The politics of Cultural Heritage in the Western Balkans: Destruction, Reconstruction and an Ongoing War of Symbols
In the Bosnian war ethnic cleansing was directed not only against civilian populations, but also against religious buildings and other traces of existence of the cleansed groups from captured areas. After the war there has been a struggle between the idea to resurrect and reconstruct the symbols of the past and the idea to erect novel symbols and buildings reflecting the politics of identity and the cultural supremacy of the dominant group. In other Western Balkan states there seems to be an upsurge in religious and nationalist symbols demarcating a particular territory for a dominant nation.
What is more precisely the background and nature of these developments? How do they play out in practice? What are the overall results, and which sides are prevailing? What are the consequences? What can be learned from the Bosnian case about the importance of cultural heritage and its reconstruction? And ultimately, under what conditions and concretely how, can the field of cultural heritage be used to promote reconciliation?
Where: Litteraturhuset, Amalie Skram
When: Monday 23 January 14:00-15:45
Programme and participants
Bjørn Engesland, Secretary-General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee
14:15 The politics of identity and symbols in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Reconstructing multiculturalism or raising new exclusivist symbols?
Amra Hadzimuhamedovic, international expert
15:00 Interview followed by panel debate.
Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary-General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee will first interview the main speaker
Then the discussion will be opened up to a panel and questions from the floor.
- Amund Sinding-Larsen , International Council of Monuments and Sites
- Gorana Ognejnovic, writer and researcher
- Milan Simurdic, Ambassador of Serbia
Entrance is free. All are welcome. Registration to firstname.lastname@example.org
Amra Hadzimuhamedovic is a leading international expert in the politics of cultural reconstruction and former head of the Commission for the preservation of cultural heritage in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Presently she teaches at the University of Sarajevo.
Amund Sinding-Larsenis a Chartered Architect & Heritage Advisor and Former President of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Norway.