Professor Laurajane Smith to present at ICCROM Conference
Director of the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, Professor Laurajane Smith, is giving a keynote as part of the upcoming ICCROM conference: Climate.Culture.Peace.
Climate.Culture.Peace is a knowledge-building initiative, aimed at exploring the interconnections between culture, climate change, peace and disaster resilience. It includes a 5-day virtual conference and a knowledge portal with a focus on heritage places and institutions, which are threatened by climate-related disasters and/or conflicts driven by environmental stresses. It will bring together diverse knowledge holders, policy advisors, practitioners, as well as community and youth leaders.
The Conference is being held in Rome and virtually.
Professor Laurajane Smith will present a keynote on January 25 at 7.30pm AEDT (9.30am Central Europe Time)
This presentation by Prof. Laurajane Smith reiterates the importance of emphasising a people-centred approach to heritage. The emphasis on the materiality of heritage in international policies and practice, framed and legitimised by the ‘authorised heritage discourse’, works to privilege experts and expert knowledge. Consequently, the diversity of non-expert values, historical experiences, and uses of heritage are obscured. Heritage cannot be reduced to places, buildings, and artefacts. Instead, heritage is a set of practices or performances where the past is brought to the present to address contemporary problems and negotiate future aspirations. Challenging the authorised discourse and the hegemonic and often exclusionary heritage practices it frames has become increasingly urgent in the context of the uncertainties presented by the climate emergency, increasing political extremism, and the COVID pandemic. Opening up room to recognise and equitably engage with the diversity of ways heritage works to help communities and nations re-think, legitimise or challenge aspirations for the future requires a commitment to a people-centric understanding of heritage.