Official heritage of national states often gives priority to the ideal of national inclusive citizenship, and responsibilities and duties as defined by leaders, laws, constitutions and political regimes. In former colonial countries – the post-colonial states – heritage is also recruited to emphasize the struggle for national liberation, the national heroes, usually male, and the benefits of being free from colonial powers. In all these contexts, post-colonial or otherwise, the nation is emphasized over the differences and multiple histories in terms of such aspects as gender, race, class, ethnicity or indigeneity.
Sometimes the marginalized contributions to culture and heritage, such as from women, are acknowledged in passing in exhibitions, cultural performances, and in the arts and sciences. More often, the history and culture associated with women and that of other marginalized groups are erased or not fully recognized. These include those divided, segmented and discriminated against by race, ethnicity and religion, as well as Indigenous peoples, the poor, migrants, lesbians, gays and other genders, the youth, the aged, and the mentally, physically and medically disabled.
Oftentimes these marginalized groups are written out of history, considered less than human or of no importance, and deserve no mention or valorization in terms of heritage. Other times they are minimally acknowledged for their crafts but are disregarded for the skillful and penetrating art or performances that are disruptive and a commentary on societal needs, desires and wants. In some contexts, they have been given full recognition, but experts are their voices, rather than themselves. On other occasions, recognition is only offered when they themselves, as a community, organize themselves and demand such recognition of their festivals, their arts and crafts, their languages and their culture and history. Sometimes they simply have to make their heritage sites, festivals, exhibitions, and performances for themselves. Yet these are all struggles for the recognition and valorization of the heritage of the marginalized.
In this session of the New Approaches to Heritage series, we focus on those that have been marginalized from official heritage narratives, and that have struggled and striven for recognition and acknowledgement of their heritage.
Shahid Vawda (South Africa)
Ugo Guarnacci (Italy/Belgium), Visiting Fellow, School of Politics, Economics and International Relations, University of Reading (UK)
Topic: Heritage at risk: who is sensitive about gender-sensitive Approaches for disaster & conflict management in Indonesia?
Tokie Brown (Nigeria), CEO/Founder Merging Ecologies, Women Fund Homes and Co Founder BelleLavie Corp
Topic: UBUNTU: I am because we are. However far the stream flows, it never forgets its source.
Ro’otsitsina (Tsitsina) Xavante (Brazil), from the Xavante People, political coordinator of Namunkurá Associação Xavante/NAX, defender of Human Rights for Indigenous Peoples, with collaborative work in the Indigenous Women’s Movement
Topic: Diversity of Indigenous Women