Thursday, 1 December 2011

Vandalism of cultural heritage

If you follow this blog you probably know that I am very interested in the subject of vandalism and how different actions are perceived differently by different groups. It seems obvious to me that waging a war against vandalism is pretty useless if we keep  oversimplifying the underlying motivations and our understanding of these 'interventions'. In that regard, I am particularly interested in the messages embedded within different actions and what they 'tell' about the contexts where they occur. 

As part of the activities of the research networks 'Conservation & Development' and 'Ethnography of Archaeology' (see participants at the bottom) we started discussing some of these issues and decided to organize  a series of events to explore them with cross-disciplinary approaches and under different lights. 

The first step was to propose this  as the topic for an exercise in communicating conservation to the students of one of my courses at the Institute of Archaeology. You can see the proposal and the results here.

The students identified, examined and discussed an aspect of vandalism of their choice, various of which I had never considered. From today on, we will be posting and discussing some of these posters here. You should take your time to look at them, it is really amazing work! Hopefully we will be able to provoke some enlightening (and much needed) debate using the posters as a starting point. 

Colleagues involved in 'Conservation & Development' discussion focused on vandalism (so far): 
Ian Carroll, Dimitris Chatgiannis, Anne-Marie Deisser, Monika Harter, Jessica Johnson, Theano Moussouri, Corinna Riva,  Anastasia Sakellariadi & Carmen Vida. 

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