Creative engagements with memory and local heritage - connecting methodology and practice


Thursday, 19 November, 2015 - 12:00 to 13:30

Lunch Lecture byIIAS fellow Dr Surajit Sarkar.

Materials and narratives, heritage and orality come together in examples as diverse as neighbourhood exhibitions of everyday life in urban Delhi, to community led documentation of tribal cultural resources in Nagaland, and public storytelling that combines intangible knowledge and material artefacts of farming and rural heritage in the Satpura hills of central India. Such activity based and ‘people-centred’ activities have the ability to re-imagine representation, and generate knowledge on the connections between lives, livelihoods and cultural practice.  This approach has been adapted to build co-create knowledge of existing museum collections, by involving community knowledge holders in the annotation of rare and historical anthropological collections at the Indian Museum.

Besides helping build museum collections as sites of cultural citizenship, such activities build a sense of shared ‘ownership’ of cultural heritage, address contested representations and recognise that community cultural heritage is a unique response to socio ecological challenges. Such civic engagement with culture recognises its diverse origins, while the co-creation of such knowledge of heritage can initiate fresh discourse on it.

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