This proposal aims to investigate the ways the destruction and subsequent selective reconstruction of the cultural heritage impact identity formation. Recent conflicts in Europe, as well as abroad, has brought the deliberate destruction of the heritage of others, as a means of inflicting pain, to the foreground. With this has come the realisation that the processes involved and thus the long-term consequences are poorly understood. Heritage reconstruction is not merely a matter of design and resources - at stake is the re-visioning and reconstruction of people's identities! Through five regional case studies, this project seeks to illuminate both the empircal and theoretical relationship between cultural heritage, conflict ,and identity. In particular, it will examine how destruction as well as reconstruction affect notions of belonging and identies at different scales ranging from the individual to the pan-national. The five regional studies will ensure historical depth, variation, and different trajectories, while the shared methodologies and axes of investigation will ensure comparative measures are reached. The regional work packages will use case studies to collect data and conduct analysis that collectively will aim to answer 1) what conditions and ideologies inspire the destruction of cultural heritage and what is selected for destruction?, and 2) what are the consequences at local, national and regional levels of such destruction and the subsequent reconstruction of parts of people's heritage. The project will vastly enhance insights into the crucial relationship between heritage and identity, and on this basis it will provide much needed knowledge of use to policy-makers .
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