Throughout the conference there will be a range of posters on display showcasing the fantastic World Heritage research taking place at institutions across the UK and Ireland. You can explore the poster themes and find out when their authors will be available to discuss their work below:
Claire Frampton, Ashmolean Museum, UK
What is the Potential of Creative Theatre Projects in Education Programmes of World Heritage Sites?
Reaction to research question: What are the challenges in World Heritage Sites developing learning programmes?
I work at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and am undertaking a professional research portfolio: Exploring the potential to develop drama as an educational tool in museums and heritage. My paper is about exploring the potential of theatre on heritage sites to connect with audiences, responding to the challenge of how to engage visitors with an exciting programme. I wanted to present about museum projects I have witnessed the development and or presentation and explore the potential for world heritage sites.
I wanted to focus on how theatre in heritage sites dealing with contemporary issues can connect with audiences in a unique way, for this paper I wanted to focus on migration.
Part of Linguamania LiveFriday at the Ashmolean I witnessed the performance of a theatre project Mappa Mundi Mother Tongue. The evening involved presentations of projects with the theme of linguistic creativity. The project involved performers presenting stories and songs from around the world with a giant map. I was interested in the relationship between the objects and the Crossing Cultures, Crossing Time curatorial theme of the Ashmolean.
I wanted to explore interpretation of ancient text such as the Odyssey, where parallels have been drawn with modern migrant experience? What is the potential of future events? What are the unique ways theatre keeps museums up to date with up to the minute interpretations?
What is the potential of this kind of creative project with world heritage sites? In September 2016 I read an article about a production called Hecuba, a refugee performed on the Greek island of Delos. This was organised to raise awareness about the drama of refugees. I wanted to design a similar creative project for a world heritage site in the UK where the site had a history of migration, to connect the history with current issues.
Claire will be available to discuss her poster during the breaks on Sunday 8 October.
Elliot Goodger, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, UK
World Heritage Tourism Session: Comparing How UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Lithuania Differ in Communicating World Heritage Values
With its independence still in living memory for many Lithuanians and with a changing relationship with its neighbours, Lithuania’s self-image has shifted significantly in the last few decades. How well does Lithuania effectively engage with and communicate its international narrative and highlight the outstanding universal values of its heritage sites so that they are meaningful for tourists just as much as they are for Lithuanian nationals? The small Baltic state of Lithuania has 4 World Heritage Sites and recently submitted a second property to its tentative list. From the windswept sand dunes of the Curonian Spit in the West (which it shares with Russia) to Kernavė Archaeological Site in the East, Lithuania boasts a unique variety of heritage sites. Tracing the points of the Struve Geodetic Arc (a World Heritage Site which stretches across Eastern Europe) by following coordinates to dusty unnamed roads and remote areas of rural Lithuania, it is possible to observe a very different kind of international narrative and world heritage than can be seen in the capital city of Vilnius- one of the largest surviving medieval old towns to be inscribed on the World Heritage list. Through six site visitations across the rural landscape of this nation, covering every UNESCO site in Lithuania, I will compare the successes and difficulties that Lithuania’s World Heritage Sites have in effectively communicating both their national importance and their international significance, given their uniqueness and the sometimes remote nature of their locations.
Elliot will be available throughout the conference during the breaks.
Brandi Hall, Bath Spa University, UK
World Heritage and Community Partners
At what point does the status of ‘World’ Heritage became a burden rather than a blessing for the communities they are located within? Due to the recent changes of the Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention consciously deciding to be more inclusive by involving indigenous peoples and local communities in the decision-making, monitoring and evaluation processes of the properties and their Outstanding Universal Values which can be accomplished using several techniques. One of the techniques is partnerships. Government agencies (international to local levels) have encouraged and pushed partnerships as a means of sustainability for more than twenty years now for the heritage sector. By partnering with the local community’s heritage sites they gain volunteers, expertise with the academic community, and happier tourists due to better facilities (roads, lavatories, restaurants, cafes, etc.). In return the economic stimulation gives the surrounding community more job opportunities, pride in their past, as well as a better understanding of their own history becoming true stakeholders. This subject will consider the range of approaches heritage management takes in forming partnerships and their ideas of what partnerships are and how they contribute to the sustainability of their sites.
Brandi will be available throughout the conference during the breaks.
Claire Nolan, University of Reading, UK
Therapeutic Landscapes: Exploring the therapeutic value of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site
In recent years heritage professionals and researchers in the UK have been called on increasingly to evidence the social value of the historic environment in terms of its impact on. Previous research in this area has successfully demonstrated the wellbeing effects of the historic environment with regard to instrumental value and the development of social and human capital. However, the intrinsic value of the historic environment and its influence on individual wellbeing in relation to emotional, spiritual, intellectual and embodied experience, is less well understood or easily evidenced. This poster examines these issues through a review of qualitative research undertaken to date in the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site (WHS) in the UK, as part of a wider project exploring the potential for prehistoric landscapes to act as therapeutic environments in the present day. Drawing on preliminary results from in-depth phenomenological interviews conducted with people living in proximity to the WHS, this poster presents some of the ways in which local people experience, interpret and value this landscape. This work demonstrates how the historic environment, in the context of this particular world heritage landscape, affects personal wellbeing on less tangible, yet fundamental levels.
Claire is unable to attend but can be contacted by email: Claire.Nolan@pgr.reading.ac.uk
Rawan K. Oswan, University College Dublin, Ireland
Tourism without borders: Towards World Heritage Sites for all
Historic events and cultural heritage are correlated with geographic locations which underwent a series of expansions and contractions through time adding flexibility to the definition of heritage. Today we find countries with shared history and historic sites that joins between different identities and religions. The movement of tourists from one World Heritage Site to another influence the way heritage is created and perceived. Through their journey of discovery, tourists tend to absorb, interpret, transfer and expand cultural and intangible values of World Heritage Sites. This interactive process impacts the borders between World Heritage Sites and contributes to disseminate intangible cultural heritage and historic values on a wider scale. This research investigates the possibility of sharing and linking World Heritage through tourism and tourists’ traditions. It emphasizes one of the aims of UNESCO World Heritage Convention which concludes that ‘World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located’ (http://whc.unesco.org/en/about/, retrieved Dec. 16, 2016). This research attempts to answer the following questions; How can tourism- as an act of exploration- contribute to redefining contested sites? What is the role of tourism in communicating intangible cultural values in historic sites? This study is based on reviewing relevant texts, the World Tourism Organization reports and investigating one of the most significant contested world heritage sites; the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba.
Rawan will be available throughout the conference during the breaks.
Hannah Parsons, Durham University, UK
What is the Public Perception of World Heritage and how can this be changed? Heritage Marketing and Engagement
The purpose of this paper is to explore the importance of marketing and branding for World Heritage Sites. It aims to uncover how members of the public perceive the World Heritage brand with regards to their knowledge of the brand and if they think it is significant. It will explore the issues surrounding the marketing of the brand logo and how it is being communicated to a wide audience. It will also investigate the extent to which the brand is communicating World Heritage Status to visitors and adding to their understanding of the significance of World Heritage whilst also exploring the limitation of using the brands when advertising to visitors, assessing the policies around the use of the brand logo itself. The paper takes a specific focus on the way this is done across England, looking at the methods sites used when publicising their heritage sites and how, if at all, World Heritage Status is being portrayed to visitors. It will establish any common trends across sites in England and how they are promoting heritage to a wide audience. The paper aims to also investigate why sites do not appear to communicate their World Heritage Status through the use of the World Heritage brand or at all.
Hannah will be available to discuss her poster during the breaks on Saturday 7 October.
Patrizia Riganti, Nottingham Trent University, UK
Shmuel Groag, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Israel
Shared Heritage conservation as peace building process: Saving the Palestinian city of Lifta from the threat of property development
Rapid urbanization trends (UN, World Urbanization Prospects 2014) impose an excessive pressure on the fragile cultural heritage of cities, and may escalate to irreversible damage and ultimate loss. The international debate around the UN Sustainable Goals (SDGs) has highlighted the importance to progress towards inclusive and sustainable cities, whilst preserving cultural heritage (see SDG 11: Target 11.4).
In order to protect heritage, one has to understand its value, both in economic and social terms. The appreciation of cultural heritage in a community enhances social cohesion, making a city more resilient against external attacks, including forms of radicalization or segregation. To this extent, conservation of both tangible and intangible heritage is a peace-building process (UNESCO, 2017; G7, 2017). However, labeling something as heritage constitutes a conscious act of belonging to a group, a city, a nation (Riganti, 2010). The notion of heritage is not given, but created by communities who subscribe to it. In certain cases, heritage might be shared by more than one community, and be contested; it might take different connotations: positive for some, negative for others.
The poster presents a case of shared heritage in Israel: the village of Lifta, in the outskirts of Jerusalem. The authors argue that supporting the preservation of the village, in the face of the current development pressure, might be the optimal choice to encourage a peace building process in Jerusalem.
Lifta is one of the last remnants of the Palestinian villages that were uprooted in 1948, during the war that created the Israeli State. Lifta is a very interesting case of a site of both Palestinian and Israeli heritages. In the abandoned Palestinian houses, Jewish immigrates from Arab counties were settled in 1949-1951. In July 2017, part of Lifta was declared as a natural reserve also because of its important environmental uniqueness and archaeological remains. Despite this, a property development project for 200 luxury houses is under consideration.
The authors argue that the stabilization- conservation option might be the most sustainable one. The research discusses the appropriate methodologies to assess the value of preserving Lifta and implementing a conservation plan.
Patrizia will be available throughout the conference during the breaks.
Global Heritage Research Group, Nottingham Trent University, UK
Virtual Heritage Cairo: Towards a Regional Policy for the Management of Virtual Heritage in the Middle East
Several monuments have been damaged, collapsed, become derelict or lost some of their distinctive features, resulting in partial or total obscuring of their authentic identity as representative of the distinctive character of their historic era. Faced with these challenges, archaeologists in Egypt started to look at digital heritage technologies, systems and applications as a parallel route to enable better and broader access to remote, inaccessible heritage sites in the country. Virtual Heritage in this context aims to reconstruct ancient heritage sites, cultural practices and environments in a digital format that will allow people to gain as close a living experience to the past as possible. With the use of virtual and augmented reality becoming the norm in everyday life, the availability of virtual environments and mobile apps that engage people with historic contexts have made it a viable resource to transfer heritage to economic and cultural domain of cloud and online platforms. However, legal and technical frameworks that govern the management of digital heritage are not fully developed to prevent manipulation or intentional alteration of digital heritage as well as to deal with unlawful reproduction of national heritage in digital and virtual formats.
In line with their responsibility for the preservation of cultural heritage, governments need to designate national agencies to coordinate responsibilities for the preservation of heritage in the digital domain. This poster report on the work of the AHRC-Funded project: “Virtual Heritage Cairo” (2016-2017) and developed a series of analytical studies, practical manual and Research Policy document. Based on a series of empirical research and case studies, it reports that ownership, responsibility and rights are shared amongst several groups, stakeholders and registries. The sharing of tasks and responsibilities based on regulations, legislations and expertise involved is possible only through collaboration with technical experts such as hardware and software developers, creators, publishers, producers and distributors of digital materials. Collaborations public institutions such as national libraries, archives, and museums, as beneficiaries would provide training and research opportunities that not only supports the adequate and supervised evolution of virtual heritage, it would offer a series of socio-economic and technological impact to all parties involved.
A representative of the Research Group will be available throughout the conference during the breaks.