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Heritage and social movements

Chiara de Cesari explains the article she wrote with Michael Hertzfeld on heritage and social movements in Rome, Palestine, and Bangkok.
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The basic idea of that article is that today, we have both municipalities and even gentrifying forces mobilising heritage in a way for their own agendas and social movements mobilising a different language of heritage to fight against them. So we cannot talk about these days one heritage discourse, one use of heritage, but actually, different actors mobilising different– well, at times sort of overlapping heritage discourses for different sakes because again, in a place like Rome, in a place like Palestine, you have Israeli settlers mobilising the language of heritage and the return to Zion and to the land of Israel to legitimise their own colonisation project.
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And at the same time, you have Palestinians mobilising the language of heritage to defend the rights to their lands that are being expropriated. In the same way, in Rome you have the municipalities and the developers, who have pushed on the heritage factor to pump up real estate values. And at the same time, you have people fighting not to be evicted from neighbourhoods and houses which are increasingly expensive, also because they are being heritagised, and they have also mobilised– social movement and citizens fighting against gentrification and against eviction– they have also mobilised the language of heritage to fight against that.
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So the idea of that article was to show how heritage can be used by different actors and different forces in completely different ways.
Chiara de Cesari explains the article she wrote with Michael Herzfeld on heritage and social movements in Rome, Palestine, and Bangkok.
She argues that various groups, in a given urban setting, mobilize the concept of heritage in different ways, following different and sometimes conflicting goals and values.
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Cultural Heritage and the City

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