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On-going projects

European Colonial Heritage Modalities in Entangled Cities (ECHOES)

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The
Challenge

ECHOES explores European heritage, ex-colonial countries and the relationship between them.

There’s a pressing dilemma at the heart of contemporary Europe. How can the European history of empires and colonialism form a part of its identity in a way that does not alienate its migrant population?  People that may have been glorified in the past for example – think of a philanthropic merchant being honoured with a statue, despite making their fortune in the slave trade - would today be viewed in an unpopular way.

ECHOES explores European heritage, ex-colonial countries and the relationship between them. Heritage in terms of the things we value enough to pass on to future generations will be explored including statues, plaques, commemorative events and cultural norms.

ECHOES is working with researchers in China, Brazil and South Africa to understand how museums engage with histories of colonialism.

The
Approach

Lead researchers

Professor-John-Oldfield

Project funded by

eu-funding

We will lead a team of international scholars on this pan-European project.  We will assess if migrant groups are alienated by European cultural norms and heritage and we’ll discover how we can create policies to establish new heritage that is inclusive of migrant communities, not alienating to them.

ECHOES combines the innovative theoretical conceptualization of ‘de-colonial entanglements’ with deep empirical exploration of both EU institutional activities and programs together with key European and non-European city innovations and connections. The major research objectives are as follows:

  • To analyse the EU’s expanding engagement with ‘heritage politics’ through investigating the (missing) place of colonialism in key EU initiatives, policies, or programs, and thus more broadly with contemporary notions of European identity and quests to legitimate the EU’s global initiatives.
  • To explore and assess heritage practices in and entanglements between European and non-European cities, focusing on city museums, artistic creations and citizen activities.
  • To share insights and knowledge via a form of science diplomacy, thus introducing the practices in cities into EU-level debates.

The Impact

This major European project will have significant policy implications for relations and reparations with former European colonies. Ultimately it will help to establish an understanding of European culture that accurately reflects its history and yet is considerate and inclusive of all its communities. The project is funded by EU Horizon 2020.

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Got a question or want to collaborate?
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