Open lecture: Understanding heritage led reconciliation in the post-Yugoslav space
- Date: 09 April, 13:00–15:00
- Location: Campus Gotland Sal B22
- Lecturer: Višnja Kisić
- Organiser: Research Node Cultural Heritage at Campus Gotland.
- Contact person: Mattias Legnér
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.