Seminar: Sharing Common Grounds – Cultural Heritage as Spaces of Resistance and Zones of Identity Belonging
- Date: –17:30
- Location: Campus Gotland Room B25
- Lecturer: Brilliant Mhlanga
- Organiser: Sustainable Heritage Research Forum
- Contact person: Anna Karlström
This presentation aims to show how cultural heritage in its various forms; as intangible and tangible, can be used to reconstitute memory and historical identities.
The case of the Ndebele of Matebeleland, and the Ngoni people of Zambia will be used as examples of ‘difficult heritage’. This presentation attempts to show how heritage is often appropriated in most postcolonial states to conjure national identities as part of the engraved ‘sacred landscapes of remembrance’. It will also be argued that while national memory for the postcolonial states is constructed and in flux, the ethnic memory of the majority is often weaved into the narratives of belonging and being of the broader state as ‘rhetorical topoi.’
Further, it will be observed that even the postcolonial names of the states which is always along ethnic lines (mainly of the majority ethnic groups) are often presented as part of the ‘national heritage.’
For the excluded and marginalised ethnic groups cultural heritage then become sites of contestation where identities and common historical ties are renewed. Often this is done through memory and commemorating the past, which is an essential part of the present. Such a process is not only tied inextricably to a particular group’s sense of identity, but rather it is seen as an inherent part of the heritage process.
In this case heritage as a process is seen as humanising project aimed and reviving cultural identities.
Brilliant Mhlanga holds a PhD from the University of Westminster and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Media Cultures, in the School of Humanities, University of Hertfordshire, UK. Dr Mhlanga has lectured as well as researched and published extensively on Cultural Identities Politics, Heritage and Ethnic Minority issues, and the Postcolonial African National Project. His research interests include Heritage studies, Ethnic Minority Media, Ethnicity, Nationalism and Postcolonial Studies, Media Policy & Political Economy of the media, Media and Development Communication and Community Radio.