BK Talks | Contested Heritage: Demolish?

Panel discussion, moderator Eveline van Rijswijk. Click here voor de livestream.

Buildings, museums and monuments can be manifestations of national pride and glory, but also increasingly confront us with our problematic past. These symbols tell stories of conquest, victory and heroism, while simultaneously representing narratives of repression, racism or even genocide, the latter part not being included in the dominant memory culture.

Recent discussions and several incidents where statues of controversial historic figures were torn down demonstrate that contested heritage is once again on the forefront of the public debate. Should we preserve, demolish or contextualize? Is it possible to redesign and redefine material heritage that brings up so many painful memories? Can we add new layers of meaning, allowing us all to develop a deeper understanding of our often difficult past? Or should we erect counter-monuments, rethink architectural practices and claim new heroes? During this panel discussion we will focus on several case studies that one way or the other play an ambiguous part in our collective memory. Through these individual examples we seek to find a shared language and common understanding of the issue, and offer a sustainable and inclusive contribution to the public debate on contested heritage.

 This edition of BK Talks is brought to you by the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment and Studium Generale TU Delft Credits image: By Tony Webster – https://www.flickr.com/photos/diversey/50000129917/

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