The conference will address how World Heritage is being contextualized in relation to Gender & Diversities and the SDGs. How can research, frameworks and working tools either theoretically or on site address marginalisation and valuation within this sector? The aim of the conference is to address various mechanisms that exclude diversity at World Heritage sites. They include: structural inequalities within World Heritage discourses that marginalise communities; domination of the majority culture over heritage policies; multiple and shifting forms of identities that can better represent official narratives on World Heritage; actions taken by stakeholders that either collectively or deliberately marginalise communities. The conference will also explore innovative ways to address issues affecting gender and diversities at World Heritage particularly relating to SDGs.

SESSION I: Monuments of Oppression
SESSION II: Oppression from Monuments
SESSION III: Acknowledging Intangible Heritage as part of future heritage past
SESSION IV: Caring for future Worlds? SDGs within Spaces and Places of Heritage


This session (held on March 29, 2021, 07:00-12:00 UTC) aims to discuss how monuments reproduce structural inequalities located at the intersections of race, gender, and class to become monuments of oppression. Monuments around the world are used to support official historical narratives that often exclude the individuals and communities who interact with them. Statues, buildings, and natural monuments are given official narratives which define and commemorate an event, person, or group; these are usually imposed from a place of power. This can create a situation where those that hold power in societies impose their discourse, worldviews, and experiences onto places and spaces, an act which denies the histories, heritages, and experiences of marginalised individuals and communities.

To aid this discussion, this session examines monuments that have been elevated to the World Heritage stage alongside the oppressive narratives that support them and vice versa. We will explore mechanisms of domination, discrimination, exclusion, and erasure to highlight contemporary issues within World Heritage and its links with oppression. We will also (re)consider processes and practices that can transform monuments of oppression into inclusive spaces and places for those they have previously dominated.

Session Moderator: Alize Utteryn (French Guiana, United Nations Journalist)

Opening Remarks by University of Nova Gorica
Opening Ancestoral Prayers by Ade Williams

Speaker 1: Adaku Ezeudo (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant, Ireland)
Speaker 2: Shahid Vawda (Archie Mafeje Chair, Critical and Decolonial Humanities; Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa)
Speaker 3: Elena Settimini (Heritage and Museum Consultant, Italy)
Speaker 4: Speaker from Common Ground (Common Ground is a movement that sets out to examine Oxford’s colonial past in the context of its present-day inequalities)
Speaker 5: Speaker from Rhodes Must Fall (A movement to decolonise the space, curriculum and the institutional memory at, and to fight intersectional oppression within Oxford)

Webinar series highlights round table

Informal Discussions with Diversities & Genders Team

Virtual Tour
By Uncomfortable Oxford, an academic-led social enterprise in the city of Oxford, which runs lectures, digital events, and creates resources highlighting stories of inequality, imperialism, race, class, and gender discrimination, as well as the debates surrounding historical memory. Founded in 2018, the organisation’s goal is to raise awareness and generate uncomfortable yet meaningful discussions about these issues in the public sphere, using in particular the built environment to bring up contested histories and their present legacies.

Civil Society Theme Showcase