Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic


ICOMOS-UK Christmas Lecture 2014: 3rd December 2014: HERITAGE, CONFLICT AND THE DYNAMICS OF MEMORY, Professor Rob van der Laarse
The world is increasingly full of conflicts: how do these colour our perceptions of places associated with historical events not just immediately but over decades if not centuries?
In the past ten years, interest in the history and heritage of European regional and ethnic conflicts has grown explosively. These not only play a prominent role in collective memory, but also in political debates, international heritage tourism, the museum sector, city branding and the design of new (urban) landscapes. The so-called Crimean Treasures collection of Scythian gold has become stateless after the separation of Crimea, and is claimed by Ukraine as well as Moscow and five Crimean museums.
This lecture will focus on how the Balkans and Ukraine demonstrate the transnationalization of ‘memory events’ in present-day Europe. Both regions have a special relationship to the Netherlands: the Dutch have since 1995 had a painful and difficult relationship with Bosnia because of the Srebrenica massacre and the failure of the Dutchbat mission, while by contrast their recent relationship to Ukraine feeds sympathy for Kiev and the EU boycott of Russia, notwithstanding the loss of almost 200 Dutch passengers in the recent MH17 crash.
Professor Rob van der Laarse is research director of the Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and the Westerbork chair of War and Conflict Heritage, at the VU University Amsterdam. Van der Laarse's research is born from a fascination with cultural power, narratives of representation, and the shadow of the Enlightenment. Since 2000 his interests have become more focused on European conflicted heritage, identities, and memories. He started a critical debate on the essentialist assumption of UNESCO's Intangible Heritage Convention with his essay 'De terugkeer van het eigene', in Boekman 88 (2011).
He has organized a substantial number of international conferences such as The Challenge of Heritage (2002), The Dynamics of War, Heritage, Memory and Remembrance (2007), The Archaeology of Terrorscapes (2012) and Competing Memories (2013). His recent chapter 'Beyond Auschwitz, Europe's Terrorscapes in the Age of Postmemory' in Marc Silberman and Florance Vatan, eds. Memory and Postwar Memorials (2013) rethinks the issue of competing memories in Europe. His Terrorscapes research project was awarded with the Euromediterraneon Prize 2013 in Rome.
Period3 Dec 2014
Event titleICOMOS-UK / ICOM-UK Christmas Lecture 2014
Event typeLecture