Re-Emerging Past(s): Community Stories in the Heritage Industry

ID CARD: Heritage and Society; Heritage and Science; Connected Landscapes and Seascapes; Heritage, Memory and Identity


Re-Emerging Past(s) is a platform of young heritage professionals that concentrates on the consequences on communities’ heritage and memory when they are incorporated into the heritage industry. Researching sites in the UAE, Eritrea, China, Nigeria, Mozambique, Malaysia, Turkey, Tanzania, and Thailand, the platform explores what happens when communities find themselves neglected and/or in conflict with UNESCO and state government “official” heritage. This project encompasses a distinct spectrum of materials such as oral histories, film, ethnography, interviews, and photography, covering a global scope of topics involving film, architecture, art, music, diasporas, environment, religion, cuisine, and ceramics. contributes to the debate between political and expert-driven narratives, and local heritage involvement while highlighting the multivocal interdisciplinarity needed for heritage research and its relevance for contemporary issues in societies.

This collective platform responds to a prolific period in Heritage Studies that witnessed constant revision of the meaning of heritage since Lowenthal’s 1989 seminal work The Past is a Foreign Country and the fundamental contribution of Smith’s 2006 Uses of Heritage. Binding the chapters is the idea of ‘contact zones,’ as formulated by Mary Louise Pratt (1991), and the interest in looking at the future-making of heritage (Harrison et al., 2020).

Current sites feature:

  • Jingdezhen, China
  • Tire, Turkey
  • Asmara, Eritrea
  • George Town, Malaysia
  • Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
  • Ayutthaya, Thailand
  • Osun Osogbo Grove, Nigeria
  • Ilha de Mozambique, Mozambique



February 7th, 2022, Workshop Memory in Place: Intangible Heritage in Physical Spaces, with Salama Al Qubaisi, Manaal Saadiyat, Alia Yunis. In partnership with NYUAD Institute and Qsar al-Hosn.

November 29th, 2021, Workshop Thinking Beyond the Research: Role of academia in the world of heritage and civil society? , with Harriet Deacon, Rose Boswell, Manaal Saadaat & NiccolòAcram Cappelletto, moderated by Verónica Mateus Pereira. In partnership with Our World Heritage.


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