Accepted paper:

Heritage as collaboration


Katarzyna Puzon (Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the impact of the ideas of collaboration and cooperation on heritage practices in the Lebanese context. By investigating the activities of the Modern Heritage Observatory it attempts to move beyond their understanding as mere acts of resistance.

Paper long abstract:

The discourse on heritage has revived in recent years in Lebanon along with the emergence of manifold initiatives and heritage associations which began to proffer the idea of heritage as 'the rightful legacy'. In the aftermath of the civil war (1975-1990) the socio-spatial transformations of the capital, in particular the radical intervention in Beirut's historic core, attracted mixed reactions and many concerns were voiced by city residents, social activists, architects and urban planners. Some of them argued that heritage had fallen victim to urban development, yet, needless to say, this critique can assuredly be viewed as part of the struggle for identity in a post-war condition wherein the conception of heritage began to gradually shift from a matter of family legacy to its understanding as a more collective phenomenon. This paper intends to explore heritage practices in post-war Beirut. More specifically, it focuses on the activities of Modern Observatory Heritage (MoHO) which acts as a network working for the preservation of the modern cultural heritage. By avoiding treating conflict and collaboration as an opposing pair, I analyse the complexities and contradictions of collaboration in the field of heritage in a post-war context.

panel P032
Exploring the complexity of heritage practices through cooperation