INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR MONUMENTS AND SITES 2021
ICOMOS Emerging Professionals Working Group Africa-U.S. Collaboration
Date: Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Leveraging heritage for a better future is gaining prominence across national, continental and international discourses, as heritage is not simply a record of the past but a cultural process reflecting the social realities of today. What is the role of heritage in tackling societal challenges including equity, diversity and inclusion in and among communities? How should heritage be integrated into decision-making processes to ensure sustainable development at the local and regional levels? What is the relationship between broader societal forces and heritage?
The leaders of governments in Africa envisioned a future where the continent is free of conflict, poverty, human rights violations and disasters. The vision encapsulates the significance of heritage within the society in the seven aspirations of African Union Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want reflecting the desire for inclusion, equality and integration for everyone regardless of gender, ethnicity and age. To this end, heritage defines people’s identities and histories and helps to rebuild communities after disasters, create new shared understanding of the past, stimulate local development and create opportunities for a better future.
In the United States, recent national discussions and protests have spotlighted unresolved racial issues and inequalities that continue to divide the country. Exploring the issues, struggles and contributions of different communities in historic places are critical to charting a path toward national healing and an equitable future.
The event is organized by ICOMOS EPWG representatives from the U.S. and the Africa region (Zoe Leung and Olufemi Adentunji), to support intergenerational exchanges critical to safeguarding and promoting heritage. The program will feature a conversation among established and emerging professionals in heritage preservation from the United States and African countries, moderated by a U.S. participant.