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Transnational Spaces of Heritage Politics - the Case of Nablus

Conference contribution
Authors Feras Hammami
Published in Peace Conference: Post Conflict, Cultural Heritage and Regional Development
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Conservation
Language en
Keywords Heritage, Identity, Resistance, Transnational Politics, Palestine
Subject categories History and Archaeology, Architecture, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Abstract

This study investigates the extent to which local social organizations are refiguring perceptions of heritage promoted through transnational advocacy networks in the Historic City of Nablus, Palestine. The establishment of a Western-centric structure of NGOs during the peace, 1993-2000, promoted new relationships of power within the ‘signifying systems’ of heritage. Despite their community outreach, their managerial, professional and authoritarian spaces have challenged the ways heritage has evolved within the everyday rehearsal of remembering and forgetting, resistance to occupation, and reconstruction of the geographical imaginaries of national identity. The analysis of heritage practices in the Qaryon Square and Al-Kabir Mosque uncovered significant conflicts over meaning, identity and sense of place that are often overlooked in professional heritage practices, not only in Palestine but also worldwide. These practices fail to begin by seeing the geopolitical natural of heritage as a structuring imposition that embraces historically developed subversive ideologies and discursive struggles over authority, that reinforces non-contextual existences of heritage, and that reproduces a heritage discourse that is exclusionary by nature.

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