Faculty of Social Sciences

Open lecture: Understanding heritage led reconciliation in the post-Yugoslav space

  • Date: 4/9/2018 at 1:00 PM 3:00 PM
  • Location: Campus Gotland Sal B22
  • Lecturer: Višnja Kisić
  • Website
  • Organiser: Research Node Cultural Heritage at Campus Gotland.
  • Contact person: Mattias Legnér
  • Föreläsning

Welcome to an open lecture within the framework of the Research node Cultural Heritage.

The Wars of Yugoslav Succession in the 1990s have been one of the pivotal points for the  creation of international justice system and a testing ground for codifying practices and   theories of transitional justice,bpeace-building and reconciliation by many academics,  Western governments, multilateral agencies, international organisations and NGOs. Somewhat  paradoxically, despite the diversity of actors and interventions focused on reconciliation, the post-Yugoslav space still lingers in ‘conflict time’, a period in which conflict is not absent, but  rather played out through competitive heritage interpretations, antagonistic memorialization   and memory wars.

In this lecture I position heritage led reconciliation practices within this paradox and analyse  most dominant approaches used by international actors in the name of reconciliation – post-war heritage reconstruction; professional capacity building and networking; and  (re)interpretation of heritage – pinpointing to their underlying assumptions, effects and challenges. I argue that all three approaches stayed within the comfort zone of both the   international and local heritage actors, treating heritage as universalizing and apolitical field.  Thus, they avoided dealing with heritage related politics, contestations and dissonances, at the same time evading addressing the dominant divisive  political processes and deeper roots of social violence.

Višnja Kisić is a researcher, lecturer and manager in the field of heritage management, interpretation and policy, with special focus on contested heritage, community engagement   and mediation. She holds a PhD in Museum and Heritage Studies from University of Belgrade and MA in Cultural Policy and Management. She is a researcher and lecturer at the UNESCO  Chair in Cultural Policy and Management, University of Arts, Belgrade and a trainer and consultant in heritage management, policy and outreach projects and professional capacity-building programs.


More information about the Research Node Cultural Heritage.