Shekhawati. I have spent the last one year doing fieldwork in the area which involved extensively photographing the painted buildings and collecting material about the artists who were involved in the building and painting process.               

Chair: Hannah Baader (Florenz/Berlin)

Keynote II: The Inheritance of Loss: Collective Memory, Collateral Damage, and the Ruins of Ruins

Speaker: Sinan Antoon (New York/Berlin)

Dictatorship and military occupation (or “interference”) in recent years have led to the disintegration or weakening of the state and the spread of civil and proxy wars in Iraq and Syria. In addition to countless lives and spaces, the massive violence unleashed by these events has also claimed sites and structures widely considered to be national (and “global”) treasures in both countries.

Many scholars, archeologists, and specialists, native and foreign, are at pains as to respond to this destruction and find ways and means to ameliorate its effects. With the proliferation of ruins, producers of culture; writers, artists, etc., are confronted with the ruins of ruins and the challenge of representation.

What is at stake in these attempts at discursive preservation? What kinds of ideological traps lie in wait for those engaging in them? How is loss emplotted and to what end? I will try to answer these questions with reference to examples from the works of Iraqi and Syrian writers and artists.

Chair: Georges Khalil (Berlin)

Morning Session I: Capacity Building and the Politics of Archeology in Times of Crisis

Beginning Again – A Post-Crisis Future

Speaker: Friederike Fless (Berlin)

The main focus of the lecture lies on one aspect: What are the possible courses of action, and in what framework do they have to take place, if some of the actors no longer respect international and national conventions and laws like the so called Islamic State in Iraq and in Syria. The subject of possible courses of action, or the sense of impotence that comes with not being able to intervene, is currently being intensively debated and counter-debated on a variety of levels. Issues of international law, political questions, and purely pragmatic factors interact here. They aim at punishing destruction and preventing further damage. They are increasingly accompanied by deliberations on how to protect archaeological heritage also during a crisis, and on determining who is capable of taking action.

Measures to preserve culture, long-term safeguarding of excavation documentation, communication, training, and access for tourists have gained also basically new significance through international conventions, and a new binding force through an internationally valid legal basis for modern archeological research. Examples are the 1970 UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, and the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage signed at Valetta on 16 January 1992 (for Germany see the Bundesgesetzblatt of 15 October 2002). These national laws and the internationally prevailing standards are obligatory for archaeological activities. This means that an excavation has to be thought through and planned from the beginning to the end of the preservation activities, and include presentation of the results. At the same time, the call for co-production and cooperation on an international level leads to requests for training and capacity-building programs. This gives rise to a crucial question for research projects and describes the second main question of my lecture: How can this be accomplished? The Project “Die Stunde Null – A future for the time after crisis” of the Archaeological Heritage Network should be described as one possible answer to this question.  

Sustainable Development for Heritage and Nature Protection. Transfer and Communication of Cultural and Natural Heritage for Children and Young Adults

Speakers: Claudia Bührig (Berlin) / Frank Andraschko (Hamburg)

Researchers from the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin, in cooperation with the Archaeological Institute of Hamburg University, have started several activities in the area of cultural mediation for the local community as well as for the promotion of sustainable cultural   and   natural   tourism.   Building   researchers   and   experimental   archaeologists developed an unprecedented imparting programme which connects nature conservation and monument protection in Gadara, present‐day´s Umm Qays.

The major local target audience of the project are children and young adults. By learning about their region´s history, they get sensitised for their own cultural and natural heritage. The project were realised in very close cooperation with many local partners from Umm Qays. 

Due to the extremely positive experiences, in the years ahead, an education programme to impart knowledge about the rich cultural heritage of the entire region of Jordan and Syria will  be  developed  from  this  under  German  direction  in  very  close  collaboration  with Jordanian partners and international organisations. It is to be provided in Jordanian communities as well as for Syrian refugees. At the same time, it is also planned to look after the preservation of the considerable monument substance of the over 2.000 years old Hellenistic‐Roman city layout. For this purpose, a training programme for local craftsmen and young adults is being established, in which traditional stonemason´s techniques are conveyed by and trained with German experts. The aim is to cautiously build up a pool of knowledge and practical experience, which can be used for the planned protection and conservation of the culture‐historically important Western Theatre in Gadara.

All these measures do not only include mediation and training aspects but will also be incorporated into the set‐up of ecotourism offers, which are already being initiated by the German Corporation for International Cooperation. Our main plan is to see the area of Gadara/Umm Qays as a model region for a sustainable development, especially taking into account the cultural heritage and nature protection in this unique, history‐charged cultural landscape. The project also includes the development of new branding and marketing instruments for the international tourism market.

This paper summarises activities in the field of communication and preservation of the rich cultural and natural heritage of the region. The idea is: Strengthening the local intangible cultural heritage, for example stonemasonry, will finally prove beneficial to the tangible cultural heritage as well.

Taking Egyptology into School: Possibilities and Limits of German Educational Booklets on Egyptology for Schools in Egypt  

Speaker: Hanna Sonbol (Kairo)

The DAI Cairo has started the project „Unterrichtsmaterialien”(educational material) 2012 in context of the German funding programme Transformationspartnerschaften (transformation partnerships) in order to contribute to the awareness raising and education of children in Egypt regarding their heritage. The project proceeds in two ways: 1. By developing and publishing educational booklets for teachers in German and Arabic that they can use in their classes. 2. By organizing children days on special topics about the archaeological sites nearby; for example, a Dahshur day in Dahshur.

Projects as these are until now rare in Egypt, although in the last years a couple of them established themselves. In context of the topic of this panel the ongoing question remains with every educational booklet published and every children-day organized at an archaeological site: What makes projects such as these different from its missionary colonialist predecessors? What is it that we need to consider not to back-fall in these old patterns? In the case of Egypt, the setting has changed and logically the scenario followed: Since 1952 Egypt has been self- governed by Egyptians, including the ministry of antiquities, that until then was held by French Egyptologists. Therefore, foreigners are not ruling the country any more. This history should not be forgotten and most of all the motives of educational and community projects should not rely on teaching third world countries their history, but institutions to open up their research in general for the public.

Chair: Georges Khalil (Berlin)

Morning Session II: Models of Native Participation Versus Claims of Repatriation. Options and Potentials in the Making of the Humboldt Forum Berlin

Native Participation and Claims of Repatriation - Challenges and Potentials in the Making of the Future Humboldt Forum at Berlin

Speaker: Viola König (Berlin)

The new Humboldt Forum in the reconstructed Prussian Palace in the center of Berlin is generally identified as Germany’s most ambitious cultural enterprise. Challenges are to be discussed with the example of the ethnographic collections to be moved from the outskirts at Berlin Dahlem to the center of Germany’s capital. From the very beginning the responsible director of the Ethnologisches Museum (EM) had postulated a multi- perspective approach and interpretation for the new presentation of the ethnographic collections in the future Humboldt Forum at Berlin. While that postulation was not at all taken for granted by the museum curators in the early 2000s, it is today a given requirement dealing with collections in European and western museums. However, the new free digital and physical access to the collections to not only international scholars but also members of indigenous communities who nowadays can and do travel to Europe has led to a number of challenges, while the exhibition concept for Humboldt Forum is fairly advanced. Different claims from various parts of the world address the mere existence of the collections in Berlin, the way the objects had left their home countries and places of origin, and they are concerned with the further use, handling and exposure of objects.

The postulated right of the so-called Universal museums in the western world to hold native collections for the sake of a globalized humanity sharply contrasts some indigenous claims. However, by no means does there one single opinion exist. Some groups believe that collections could and should stay where they are today, because they had been rescued from destruction at their native homes. In most of the cases, claims are not being set as official request by some nation state, but by individuals, members of native groups, families or organizations. In some cases western individuals act as representatives of native interests and it is difficult to find out who initially stimulated the claim – either the western individual or the native group itself.

The Value of Time and the Production of Heritage        

Speaker: Susanne Leeb (Lüneburg)  

Time in the form of the past is constitutive for „heritage“. Time as past creates treasures. At least until the 1950s, the history of archaeology was described as the discovery of great past civilizations, which have fallen into ruin. Documents of the 19th and early 20th centuries almost invariably describe the contemporary inhabitants of the countries archaeological finds as the „decayed“ remnants of a glorious past. The discourse of heritage relocates monuments in a different realm of time, a time outside of history. With this split of time, the history of people and the history of monuments go hand in hand with a generalization of time. Instead of being located within a shared specific context of entangled histories and agents, this past of monuments is considered until today as the past of „mankind“. There seems to be a correlation: The older the objects are, the closer to „mankind“ they get. This culminates in the self-understanding of Western museums as the administrators and possessors of cultures of mankind, who nowadays give guided tours for refugees to look at their decayed pasts. This lecture will analyse the value of time in the discourse of heritage and the imaginary character of the past tense and its economic and political circumstances. It will also discuss some works of contemporary artists who establish a different relation to archaeological findings, other than treasures, other than past, other than mankind.

Comment: Henry Keazor (Heidelberg)         

Chair: Monica Juneja (Heidelberg)

Afternoon Session Ia: Rupture, Past, Mediation

The Mediation of Al-Andalus in 2013 and the Arab Transnational Crisis of Meaning-Making

Speaker: Omar Al-Ghazzi (Sheffield)  

This paper examines how Al-Andalus, the name of Muslim-ruled Spain from the 8th to the 15th centuries, was mediated in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab uprisings. It explores how nostalgic and affective uses of history for political mobilization are reflected in communicative practices. It analyzes a social media campaign and a web series that imagine and narrate the history of Al-Andalus and use it to articulate new religiously-cognizant political positions. However, the two cases diverge in the political messages they extract and highlight from the history of Al-Andalus. Against the backdrop of the political situation in the Arab world in 2013, the two media cases differ in their subtle commentary about relations with the West, the efficacy of collective action, and, more fundamentally, the meaning of an Arab-Muslim collective identity.   

Fictional Paradise: Moral Representations of the Damascene Courtyard House

Speaker: Helena Nassif (Marburg)

In this paper I explore how one famous television drama series, Bab al-Hara, constructs a “moral” home that is composed of the Damascene old courtyard house and the set of relationships that value kinship, gender segregation and communal solidarity. I show how the courtyard house is consecrated as a “place of memory” that reproduces Old Damascus, and how the “ideal” home is grounded in both memories and imagination of the old city quarters. I describe how, in Bab al-Hara, the “moral” home is constructed to signify wealth, chastity and patriotism. I argue that the mutually constitutive relationship between Old Damascus, as material, symbolic and thought, helps us to situate the “Damascene Milieu” drama genre within a complex process that flags up the contradictions between discourses on domestic morality, and the production of Old Damascus as a heritage site that was attractive to tourists and investors as part of a globalised tourism network before the Syrian crisis.           

National Reconciliation or Rupture with the Past: De-Communisation of Yugoslav Memories in Serbian Politics

Speaker: Ana Milošević (Leuven)

The present paper explores the nexus between Europeanization and dealing with the past in Serbia through the debate on de-communisation. I analyse under which conditions, using what mechanisms and with what aim, political elites in Serbia use the process of Europeanization and the EU models in dealing with the past of totalitarian regimes, to defuse the communist past-inthe- present. Drawing evidence from the changing nature of Serbian politics of memory in the EU Integration process, in particular I observe policy building and political elites’ discourse on rehabilitation of the victims of totalitarian regimes in Serbia. Arguing that belated decommunisation of Yugoslav past, serves the current need for a new national identity narrative, it aims to foster new national consensus on the WWII past. Maintaining both features, antifascist and anti-communist, it renegotiates the role of chetniks by aiding emergence of debate on crimes of partisans against ethnic minorities in Vojvodina (Hungarians, Germans), which are used as a commodity for the advancement of the country on its EU path.    

On the Culturalization of Political and Social Issues    

Speaker: Katrin Stoll (Warschau)

The psychoanalyst and writer Sama Maani has recently argued that the current discourse in European societies concerning “us” and “the migrants” is committed to what he calls the “Kulturprinzip”. Whenever people talk about “foreign” culture and their “own culture” nowadays, they do so, Maani argues, in categories of nature, i.e. in terms of an essentialized notion of culture. According to Maani, such a conceptualization of culture discloses “our desire to adhere to something unchangeable”, to a quasi-national character by nature, a “(Volks-)Charakter”. Drawing on Maani’s essay, Wendy Brown’s critique of the tolerance discourse2 and Slavoj Žižek’s work, my paper addresses the question of why so many political issues and debates are currently de-politicized by conceptualizing them as problems of culture. My hypothesis is that this is an attempt to negate the inescapable political conditionality or conditionedness (Bedingtheit) of global capitalism that we are exposed to.

Chair: Daniel König (Heidelberg) 

Afternoon Session Ib: Selective Amnesia. Exploring and Exploiting Istanbul’s Past


Speaker: Katja Piesker (Berlin)

Istanbul, the city situated on two continents, provides an instructive example of how perceptions of a city and its heritage vary and change depending on time, circumstances, and last but not least on the particular audience. The city’s history spans over more than 2,000 years. As is well known, the ancient harbour city of Byzantium became the metropolis of two empires: the Byzantine and the Ottoman one. In 1923 Ankara was chosen as the capital of the newly founded Turkish Republic. Still, Istanbul thrived as an economic and intellectual centre. Today, it is the biggest city in Turkey with about 15 million inhabitants.

Istanbul boasts of its rich heritage—not least to attract more than 10 million visitors a year. Its memory, however, is selective. While single monuments, or rather their outer appearance, are scrubbed clean or restored in order to create a picture-perfect historical scenery, major parts of the city have to yield to new structures due to the demands of a rapidly rising number of inhabitants, a booming economy, and neo-liberal politics. Large-scale market-driven construction and land developments, which frequently include demolitions, are fundamentally changing the fabric and character of the city. The visible and invisible remains of a long-term history are challenged by short-sighted interventions—not least due to a striking ignorance of the city’s more recent past and heritage.

Interestingly enough, the plans for the future city comprise a considerable number of reconstructed historical or historicist structures. They are part of an “Ottoman Revival” that calls for a simplified, yet glorious, version of the past. Accordingly, Istanbul’s diverse and colourful history is reduced to images of past grandeur. Recent scholarly attempts to embrace and explore the multi-ethnic, multi-layered development of a city, that is not only geographically located between Europe and Asia, stand in stark contrast to the need for a straightforward and continuous story of a proud Turkish nation state that can be exploited economically and politically.

The panel seeks to stress the academic perspective. It means to discuss new insights into the city’s development since the late 18th century against the backdrop of the contemporary urban and political debate, and it wishes to bring together scholars using different methodological approaches towards the study of Istanbul’s past with critical thinkers that share an intimate knowledge of the city and its history—including its changing urban, social, ethnic, and physical fabric—and the desire to make it available for future planning.

The main objective is to discuss when, by whom, and why different notions of heritage have been used to explain and justify interventions into the urban fabric of Istanbul from around 1800 onwards. This approach is based on the assumption that the city’s rapid and conflicted late Ottoman and early Republican development effects the present situation, but is only insufficiently taken into the equation. In doing so, the panel aims at putting the current debate into a wider perspective and at confronting the scholarly efforts to grasp the multi-layered history of the city with attempts to simplify it—out of ignorance and/or political strategy.

Fin-de-Siècle Istanbul and the life Writing of its Ottoman Citizens and Recent Residents

Speaker: Richard Wittmann (Istanbul)

The Ottoman capital Istanbul has been home to many nationalities and adherents of various religions, ever since the city was conquered from the Byzantines in 1453. The Ottoman ordre public, which was developed according to Islamic notions of the state, and the dhimma in particular, allowed for the functioning conviviality of Muslims, Christians and Jews, which knew only rare and short-lived disruptions of their all-in-all peaceful coexistence. The different religious communities had their own organizational structures that benefited from a significant degree of legal autonomy in internal affairs.

In the mid-nineteenth century, however, domestic and external factors affected the existing population mix of Istanbul, which had the transformative potential of creating a new citizenry in the Ottoman capital city. Some could for the first time hope to become fully equal subjects as a result of the Tanzimat reforms and enjoy the designation as Ottoman citizens with the promulgation of the Ottoman Nationality Law of 1869, while for others Istanbul became a new (albeit, for some, only temporary) home as migrants from Europe and elsewhere arrived in the city in considerable numbers for economic or political reasons. 

Drawing on the personal accounts of male and female individuals of all walks of life who were part of the composite of inhabitants of Istanbul towards the end of the 19th century, we will look in an exemplary fashion at how through their self-narratives these new citizens and residents articulated their aspirations, attitudes and hopes with regard to various forms of participation in life in fin-de-siècle Istanbul.           

Tophane: From an Imperial Cannon Foundry to a Battlefield of Urban Visions

Speaker: Katja Piesker (Berlin)

Named after a cannon foundry, established in early Ottoman times, the Tophane area was primarily used for military purposes until the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. As the main point of embarkation and a ‘vestibule’ to Pera until late Ottoman times the area served as a showcase of Westernisation and Modernisation in the 19th century. Today, it is a prime example of vigorous gentrification processes in Istanbul, not least due to the construction of the “Galataport”, a gigantic cruise pier with hotels and shopping facilities.

The existing urban fabric of Tophane was created in the second half of the 1950s. Under the guidance of Hans Högg, a German town planner, almost all of the 19th century military installations were demolished. At the same time, single monuments were ‘liberated’ or even restored—allegedly re-creating the traditional Turkish city. Coincidently, the population of the neighbourhood changed. After the departure of most of the remaining Greeks following the Pogrom of Istanbul in 1955, the area was occupied by immigrants from Anatolia and Kurds. Thus, the late 1950s saw a fundamental change of population and demography and city-scape.

A study of the urban development of Tophane since around 1800—based on the physical remains and on an abundance of depictions and descriptions—aims at highlighting the consequences of a long-standing struggle for modernity and at making hidden repercussions of a complicated past on the current debate visible.

Who Owns Tophane's Past? Reproducing, Molding and Erasing the Past of a Gentrifying Neighbourhood in Istanbul.

Speakers: Karin Schuitema / Emily Arauz (Istanbul)

Ever since the capital of the new Turkish Republic was moved to Ankara in the early twentieth century, Istanbul and its many neighborhoods experienced a series of evolving identify formations. With the most recent trend towards Neo-Ottomanism and investment in the tourist industry, over the past ten years there has been a resurgence of interest and focus on the cultural and urban development of Istanbul by the national government. In a city with such a complex and ancient history, these modern changes have manifested in the loss of the authentic, historical fabric of the city, embedded in both the physical structures and the people. Tophane has been one such neighborhood, which, due to its particular history and location, has been a significant case of both gentrification and resistance. The micro-history of this neighborhood has been covered by a number of scholars, dating from the Ottoman period through the twentieth century when communities of minorities were forced from their homes and workshops. This paper will present the contemporary context of Tophane, recognizing the struggles for ownership, gentrification and participation that are faced by the diverse communities which co-habitat the neighborhood. The observations presented are drawn from the Tophane Heritage Project, directed by Karin Schuitema under the auspices of the Netherlands Institute in Turkey - Istanbul, conducted between 2012 and 2015. However, a great deal has already changed since we conducted the fieldwork; with constructions such as the Galataport project almost complete, other streets such as Boğazkesen show the most recent effects of a decline in tourism this year after a series of terrorist attacks and an attempted coup. Numerous political events in the past such as the Gezi protests of 2013 and the gallery attacks of 2010 have shown Tophane to be a difficult neighborhood to claim, nestled between the gentrifying enclaves of Cihangir and Galata. In order to employ a holistic approach towards defining the heritage of this place, this research sought to expand the biography of the neighborhood from the past into the present and to recognize the living heritage of Tophane, grounded within the life stories and sentiments of the residents.

Discussants: Banu Karaca (Berlin): Urban anthropology / İrem Maro Kırış (Istanbul): Urban design      

Chair: Katja Piesker (Berlin)

Afternoon Session Ic: Heritage in Times of Crisis: Transcultural Approaches to Reconstruction and Revaluation in Post-Earthquake Nepal

When Sacred Spaces are ‘World Heritage Sites’: Politics of Reconstruction in Post-Earthquake Nepal  

Speaker: Dina Bangdel (Doha)

This paper will consider how the designation of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site as “living religious heritage” provides unique challenges between cultural producers and cultural heritage specialists, specifically within post-disaster contexts. In April 2015 a 7.9 Richter earthquake destroyed 33 historical monuments in the seven World Heritage Zones of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. In less than two months, the Ministry of Tourism reopened the heritage sites in a bid to attract tourists, despite the international outcry regarding potential risks of safety, theft, salvage, and cultural triage. In the aftermath, the community engaged in a range of religious activities around these affected sites, reinforcing the symbiotic relationship between the tangible and intangible heritage. However, for those sites now designated as “world heritage monuments,” such religious interventions that would have been historically conducted as part of sacred offerings of the faithful were often no longer deemed appropriate given the sites’ cultural status “as a heritage site.”

Focusing on two case studies of Svayambhu and Hanuman Dhoka Darbar Square, this paper will address contested spaces of hegemony in post-earthquake Nepal, where cultural memory, ritual, and religious activities that are necessary to renew, vivify, and heal the trauma of a nation must now be negotiated within national and international regimes. How do alliances and frictions among agencies of authority, including UNESCO, Department of Archaeology, the heritage communities, and international stakeholders, shape the priorities of heritage reconstruction after the earthquake?  In considering the activities in the immediate aftermath of the decision-making process a year after the earthquake, the paper aims to address how the heritage values are shaped and re-presented within multivalent narratives of national and ethnic identities.  It is these contestations and sensitivities of World Heritage Sites reconstruction as in Nepal that become particularly instructive. Furthermore, the issues of agency and authority of external/internal players, as well as the emerging narratives of inclusion/exclusion of heritage communities discussed in this paper will find alignment with the conference theme, Making, Sustaining, Breaking – The Politics of Heritage and Culture.

Patan Darbār Square: Restoration and Rebuilding of Cultural Heritage after the Earthquake of 2015

Speaker: Katharina Weiler (Heidelberg)

The impact of the earthquake of April 25, 2015 on the Kathmandu Valley was devastating, particularly for the built heritage of the historic settlements. The earthquake had a major impact on the ancient buildings in the three historic town squares (Nep. darbār) of the cities of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur — all listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. In Patan Darbār, inscribed on the World Heritage List in October 1979, the square was occupied by several temples and two ancient, arcaded halls (Skt. maṇḍapa).

In April 2015, Charnarayana temple, Harishankara temple and the two mandapas collapsed completely, and two other major temples — the stone Shikhara-style Krishna Mandir and the three-tiered Vishveshvara Temple — remained standing but suffered significant damage. The Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT) coordinated security and clean-up efforts in Patan immediately after the earthquake. Remnants of the fallen temples in Patan Darbār Square, i.e., thousands of carved timber elements and bricks, were secured. All valuable historic building components were securely stored to be cleaned, documented, and inventoried in preparation for restoration and rebuilding. The loss of this unique architectural heritage disfigures and diminishes the identity of the townscape and local religious and social life and leaves the deities unsheltered. The reconstruction plans seek to heal the urban fabric, shelter the deities again, and revive the built heritage.

Being engaged by KVPT to observe the process and document the preservation process, I look behind the scenes of the ongoing restoration work: Using a host of salvaged fragments, the temples and mandapas will be restored to their original dimensions, materials, and form. The project philosophy follows accepted international norms in reusing historical materials as much as possible. Careful and extensive documentation will enable other practitioners and future generations to track the planning and rebuilding processes, which are based on local and international expertise and the interaction of local craftsmen, conservation architects, conservators, and art historians. Aspects of authenticity and the varied perspectives on the issue, are given special attention by KVPT, e.g., in regard to retrofitting actions based on traditional technology and materials, and “intangible” aspects of conservation such as inherited craftsmanship. At the same time, my report will explore the questions of a possible historical evolution in the values in Newar (re)building history and of differences in cultural values that are likely to create a rift between Nepalese practices of renewal and replacement and the allegedly international conservation (Western) ideals readily adopted by professionalized bureaucracies.  

Religious Approaches to Heritage Restauration in Post-Earthquake Kathmandu   

Speakers: Axel Michaels / Manik Bajracharya (Heidelberg)

Historical material on the earthquakes in Nepal – mainly chronicles and paper documents – rarely deal with reasons for earthquakes. Instead they focus on either rather sober reporting of the events (Vamshavalis) or claims by victims (documents). The paper will analyse and classify the available material, mostly from the 19th century. It will then elaborate on the question why reflections on earthquakes have seldom entered religious or social debates on fate or punishments for sinful behaviour of humans. It is argued that a religious approach to the destruction and reconstruction of temples and other sacred sites in earthquakes is fundamentally different from the Western technological-pragmatic heritage approach which itself has become a quasi-religious attitude towards catastrophes. It will also touch the questions why conflicts on these different handling of crises are avoided in contemporary Nepal. Concentrating on the religious agency in the origins in natural disasters, we propose a different proceeding in heritage restauration processes.

Roundtable-Discussion: Manik Bajracharya, Dina Bangdel, Marlene Harles, Axel Michaels, Sheelasha Rajbhandari, Davide Torri, Katharina Weiler             

Chair: Christiane Brosius (Heidelberg)

Afternoon Session II: Concluding Roundtable-Discussion


Birgit Meyer (Utrecht), Markus Hilgert (Berlin), Rudolf Wagner (Heidelberg), Aloka Parasher-Sen (Hyderabad), Hannah Baader (Berlin)          

Chair: Philipp von Rummel (Berlin)