Call for Short Paper (Round Table)

Benjamin DUCKE | Nura IBOLD
(Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI), Germany)

Keywords: cultural heritage, digital recovery and reconstruction, conflict and crisis archaeology

Call: In times of armed, particularly heavily armed, conflict, the cost in human lives is accompanied by damage to people’s material livelihoods and built heritage. In combination with displacement of populations and destruction of public infrastructure, this can end the cultural continuity of entire communities. These dangers are exemplified by the recent armed conflicts in Syria and Yemen.
In such extreme scenarios, modes of thinking that are beneficial in the recovery of cultural heritage after e.g. a natural disaster can turn counter-productive and must be considered carefully:
Can reconstruction and heritage recovery in a country like Syria ever be done without considering its social implications?
Is “classical” reconstruction on a site like Palmyra an ethically valid approach at all?
And whose purposes and ideologies will be served when deciding what to reconstruct and how?
Even those of us who are concerned with digital, rather than physical, reconstruction must be aware of these sensitive issues, as the former often lay the groundwork for the latter and might create problematic assumptions and expectations.
This round table session calls for professionals and researchers working within the field of digital reconstruction and recovery of cultural heritage, to develop constructive and sustainable approaches within the digital domain. We wish to pave the way for concrete discussions on digital heritage and its significance in the post-conflict phase, through topics such as:

  • the scope, intentions and impacts of digital reconstruction efforts
  • the links between social structure, heritage and digital reconstruction
  • the politics and economics of digital reconstruction
  • case studies, best practice and examples of unresolved issues

We aim for relatively short papers that provide information on a few key points and can then be discussed. Authors of accepted papers are asked to contact the session chairs for further details.

Submission (open April 15, 2020)
Mind the guidelines