Heritage, Memory and Identity

This theme examines the dynamics of heritage and memory and the politics of identity in relation to transnational narratives, artistic and visual practices (film, TV, photography), oral histories and cultural representations of heritage in the UAE along the Arabian trade routes and beyond. This includes inter-generational memory, gender politics, conflict and colonial heritage, re-enactments, borders, migrations and polycultural encounters in relation to ownership, destruction and looting of heritage, and (dark) tourism in the context of accelerated global and socio-economic developments. The cluster helps unpack the origins of national and community identity and the multi-faceted dynamics that shape these processes, which will enrich our understanding of the impact/relationship of traditions to personal identities and why some practices have an immense impact on the present.

It also focuses on the idea of World Heritage Sites and questions both the parameters of the nomination attributes and the ways in which these are used to build identity. It does this by engaging with a number of heritage elements that have been distinctively linked to identity, such as poetry and inter-generational narratives. The outputs of this cluster will primarily be media productions/events, databases and conversation forums that stimulate critical analysis of these themes.

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