Plan to attend the ICOMOS Post-Disaster Reconstruction Symposium: Abstracts Deadline Extended to 13 June

What can US-based professionals learn from the world — and teach the world — on topics like the role of reconstruction in community rebuilding and the role of communities in reconstruction? About changing notions of authenticity and integrity after conflict and disaster, and the difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous /western and eastern understandings of reconstruction?  A lot we suspect!
The 2016 ICOMOS Advisory Committee Symposium will be held 20 October 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey on the theme ‘Post-Disaster Reconstruction.’   Abstracts of both papers and posters are due June 3.  See below for a link to full instructions.  This year’s ICOMOS symposium reinforces the importance of the US/ICOMOS’s themes for the current biennium including Heritage in Times and Conflict and Disaster and Heritage and Climate Change.   US/ICOMOS urges US-based professionals working on these topics to share and learn internationally by participating in the October 20 event.
Organized under the auspices of the ICOMOS Scientific Council, this year’s ICOMOS symposium addresses the destruction of cultural heritage through natural disasters and armed conflict. The destruction of places of symbolic value has long been a device of war, with societies and civilizations overturned and their artefacts dissipated and destroyed. We are currently witnessing the the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage through armed conflict in many parts of the world.
Increasingly we are also witnessing the destruction of heritage places through severe natural disasters that are expected to increase as climate change generates extreme weather events. The theme of POST-DISASTER RECONSTRUCTION is extremely relevant as societies impacted by natural disasters, terrorism and war seek to rebuild themselves and request external assistance. This brings with it many challenges and risks, as well as possible opportunities.
A colloquium on reconstruction was held at ICOMOS headquarters in March 2016. Four key themes have emerged based on the results of this colloquium (please note that the report of this colloquium, together with a summary of keynotes and group discussions, is available for download on the ICOMOS website).

Key themes of the Symposium are:

Theme 1: Reconstruction in the face of disaster
Theme 2: Significance and authenticity
Theme 3: Intellectual frameworks
Theme 4: Rules of engagement and operational tools

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One outcome of this Symposium will be an online TOOLKIT to assist people associated with heritage places who are in immediate need of help. All presenters are requested to contribute 5-10 hyperlinks to relevant case studies with explanations on how these case studies relate to one or more key themes of the Symposium. These will then be shared among heritage practitioners.
The Post-Disaster Reconstruction Symposium occurs in tandem with the ICOMOS Annual General Assembly and Advisory Committee, which will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, from 15-21 October 2016, on the generous invitation of ICOMOS Turkey. In addition to the Annual General Assembly, there will be an Extraordinary General Assembly that will take place on the same morning on 19 October. US/ICOMOS members in good standing who are interested in serving as delegates to the General Assembly should contact the US/ICOMOS Directorate at

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