Dizin Eklenmedi

Paradigm Shifts in Global Heritage Discourse

Received: 2014-11-26 Accepted: 2015-05-25 Published: 2015-08-25
DOI:10.15340/2148172511880Pages:1-15

Abstract


 

Abstract: This essay narrates the evolution of the UNESCO doctrine on cultural heritage, its Eurocentric underpinnings, the concerns of its doctrinal authority, and the course of its decolonization. Three principal themes in current heritage doctrine – universality, significance, and material originality of heritage – clearly represent the occidental thought that primarily frames contemporary conception of heritage. Based on literature review, the essay examines these themes showing (a) their European patrimony and the problems they pose in managing heritage of a diverse geo-cultural context; and (b) how debates within and beyond UNESCO challenged this persistent representation of heritage sites as original, static, and frozen in time and the resultant changes that redefined the discourse and attempted to address the geo-cultural imbalance in the World Heritage List. The essay argues that achieving geo-cultural balance in the World Heritage List does not necessarily promote further paradigm shifts in the heritage discourse. Yet, the List becomes a powerful catalyst to evoke the debate of decolonization globally and, most importantly, locally, by bringing the coloniality of heritage thinking, governance, and practice at the regional, national and local levels of the Global South into focus.

 

Keywords: World Heritage, UNESCO, Cultural Heritage, Decolonizing Knowledge, Euro-centrism

 

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