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Displaced Heritage

Displaced Heritage: Dealing with Disaster and Suffering

Ian Convery
Gerard Corsane
Peter Davis
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    Displaced Heritage
    Book Description:

    The essays in this volume address the displacement of natural and cultural heritage caused by disasters, whether they be dramatic natural impacts or terrible events unleashed by humankind, including holocaust and genocide. Disasters can be natural or human-made, rapid or slow, great or small, yet the impact is effectively the same; nature, people and cultural heritage are displaced or lost. Yet while heritage and place are at risk from disasters, in time, sites of suffering are sometimes reframed as sites of memory; through this different lens these "difficult" places become heritage sites that attract tourists. Ranging widely chronologically and geographically, the contributors explore the impact of disasters, trauma and suffering on heritage and sense of place, in both theory and practice. Contributors include: Kai Erikson, Catherine Roberts, Philip R Stone, Stephen Miles, Susannah Eckersley, Gerard Corsane, Graeme Were, Jo Besley, Diana Walters, Shalini Sharm, Ian Convery, Takashi Harada, Chia-Li Chen, Arthur McIvor, John Welshman, Andy Law, Aron Mazel, Bryony Onciul, Tim Padley, Ellie Land

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-410-9
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. viii-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
    Ian Convery, Gerard Corsane and Peter Davis
  5. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xiv-xvi)
  6. Preface
    (pp. xvii-xx)
    Kai Erikson
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)
    Ian Convery, Gerard Corsane and Peter Davis

    Disasters, whether they are natural or caused by people, change the environment and ‘displace’ heritage resources. They can be dramatic natural impacts such as tsunami and volcanic eruptions, or terrible events unleashed by humankind, including holocaust and genocide. Sometimes disasters are more insidious, such as the logging of rainforests for short-term gain, or elevated sea temperatures, possibly linked to global climate change, that result in thermal stress and bleach coral ecosystems; these may be slower events but their impact is still hugely significant. Disasters can be high-impact events or occur on a small, localised scale. Whether natural or human-made, rapid...

  8. Displaced Heritage:: Histories and Tourism

    • 1 Dark Tourism and Dark Heritage: Emergent Themes, Issues and Consequences
      (pp. 9-18)
      Catherine Roberts and Philip R Stone

      The ways in which societies (re)present death, dying and their dead has long been symbiotic with particular cultural representations of mortality. These representations are often bound up with heritage and tourism, whereby travelling to meet with the dead has long been a feature of the touristic landscape. Examples of early travel to sites of death and the dead can be found in medieval pilgrimages and their reliquary associations, or in Grand Tour visitations to tombs and petrified ruins of the ancient world, or in touristic visits to deceased authors’ homes, haunts and graves during the Romantic period of the 18th...

    • 2 Anthropogenic Disaster and Sense of Place: Battlefield Sites as Tourist Attractions
      (pp. 19-28)
      Stephen Miles

      Disasters are commonly associated with large-scale catastrophic events causing material destruction, economic and social hardship, loss of life and suffering. They are often unanticipated and unpredictable with consequences that last long after the immediate crisis itself. In popular understanding they are normally seen as the result of natural phenomena on a large, newsworthy scale. But disasters can also be man-made, as successive oil spills, nuclear incidents, industrial accidents, explosions and insidious environmental degradation attest. Although definitions of disaster tend to support a sense of accidental causation, war and deliberate acts of terrorism can also be included in this anthropogenic category....

    • 3 Memorialisation in Eastern Germany: Displacement, (Re)placement and Integration of Macro- and Micro-Heritage
      (pp. 29-40)
      Susannah Eckersley and Gerard Corsane

      Histories of disaster, trauma and loss are an integral part of examining Germany’s 20th century heritage. In this chapter three heritage sites which represent these aspects of displacement are introduced: firstly, the Frauenkirche in Dresden as a place embodying human-made disaster; secondly, the Zeithain Grove of Honour as a site of trauma; and finally, theBetonzeitschiene– Plattenbau Micromuseum as a space of loss. The Dresden Frauenkirche is perhaps Saxony’s most well-known general tourist attraction, celebrating the city’s Baroque architectural history, but also a place of memory following the disaster of the Allied firebombing of Dresden during World War II. This...

    • 4 Remembering the Queensland Floods: Community Collecting in the Wake of Natural Disaster
      (pp. 41-50)
      Jo Besley and Graeme Were

      In January 2011, three-quarters of the Australian state of Queensland was declared a disaster zone, including Brisbane, its capital city, after a series of devastating floods caused widespread destruction. The flood-waters caused over two billion Australian dollars’ worth of damage, wrecking properties and livelihoods, leaving almost 40 people dead or missing and countless thousands with a feeling of trauma or loss. This chapter engages with natural disaster collecting through an exploration of the two community collecting projects undertaken by the State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Museum in the aftermath of the floods. Focusing on the process of collecting,...

    • 5 Displaced Heritage and Family Histories: Could a Foreign Family’s Heritage in China Become an Ecomuseum ‘Hub’ for Cultural Tourism Management?
      (pp. 51-62)
      Gerard Esplin Corsane

      This chapter introduces a personal (re)discovery of family heritage and history that has been ‘displaced’ and (re)placed in a number of ways in Wuhan over time. The key phase of the actual displacement of this family heritage took place around a period of human disaster, trauma and loss in the late 1930s and 1940s, brought about by war and conflict. Wuhan is the capital city of Hubei Province in the People’s Republic of China. Located at the confluence of the Han and middle reaches of the Yangtze Rivers, the area has a long and rich heritage. Its significance over time...

    • 6 Walls, Displacement and Heritage
      (pp. 63-70)
      Tim Padley

      When the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust was given the opportunity to create a new gallery to reflect the Roman heritage of the area, they took the opportunity to explore the concept of the frontier. As one of the ‘bookends’ to Hadrian’s Wall and with no visible site to interpret, the Trust was able to concentrate on the concept of frontiers, using both historical and contemporary references. This would enable visitors to explore the standing remains with an understanding of what the monument meant to the people living there at the time, both the army and the locals....

    • 7 Remembering Traumatic Events: The 921 Earthquake Education Park, Taiwan
      (pp. 71-82)
      Chia-Li Chen

      Items of material culture are often preserved to sustain desired memories, or discarded or destroyed to suppress those that society wishes to forget (Foote 1988). Although few in number, there are museums dedicated to preserving, displaying and interpreting mankind’s experience with natural disaster and tragedy. These include interpretive centres dedicated to interpreting earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, explaining conditions leading up to a disaster and its impact on the environment and society. Natural disaster museums help facilitate the reconstruction and interpretation of specific tragic events in order to help visitors re-experience and interpret the painful experience. Because of their organisational nature...

  9. Displaced Heritage:: Trauma, Confinement and Loss

    • 8 Maze Breaks in Northern Ireland: Terrorism, Tourism and Storytelling in the Shadows of Modernity
      (pp. 85-94)
      Jonathan Skinner

      Thirty-eight minutes sitting in a West Belfast cinema – entertained, informed and disturbed by Steve McQueen’s (2008) brutal filmHungerabout the life and death of Republican protester Bobby Sands – there is the representation of a cavity search and beating of blanket protesters in HMP Maze/Long Kesh. A man calls out ‘Gerry!’ The camera does not give a point of view, but is omniscient in its gaze and enduring in its lengthy profiling of faces and their powerlessness – whether prison officer, Provisional IRA volunteer or riot police. Though calling out to the character ‘Gerry Campbell’, there is a questionable presumption in...

    • 9 ‘We shall never forget, but cannot remain forever on the battlefield’: Museums, Heritage and Peacebuilding in the Western Balkans
      (pp. 95-106)
      Diana Walters

      Since the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, the western Balkans has become synonymous with political chaos, war and ethnic tension. The area has been shaped and reshaped over centuries of displacement through occupation, migration and division. Th e resulting social, political, ethnic and religious complexities are both confusing and contested. The region has experienced an ongoing crisis; war, genocide, ethnic and cultural cleansing and mass migration have created a number of small countries, each now engaged in rapid nation-building. Economies and political structures are weak and corruption is endemic. Several substantial issues remain unresolved, notably the political status of both...

    • 10 The Politics of Remembering Bhopal
      (pp. 107-120)
      Shalini Sharma

      In 1984 the world witnessed one of its worst industrial disasters in Bhopal, India. Three decades later, survivors’ poor health and a continuing lack of justice makes Bhopal a site of continued suffering. This chapter engages with the politics of remembering Bhopal. The state of Madhya Pradesh plans to establish a memorial museum to provide healing through closure and restore Bhopal’s heritage. However the survivors wish to assert their moral right to their memory, and contest the notion of closure through commemoration: they plan to connect remembrance with vigilance by generating their own memorial. This chapter explores the politics inherent...

    • 11 Animating the Other Side: Animated Documentary as a Communication Tool for Exploring Displacement and Reunification in Germany
      (pp. 121-128)
      Ellie Land

      In 2007, I completed my animated documentary,Die Andere Seite(The Other Side), which features oral history recordings of former West and East Berliners describing their memories of life in Germany before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The film emphasises personal perspectives of displacement and reunification from both sides of the divide. Participants tell of their curiosity about what they thought lay on ‘the other side’ and then describe their feelings and reactions on visiting for the first time, once the Wall was opened. One of the film’s main aims was to create a document of life...

    • 12 Restoring Gorongosa: Some Personal Reflections
      (pp. 129-142)
      Rob Morley and Ian Convery

      Mozambique has a rich, diverse natural heritage. Nowhere is this better represented than Gorongosa National Park (GNP), for decades a symbol of Mozambique to the outside world (see Fig 12.1). Situated at almost the geographical centre of Mozambique, GNP was once one of southern Africa’s most richly endowed protected areas. At independence Mozambique had only three terrestrial national parks; GNP was the largest, most well-known and easiest to access. In its heyday GNP was the playground of the rich and famous; visitors included American astronauts and Hollywood stars. The Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke, visiting the park in 1971, is...

    • 13 The Last Night of a Small Town: Child Narratives and the Titanic
      (pp. 143-150)
      John Welshman

      The story of theTitanic– its construction, its sinking on 14 April 1912 and the discovery of the wreck in 1985 – is one whose worldwide appeal was amply demonstrated by the flood of new books and television documentaries on the 100th anniversary in 2012. This chapter engages with the theme of displaced heritage by reflecting on the process of writing my own book on the subject and by exploring what we might term ‘re-narrated heritage’ (Welshman 2012). One of my original premises was the belief that in the recent emphasis on myth, and on the causes of the disaster, the...

    • 14 Troubled ‘Homecoming’: Journey to a Foreign yet Familiar Land
      (pp. 151-162)
      Aron Mazel

      In August 2011, my daughter Nicola and I travelled to Lithuania to commemorate the memory of my paternal grandparents, Mashe and Mordechai Mazel, and other family members who were murdered on Saturday 23 August 1941, and to say kaddish¹ for them. On that day in 1941, the Nazis and their Lithuanian collaborators killed 7523 people in the Pajouste forest, around eight kilometres east of Panevėžys. Panevėžys experienced six recorded episodes of killing between 21 July and 23 August 1941 (Anon 2005, 145).¹ Altogether, the Nazis and Lithuanians killed 8837 people in Panevėžys, 99% of whom were Jews (see Table 14.1;...

  10. Displaced Heritage:: Lived Realities, Local Experiences

    • 15 Humiliation Heritage in China: Discourse, Affectual Governance and Displaced Heritage at Tiananmen Square
      (pp. 165-174)
      Andrew Law

      In recent years, scholars and commentators (such as Gries 2004; Broudehoux 2004; Callahan 2010; and Wang 2012) on China’s political history and national identities have noted the ever increasing rise in a complex set of narratives that proposes that from the Opium Wars of the 1840s to the Japanese invasion of the Mainland between 1937 and 1945, the Chinese nation and the Chinese people have been subject to a series of historic humiliations. However, writers (such as Wang 2012) have also argued that alongside this narrative of decline is a connected discourse that suggests that with the formation of the...

    • 16 Revitalising Blackfoot Heritage and Addressing Residential School Trauma
      (pp. 175-186)
      Bryony Onciul

      The residential school era (1831–1996) is a traumatic and hidden part of Canadian history that has only recently begun to be addressed by government and recognised by the public. For former pupils, known as survivors, there has been long-term intergenerational suffering, worsened by previous public denial. As the official government apology in 2008 stated:

      Two primary objectives of the residential schools system were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture. These objectives were based on the assumption Aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were...

    • 17 Reading Local Responses to Large Dams in South-east Turkey
      (pp. 187-198)
      Sarah Elliott

      Development interventions to transform natural resources often involve displacement in some form (WCD 2000, 102); in the case of large dams and their related infrastructure, this has led to people’s physical dislocation, livelihood deprivation and loss of access to cultural resources and heritage as river basins around the world are significantly, and often irreversibly, altered. The adverse socio-cultural impacts for the often involuntarily and coercively displaced – significant globally in magnitude, extent and complexity – warrant detailed deliberation when decisions are made to construct large dams, and yet they are still often not acknowledged in the planning process and can remain unrecognised...

    • 18 Placing the Flood Recovery Process
      (pp. 199-206)
      Rebecca Whittle, Will Medd, Maggie Mort, Hugh Deeming, Marion Walker, Clare Twigger-Ross, Gordon Walker and Nigel Watson

      The writer A A Gill’s heartbreaking portrait of the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake of January 2010, in which up to 230,000 people died and more than 1 million were made homeless, raises the question of what it means to recover from a disaster. In the immediate aftermath of an event like Haiti, there is inevitably a focus on physical action and progress – the rubble is moved, survivors treated, fed and clothed – all of which corresponds to what emergency planners term the ‘response’ phase of the emergency. And yet what Gill is hinting at, beautifully captured in the notion of...

    • 19 Village Heritage and Resilience in Damaging Floods and Debris Flows, Kullu Valley, Indian Himalaya
      (pp. 207-224)
      Richard Johnson, Esther Edwards, James Gardner and Brij Mohan

      Heritage is shaped, and reshaped, by the impacts of natural hazard events that are common in mountains. This chapter examines the heritage–resilience relationship through villages in the Phojal Nalla catchment, in the Kullu Valley of the Indian Himalaya (see Fig 19.1) in the context of a 1994 flood event. The Valley is rich in many forms of heritage, including vernacular architecture, material culture, and custom and religion.

      Current definitions of heritage are complex and disputed; nonetheless, understandings are drawn from Smith (2006), Sorenson and Carman (2009) and Harrison (2013), where heritage may comprise: (1) objects, places and societal practices;...

    • 20 Cultural Heritage and Animal Disease: The Watchtree Memorial Stone
      (pp. 225-234)
      Josephine Baxter

      In the far north-west of England are two immense Scottish stones. One is in a dark underpass in Carlisle where dim light catches the inscription on its polished surface: the vitriolic interdiction of a 16th-century archbishop and his mighty curse upon the Border Reivers. Put there to mark the Millennium, this seven-foot monolith was conceived by a Carlisle-born artist and carved in Galloway. The other stone stands some seven miles away to the west at a place now called Watchtree. This squat boulder, carried by ice across the Solway during the last glaciation, lay deep underground until it was unearthed...

    • 21 Earthquakes: People, Landscape and Heritage in Japan
      (pp. 235-242)
      Takashi Harada

      In 1995 a major earthquake occurred in a densely populated area in the west of the main island of Japan. A year and a half later I met Ms Sakae, a 68-year-old woman who had become a refugee in the public shelter provided after the earthquake; I had worked there for six months as a volunteer, just after the earthquake hit (see Harada 2000). She related an episode that had taken place during a meeting of members at a house into which she had moved after spending three months at the shelter:

      At a meeting of the refugees living in...

    • 22 Industrial Heritage and the Oral Legacy of Disaster: Narratives of Asbestos Disease Victims from Clydeside, Scotland
      (pp. 243-250)
      Arthur McIvor

      Industrial heritage up and down the country is carefully preserved in museums, such as at Beamish in North East England, Styal Mills in the North West and the remarkable UNESCO New Lanark industrial village in west-central Scotland. These are nostalgia spaces where we are reminded of the hard graft, craftsmanship, community and camaraderie of work and life as it was. However, relatively little physical heritage survives of the traditional ‘heavy industries’ – the shipyards, iron and steel works and coal mines that once dominated the landscape and economy of whole industrial conurbations. These were places where the simple dignity of human...

    • 23 Translating Foot and Mouth: Conveying Trauma in Landscape Photography
      (pp. 251-262)
      Rupert Ashmore

      The Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) epidemic that swept through rural Britain in 2001 had a catastrophic economic effect on many communities.¹ It also impacted upon social and cultural life, and it has since been suggested that the prolonged, negative experience of Foot and Mouth was potentially traumatic, both individually and communally (Converyet al2008). Fundamental to this traumatic experience were the significant physical changes to the landscape. The disease, and the policies employed to control it, profoundly disrupted the relationship between communities and the spaces in which they live. It is fitting then, that the enduring cultural document...

  11. Displaced Natural Heritage

    • 24 Changing ‘Red to Grey’: Alien Species Introductions to Britain and the Displacement and Loss of Native Wildlife from our Landscapes
      (pp. 265-272)
      Peter Lurz

      In our hearts and minds we associate and often inextricably link local features and places, or the passing of the seasons, with the reproductive status of plants or the appearance of familiar animals – whether these are the first flowering messengers of spring, such as winter aconites or snowdrops, winged migratory or regular visitors to our bird feeders in the garden, or the haunting and beautiful calls of curlews across the Cumbrian fells in spring. Our feelings for a place and our sense of home do not simply relate to a location – a geography and ‘what people feel, know and do’,...

    • 25 Displacing Nature: Orang-utans in Borneo
      (pp. 273-282)
      Marc Ancrenaz and Isabelle Lackman

      The forests of Borneo and Sumatra are a major hot-spot for biodiversity. They are home to the only two species of Asian great apes that survive today: the Sumatran orang-utan (Pongo abelii) and the Bornean orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus). However, huge tracks of natural forests are being degraded by extractive industries (mining, timber harvesting, etc) or replaced with small-scale subsistence crops and large-scale industrialised monoculture (oil palm, acacias, eucalyptus, etc) throughout the region. As a result, entire wildlife populations are displaced or wiped out.

      The destruction of these forests is a multi-faceted disaster for the orang-utan and for myriad other species....

    • 26 Better to be a Beast than Evil: Human–Wolf Interaction and Putting Central Asia on the Map
      (pp. 283-292)
      Özgün Emre Can

      On 1 April 2013, I was in the Langtang National Park in the Nepalese Himalayas. Located about 30km south of Tibet, covering an area of 1710km² and between 1300 and 7245 metres above sea level, Langtang is the first national park established in the Himalayas. However it is probably the least explored. In the company of two wildlife officers from Nepal’s national wildlife authority, I was exploring the park to assess the presence of the clouded leopard and a few other large carnivore species. On this particular day, my mission was to visit the local people living a nomadic lifestyle...

    • 27 After nanoq: flat out and bluesome: A Cultural Life of Polar Bears: Displacement as a Colonial Trope and Strategy in Contemporary Art
      (pp. 293-302)
      Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson

      Since completion of the projectnanoq: flat out and bluesome(2006), the photographic archive from the survey has gone on continuous tour of a host of zoological, maritime and polar museums in northern Europe, including those within the Arctic region itself, such as in Long-yearbyen, Svalbard and Tromsø, Norway. One of the prime ambitions of the project is to bring singularity to the remains of specimens whose individual, cultural purpose has been to act as representative for a species – and sometimes, even more generically, its environment. In addition there are those specimens in private hands which function as company mascot,...

    • 28 What Heritage? Whose Heritage? Debates Around Culling Badgers in the UK
      (pp. 303-310)
      Pat Caplan

      This chapter concerns some of the debates centred on the recent proposals by both the English and Welsh governments to cull badgers in an attempt to lessen the incidence and prevalence of bovine TB (bTB) in cattle. It discusses some of the local meanings of ‘heritage’ and ‘nature’, and shows that both are highly contested terms in which different categories of people seek to appropriate ownership of them. It draws most particularly on fieldwork conducted in west Wales (one of the ‘hot-spots’ for bTB) with farmers, anti-cull activists and others, both Welsh-and English-speaking, and also makes use of local and...

    • 29 The Great Barrier Reef: Environment, Disaster and Heritage
      (pp. 311-320)
      Billy Sinclair

      The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is an iconic natural wonder, which represents one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet (GBRMPA 2009). The river systems that feed into the GBR lagoon are highly biodiverse and have a long cultural history for indigenous and settling peoples. As times, economies and climate have changed over the centuries, so has the impact and influence of these river ecosystems on the communities that thrive along their banks. This has been shown to dramatic effect in the last ten years with the repeated flooding of rivers in Queensland and the resulting social, economic...

  12. Endpiece
    (pp. 321-324)
    Phil O’Keefe

    In ending this book I have been asked to reflect back on a life working in disasters – in effect, a personal heritage of collected memories, materials and cultures. This has been a difficult task. On the one hand there is disease and death, the data of morbidity and mortality; on the other hand, there are the successes in rebuilding livelihoods and properties, a geography that is, frequently, one of affect. Affect is observed firstly in the disaster-impacted community itself, which is usually the first responder, and then seen in the external parties who help deliver relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Some...

  13. List of Contributors
    (pp. 325-332)
  14. Index
    (pp. 333-338)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 339-340)