Community activism in the post-disaster recovery of cultural icons in Christchurch and Kathmandu

Forbes, Catherine (2018) Community activism in the post-disaster recovery of cultural icons in Christchurch and Kathmandu. In: ICOMOS 19th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium "Heritage and Democracy", 13-14th December 2017, New Delhi, India. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

This paper will explore the concepts of democracy and community activism, and their application to recovery of cultural heritage in the post disaster context. It will examine how the community uses democratic and other processes to ensure salvage, reconstruction and recovery of cultural heritage in the earthquake affected cities of Christchurch (New Zealand) and Kathmandu (Nepal). The paper will compare and contrast the different National approaches to cultural heritage protection and concepts of risk. It will also consider the different attitudes towards the value of cultural heritage as a contributor to: the community’s social, spiritual and psychological well being; its sense of identity and place; and the city’s future in the post disaster scenario. In the cases of both Christchurch and Kathmandu, local community members have banded together to seek particular forms of recovery and reconstruction for each of their city’s most iconic monuments, Christ Church Cathedral and Kasthamandap. The paper will outline each community’s concerns and their efforts: in one case to save a place of immense historic, aesthetic, spiritual and social significance from demolition; and in the other, to ensure that the lost structure is reconstructed fully in accordance with customary practice, following the traditional approach of cyclical renewal and reinstating the critical elements salvaged from the rubble. Reuniting the community through revitalization of seasonal maintenance festivals and reestablishment of the local community-based management system is seen as essential to the place’s sustainability into the future. The paper will illustrate the importance of iconic places to community identity and their sense of place, and the importance of community action in achieving the recovery of significant heritage places that are at extreme risk. In the process, if the community is successful, it can achieve some healing, but if not, the sense of loss, disconnection and disenfranchisement could be immeasurable.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Forbes, Catherine
Languages: English
Keywords: community; rights; participation; identity; healing; recovery; activism; democracy; cultural heritage; disaster; earthquake
Subjects: E. CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 07. Management
E. CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 09. Social and economic aspects of conservation
G. DETERIORATION > 04. Effects of deterioration
National Committee: ICOMOS International
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 19th General Assembly, New Delhi, 2017
Depositing User: intern icomos
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2018 15:34
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 12:11
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