The ARTIS – Institute of History of Art, School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon and the ICOMOS Portugal are pleased to invite all the researchers, specialists and other stakeholders to participate in the International Congress Preserving transcultural heritage: your way or my way?, which will take place in Lisbon, between 05 and 08 July 2017.
At a time of generalized globalization, which generates more and more miscegenation at almost every level of our existence, cultural frontiers also tend to fade substantially. This has motivated a growing reaction to defend several unique cultural heritages, considered exceptional, identifying elements with irreplaceable value from societies and collectivities that created them. However, this same globalization that began centuries ago with trade, technology, culture, politics and military exchanges between different people, increasing progressively its intensity until the present, became itself originator of a heritage created exactly in the meeting of cultures. This new transcultural heritage (or hybrid heritage) presents a whole range of different complexities that could make the safeguarding and preservation for the coming generations complicated.
Among the vast cultural heritage resulting from fusions and re-appropriations between different cultures, architectural heritage stands out as one of the most visible and tangible signs of any culture: cities, temples, fortifications, public works or merely common houses, among many other built structures. Many times in history this “crossbred heritage” was deliberately abandoned or destroyed because of negative symbolisms associated to it, but also obliterated or distorted because of functional or ideological reasons, or simply by ignorance from whoever tried to protect it.
Whatever are the causes, the fact is that transcultural architectural heritage, created in the conjugation of cultures, still is endangered nowadays, and problems concerning on its patrimonial preservation continue to be more relevant than ever. This is also due to globalization, which imposes new conditionings and contextualization, demanding new ways to deal with them. As a matter of fact, questions concerning the safeguarding of this kind of heritage involve a vast set of themes: the intense polemic about the preservation of architectural structures, the memory of which can allude symbolically to cultures considered as oppressors; the debate on authenticity, generated by confrontations between patrimonial values coming from cultures involved in the creation of each particular transcultural heritage – which could differ substantially, and therefore should be taken into consideration in the moment it is decided how to act to preserve that heritage –; the problematic related to migratory fluxes; the ideological instrumentalisation of architectural heritage; the touristic commercialization of cultural monuments; and several other related themes demanding further debate on them.
There is an ambition to encourage the dialogue about this matter, which assumed particular relevance for the world heritage panorama. It aims to stimulate the knowledge of paradigmatic cases, the interchange of experiences, the exposure of problems and solutions, and the increase of potential collaborations that can be helpful instruments for the safeguarding of unique transcultural heritages, many times ignobly vandalized, unwisely neglected, irretrievably adulterated or harmfully over-exploited.
Hence, all the concerned community is invited to participate in the International Congress Preserving transcultural heritage: your way or my way?, opened to academic scholars and specialist technicians, to policy makers and to all of society. The congress will take place in Lisbon, between 05 and 08 July 2017, with the organisation of the ARTIS – Institute of History of Art | School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon and the ICOMOS Portugal. All the researchers, specialists and other stakeholders are invited to participate in this event.
The organisation encourages multidisciplinary and international research on the safeguarding of transcultural heritage (architecture, urbanism, archaeology, landscapes and decorative arts in built heritage). Therefore, the organisation will give priority to sessions co-organised by scholars from different universities and countries, especially those belonging to cultures that created specific transcultural heritages (each session should have at least two organizers). Major thematic headlines: 1. Questions on authenticity between different cultures, when focusing the safeguarding of transcultural architectural heritage. i) The debate on the confrontation between image value, historicity value, technological value and other values, when focusing the safeguarding of transcultural architectural heritage (for instance: prevalence of the image in Eastern cultures versus prevalence of the material in Western cultures versusprevalence of ancestral built technologies in developing countries, and what is the prevalent value when acting in transcultural built structures). ii) Idiosyncrasies in patrimonial actions performed in architectural structures inside transcultural contexts (for instance: in Portuguese-Chinese heritage, in Indian-British heritage, in French-Maghreb heritage, etc.). 2. The evolution of the patrimonial conscience inside different cultures concerning the transcultural architectural heritage. i) Theories of restoration and conservation and its implications and applications in the safeguarding of the architectural heritage originated in the fusion of cultures. ii) Architects, restorers, safeguarding policies and paradigmatic case studies of actions on the transcultural architectural heritage. 3. Controversies on the relevance of conserving transcultural architectural heritage associated to dominant foreign cultures. i) Polemics about the preservation of undesirable memories from cultures considered invaders/oppressors (for instance: European colonial heritage in Asia and Africa, Ottoman heritage in Maghreb and Middle East, Muslim heritage in Iberian Peninsula, Japanese heritage in China, Nazi heritage in Central Europe, Soviet heritage in countries of Eastern Europe, etc.). ii) Safeguarding of architectural heritage belonging to ethnic and religious minorities inside countries with dominant cultures (for instance: Christian heritage in the Middle East, pré-Colombian heritage in America, aborigine heritage in Australia, Jewish heritage in Europe, etc.). iii) The ideological instrumentalization of transcultural architectural heritage as nacionalist or regional claims, and the politicized (re)construction of the Past (for instance: Portuguese colonial heritage in Africa, Roman heritage in Romania, Hellenic heritage in Asia, Hindustani heritage restored under British rule, etc.). 4. Globalization and its repercussions for the safeguarding of transcultural architectural heritage. i) The safeguarding of transcultural architectural heritage generated by international and inter-regional migratory fluxes (for instance: heritage with African origin in America and Europe, Muslim heritage in European countries, Asian heritage in American countries, Indian heritage outside India, etc.). ii) Hesitations on the preservation of recent architectural heritage (from Modernism to contemporaneity) of uncertain character: regional circumscribed, international standardized or intercultural miscegenated. iii) The growing commercialization of transcultural architectural heritage and the conflict between cultural tourism as creator of synergies for its maintenance and as potential threat to its safeguarding. 5. Other relevant themes.
The proposals will be selected by the Scientific Committee on the basis of merit and the need to organize a well-balanced programme, according to the following criteria: relevance, innovation, scientific quality and organisation of the session.

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