Negociating shifting landscapes: Public awareness-building in the face of contested cultural heritage

Hou, Jeffrey (2002) Negociating shifting landscapes: Public awareness-building in the face of contested cultural heritage. In: Estrategias relativas al patrimonio cultural mundial. La salvaguarda en un mundo globalizado. Principios, practicas y perspectivas. 13th ICOMOS General Assembly and Scientific Symposium. Actas. Comité Nacional Español del ICOMOS, Madrid, pp. 322-325. [Book Section]


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Abstract (in English)

Building of public awareness has long been recognized as an important part of successful historic heritage preservation. In the World Heritage Convention (WHC), Article 27 requires the State Parties to strengthen the appreciation and respect of their people of the cultural and natural heritage particularly by educational and information programs. Further, financial assistance from World Heritage Fund is available at the request of State Parties for educational, information and promotional activities. In the context of democratic societies, public awareness is particularly important to effective community participation in local decision-making process concerning the preservation of heritage sites. However, while the importance of public awareness has long been recognized, the scope and focus of public awareness building has been limited primarily to the promotion of benefits and moral obligation of preservation. In contrast, the necessity and potential for public awareness efforts to construct and negotiate between contesting meanings of cultural heritage has not been adequately explored. The issue of contested meanings and identities is particularly pertinent to the shifting conditions of cultural landscape in the context of developing and newly developed countries that experience rapid social and environmental change and often overlay of histories and ethnicities. The purposeful construction and negotiation is important to facilitate a meaningful and critical preservation of cultural heritage. This paper focuses on the case of Taiwan where rapid economic development and social and spatial change has dramatically influenced the island’s urban and rural landscape in the past century. Specifically, it examines the contesting characteristics of its cultural landscape, from competing territorial claims to hybridized urban patterns and architectural styles. Using Taiwan as an example, the paper argues for a need to acknowledge the multiplicity of historical and present meanings in the diverse and hybridized cultural and socio-political realm. In the face of contested cultural heritage, it argues for the integration of a deliberative process into public awareness programs in order to construct and negotiate between shifting and contested meanings of cultural heritage in a changing society

Item Type: Book Section
Hou, Jeffrey
Languages: English
Keywords: landscapes; cultural landscapes; conservation; public awareness
Subjects: E. CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 01. Generalities
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 06. Cultural landscapes
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 11. Historic landscapes
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2002, 13th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2011 14:53
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2011 14:53

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