This event took place on Monday March 15, 15:00-18:30 (UTC)
Language: English (speaking), live captions English and Arabic
This webinar focuses on the everyday ways that people contest representations, practices and erasures of heritage. It also considers how cultural heritage can provide space for marginalised groups to resist certain social/political/economic structures. What are the strategies of communities who challenge dominant systems that exploit, appropriate or destroy cultural and natural heritage? How do individuals and groups struggle against problematic or discriminatory heritage practices? This webinar will explore resistance and activism around historic sites and forms of intangible heritage, as well as how these movements could be recognised and supported at different local, national and international levels.
Sawsan Asfari, Founder of the Galilee Foundation. Sawsan Asfari is also a co-founder and Trustee of the Asfari Foundation, which aims to help young people make a valuable contribution to society by empowering them through education, research and the power of free thinking. In addition to this, she is Board Member of the U.S Middle East Project, advisory board member of Challenge To Change and member of the Palestinian development organisation, the Welfare Association. She is also the founder of Cocoon Films.
Dr Chiara De Cesari is Associate Professor in European Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her wide-ranging research explores how forms of memory, heritage, art, and cultural politics are shifting under conditions of contemporary globalization and state transformation. One strand of work explores how artists and activists are reclaiming and reinventing cultural institutions. Chiara is currently leading a major NWO-funded project on this theme, named “Imagining Institutions Otherwise.” Another concerns the transnational politics of memory and cultural heritage, above all in the West Bank. Her monograph, Heritage and the Cultural Struggle for Palestine (Stanford UP, 2019), argues that Palestinian civil society has enrolled museums and urban regeneration initiatives to assert its distinct cultural heritage amid the enduring Israeli occupation. Still another focuses on colonial legacies in contemporary Europe. Chiara is currently co-writing another monograph, provisionally titled Curating the Colonial, which explores how museums are reframing colonial histories in response to postcolonial critiques. Across these interests, Chiara has published many articles in journals such as American Anthropologist, Current Anthropology, and Memory Studies, and co-edited two key volumes in memory studies (European Memory in Populism, Routledge, 2019; Transnational Memory, de Gruyter, 2014) and a special issue of the International Journal of Heritage Studies on urban heritage and gentrification (2018). Committed to international and interdisciplinary collaboration, she has been involved in several major international research projects. Currently, she is part of the HERA’s “en/counter/points” project and the Trans-Atlantic Platform for Social Innovation’s “Worlding Public Cultures” network.
Dr Sarah Mallet (UK). Sarah Mallet is a post-doctoral researcher on the Pitt Rivers Museum’s Action for Restitution to Africa project. Her previous role at the PRM involved researching the visual and material culture of the Calais ‘Jungle’, and she was one of the co-curators of the major temporary exhibition ‘Lande: The Calais ‘Jungle’ and beyond’ on display at the Pitt Rivers Museum. That project developed new approaches to contemporary collecting in impermanent spaces and used the principles of archaeological methodology to understand and record the lives of undocumented people in the present. She has a multi-disciplinary background, including medieval history and scientific archaeology, and her doctoral research–as part of the English Landscape and Identity Project–was an investigation of legacy isotope data from human and faunal bones from English sites between the Iron Age and the Early Medieval period. Her current research has focused on borders and migrations, as well as the history of camps in Northern France in relation to contemporary events. She is the co-author with Dan Hicks of the book Lande: The Calais ‘Jungle’ and beyond published by Bristol University Press in May 2019. Twitter: @SarahMMallet
Nicola Bird was project manager for the multi-award winning Multaka Oxford Programme at Oxford University’s History of Science and Pitt Rivers Museums. Nicola has over 20 years’ experience of community-led and people-led practice in the heritage, lifelong and community learning sectors. Multaka Oxford is an inclusive volunteering programme that values equity through identifying (and working) towards the aims of the volunteers, community partners and the museum, equally. Meaning ‘meeting point’ in Arabic, Multaka Oxford created a platform for intercultural dialogue and understanding and demonstrated clear approaches that diversified perspectives, voices and strategies to collection interpretation and engagement. Nicola is a community engagement officer at Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museum, and a freelance consultant in community and inclusive practice within the museum and heritage sector.
Dr Biung Ismahasan (b.1984) is a curator, artist and researcher from the Bunun, Atayal and Kanakanavu Nations, three of Taiwan’s sixteen Indigenous Nations. He received a PhD in Curating from the Centre for Curatorial Studies at the University of Essex, UK, in January 2021, with a thesis on ‘Indigenous Relational Space and Performance: Curating Together towards Sovereignty in Taiwan and Beyond.’ His research involves issues of Indigenous curatorial practice and decolonial aesthetics, focusing on the curation of Taiwanese Indigenous contemporary art, building on the themes of the articulation of ‘performative Indigeneity’, Indigenous creative sovereignty, ethics and epistemologies of artistic collaboration and strategies, as well as the historiography of Indigenous curation and exhibition design. He is an alumnus of the MA in Cultural Policy, Relations & Diplomacy from the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London (2014). His most notable curatorial projects include: Dispossessions: An Indigenous Performative Encounter 2014–2019 (an international performance art exchange of Indigenous artists from Taiwan), Ngahi’ Routes: When Depth Become Experiment (Taoyuan City Indigenous Cultural Centre, 2019); the Rukai Nation installation artist Eleng Luluan’s Between Dreams at Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continuel (National Gallery of Canada, 2019-2020); Resurgence and Solidarity: Indigenous Taiwanese Women’s Art (Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park, 2021 collaborated with British Council and Border Crossings’ ORIGINS Festival of First Nations in London). He was a curatorial assistant of Let the River Flow: The Sovereign Will and the Making of a New Worldliness (Office for Contemporary Art Norway in Oslo, 2018). biungismahasan.weebly.com
Benjamina Efua Dadzie is a writer and researcher, with an interest in West African cultures, especially Akan and Yoruba. She has a BA (Hons) in Archaeology from the University of Manchester, and an MA in the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas from the University of East Anglia. Her current research deals with the impact of missionary presence in 19th century Abeokuta (southwestern Nigeria), focusing on changes in identity and material culture. She is a Collections Assistant in Anthropology at the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; the Digital Editor of the award-winning open-access publication 100 Histories of 100 Worlds in 1 Object; and a Researcher at The Nana Project, where she leads content development with a focus on pre- and colonial Ghana. Twitter: @wawaaba_
Dr Paul Edward Montgomery Ramírez, Mangue-Chorotega archaeologist. Paul Edward Montgomery Ramírez is a decolonial heritage specialist and public archaeologist. He is a member of the Indigenous Council of the World Archaeological Congress (WAC). Paul Edward works on issues of presenting, re-presenting, and decolonizing heritage narratives in media, tourism, museums, and education. He is also focused on delivering decolonial options to heritage practice, sustainable futures in tourism, food sovereignty, and Indigenous rights. Paul Edward is a consultant, lecturer, and is the founder of a small organization for cultural heritage and Indigenous rights called Hilo Azul. He holds a PhD from the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. Twitter: @Archaeofiend
Professor Alessandro Petti, Architecture and Social Justice at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Co-founder of Decolonizing Architecture Art Research (DAAR).