Čepaitienė R. Heritage in the (post)society: dissonance, conflict, or search for agreement? (.pdf)


The article deals with the perception of cultural heritage in the contemporary post-colonial and post-communist countries. Problems of its interpretation and preservation in the field of professional safeguarding and in public discourse are analysed. Two main blocks of problems are identified: 1) the specificity of heritage in the given groups of the societies, and 2) the relationship to the material relics of former colonial or occupying powers in the territories of contemporary independent states.In the first case, the concept of “cultural imperialism”that affects the definition of the universal, suitable for all cultures and civilizations, as well as the selection criteria and evaluation of cultural values and the principles of conservation, administered by international organizations, such as UNESCO, etc, is used. At the same time,the resistance to the Western norms and concepts based on “universal heritage” in the societies of the so-called “Third World” allowed to expand the scope of values to be protected and to begin to apply the principle of “cultural relativism” and “the respect for cultural diversity” on a global scale. Another important research topic is the perception and interpretation of the “dissonant” and “contested”, “controversial” heritage. The issue is particularly relevant in post-communist countries having a whole range of relationships to the “Soviet” – from deliberate rejection to nostalgic perception. With the reference on the experience of post-colonial states, the attempt to look at the legacy of the Soviet era in a much broader context is done, identifying similarities and peculiarities of the phenomenon.


Key words: cultural heritage, post-colonialism, cultural imperialism, cultural relativism, universalism, human rights.


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