The complexities of heritage preservation in multicultural environments: identification, conservation and management

Whelan, Deborah (2015) The complexities of heritage preservation in multicultural environments: identification, conservation and management. In: Rehab 2015- Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Preservation, maintenance and rehabilitation of historical buildings and structures. Greenlines Institute for Sustainable Development, pp. 693-702. ISBN 9789898734075

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South Africa is a strongly multi-cultural society consisting of a dominant population of indigenous African people of different ethnic and language groups, and myriad smaller groups of settled immigrant communities, some who have been resident for over two centuries. These consist of people of European origin from countries scattered across Europe, as well as many people from the Indian subcontinent. Furthermore, in recent times, immigration into South Africa by people from African countries to the north has been commonplace, leading to a polyglot society.

However, as a nation it also suffers from vast gaps in income and education, both of which are vital elements in a commonplace understanding which allows for the identification and preservation of heritage. Whilst it is commonly understood that heritage is always politicised in one way or another, decades of oppression of African people during the apartheid era has served to compound the politics of contemporary heritage, leading to a situation in which heritage identification, conservation and management is inappropriately handled according to international charters, despite the adherence to such guidelines by the heritage authorities concerned.

This paper will begin by presenting the problem statement in terms of the cultural, political and economic situation, before discussing the variant components of heritage preservation from an identification, conservation and management perspective. It will then present ideas as to a practical way forward, in the management of heritage in a culturally contested post apartheid South Africa.

Keywords:heritage preservation, multi-cultural, conservation, developing nations
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K250 Conservation of Buildings
L Social studies > L540 Community Work
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
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ID Code:28962
Deposited On:24 Nov 2017 14:07

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