Interlinking Culture and Heritage with Destruction, Rebuilding and Transformation

Interlinking Culture and Heritage with Destruction, Rebuilding and Transformation
(C) Inga-Lill. Zimapan, Mexico. Left: Woman sitting at her house which was raided for building materials and abandoned to rising reservoir waters. Right: recreated village.

Migration Network Seminar Series 2022

Interlinking Culture and Heritage with Destruction, Rebuilding and Transformation

Culture in displacement and resettlement has been variously ignored, subordinated to livelihood imperatives, or intentionally suppressed, for example, through planned resettlement strategies.  Planned resettlement, whether anticipated as part of a development project, or for people already displaced, changes displaced people’s lives, often significantly. We go beyond expressing culture spatial and temporal orders that can be reconstructed. We contend that, whatever the trigger for the original displacement, solutions must address the question of culture, heritage and intangible loss if they are to be meaningful and functionally purposeful for the displaced people, durable, and sustainable for all stakeholders, including the host communities. To this end we add heritage and define it as something selected from the past, used in the present, and encompassing the future. The challenge is to recognize the relationship between the intangible and the tangible, as an essential expression of meaning making; and to use that expression, not in any simple instrumental way, but recognizing its full potential. Culture and heritage influence multiple negotiations in determining durable solutions in the formation of the future. Drawing upon cases of planned resettlement and local integration, we consider some ways in which these omnipresent but less understood elements, can be addressed with potential for richer, more sustainable, “durable solutions”.


Dr. Inga-Lill Aronsson is Senior Lecturer at the multidisciplinary Department of Archival Science, Library and Information Science and Museum and Heritage Studies (ALM), Uppsala University. Aronsson has extensive field work experience, including a major Mexican dam resettlement. Her research interests are involuntary resettlement, memory and heritage, and reconciliation in post-conflict areas. 

Dr. Susanna Price (School of Culture, History & Language, CAP, ANU) is an internationally recognized specialist in environmental and social risk analysis. She has worked and published extensively on displacement and resettlement.

This event is co-hosted by the ANU School of Archaeology & Anthropology and the Migration, Mobility & Movement Network.

This event is presented in person and online. Zoom details below
Meeting ID: 893 0706 2890
Password: 431014

Date & time

Mon 17 Oct 2022, 1–2pm


Menzies Library, McDonald Room & Online


Dr. Inga-Lill Aronsson (Uppsala University) and Dr. Susanna Price (ANU)


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