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Spotlight on Sudan

Since the outbreak of direct conflict in Sudan in April 2023, the world has witnessed ‘an already precarious humanitarian situation become catastrophic’. In this online event, hear from Sudanese heritage specialists, as well as those working to support them, to understand more about the impacts of the conflict taking place.

Bringing together voices from different disciplines within the Sudanese heritage sector, we hear about the current threats posed to cultural heritage, as well as the emerging projects such as the Sudan Heritage Protection Initiative which are designed promote, protect, and preserve it.

• Dr Ismail Hamid Elnour, University of Birmingham (UK). Member of the Sudan Heritage Protection Initiative.
• Dr Galia Garelnabi, Director, National Museum of Sudan (former Director of National Corporation of Antiquities and Museums (NCAM)).
• Dr.Isber Sabrine, President, Heritage For Peace. Director of The Arab Network of Civil Society Organizations to Safeguard Cultural Heritage (ANSCH). Member of the Sudan Heritage Protection Initiative.
• Laura Searson, Cultural Heritage Preservation Lead, V&A (Host).

This Culture in Crisis event is programmed in partnership with Heritage for Peace.

'Heritage at War: Plan and Prepare' Conference Recording

In February 2023, The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Culture in Crisis Programme, in partnership with the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester staged an international conference exploring the past and present risks of military conflict to heritage.

'Heritage at War: Plan and Prepare' brought together voices from Europe, the US, Africa, and Asia to explore how lessons learned from past experiences of conflict can inform our approaches to the safeguarding of cultural heritage today. Presentations explored how the heritage sector, the military and other stakeholders collaborate to protect cultural heritage under attack, navigating the specific risks of direct military conflict on the ground.

In the first of two sessions, 'Learning from the Past' explored case studies from previous conflicts which highlight interdisciplinary efforts to protect heritage, drawing guidance from these experiences and comparable strategies for the present.

The second conference session; 'Preparing for the Present', invited speakers to share their views on how the heritage sector can successfully work to protect heritage from the risks of direct ground attack today; from documentation and databasing, to salvage planning and evacuation.

This conference is generously supported by the University of Leicester’s ESRC Impact Acceleration Award.

Heritage Now: Relevance and Community - People, Purpose, Place (5/5)

In this, the fifth and final session in the series, we reflect on the central themes of People, Purpose and Place within heritage preservation; exploring how the heritage sector currently works with these entwined areas of focus today.

We take stock of the key findings of the series so far, discussing how heritage and its relevance evolves in constant dialogue with communities; asking how can we go forwards with an understanding of these values and give purpose to our actions?

• Bernard Donoghue, CEO and Director, Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)
•Dame Fiona Reynolds, Chair, International National Trusts Organisation (INTO)

Heritage Now: Relevance and Community - Making Places (4/5)

In the aftermath of any crisis, the rethinking, reshaping & reconstruction of our built environment requires the careful balancing of many rival interests and priorities. In this session, we explore how decisions made within these processes can impact a sense of place for the communities who live there.

We compare what can be lost when culture and identity are forgone in favour of redevelopment interests, versus the opportunity heritage presents to build places that reflect and serve the communities that live within them.

• Abdul-Halim Jabr, Urbanism Coordinator, Beirut Heritage Initiative
• Lim Wei-Ling, President, Badan Warisan Malaysia
• Harry Wardill, Chief Executive Officer, Turquoise Mountain

Heritage Now: Relevance and Community – Youth-Led Strategies for Climate Action (3/5)

In this session, we bring together an international panel of professionals working on youth-led strategies for tackling the climate crisis through heritage. Understanding that the health of people, wildlife and the environment are all deeply intertwined, this conversation focused on nature-based solutions and community-led climate efforts, exploring the potential of the heritage sector to respond to the devastating impacts of the climate crisis.

• Sarah Younan, Youth Engagement Coordinator, National Museum of Wales
• Rashad Salim and Hannah Lewis, Co-Founders, Safina Projects