This event is part of a 2-day Conference on March 29-30, including:
SESSION I (March 29): Monuments of Oppression
SESSION II (March 29): Oppression from Monuments
SESSION III (March 30): Acknowledging Intangible Heritage as part of future heritage past
SESSION IV (March 30): Caring for future Worlds? SDGs within Spaces and Places of Heritage

The conference will address how World Heritage is being contextualized in relation to Gender & Diversities and the SDGs. How can research, frameworks and working tools either theoretically or on site address marginalisation and valuation within this sector? The aim of the conference is to address various mechanisms that exclude diversity at World Heritage sites. They include: structural inequalities within World Heritage discourses that marginalise communities; domination of the majority culture over heritage policies; multiple and shifting forms of identities that can better represent official narratives on World Heritage; actions taken by stakeholders that either collectively or deliberately marginalise communities. The conference will also explore innovative ways to address issues affecting gender and diversities at World Heritage particularly relating to SDGs.

Video Day II, Session III + IV:


SESSION III took place on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 07:00-12:00 (UTC)

This session seeks to focus on the value and place of intangible heritage and sustainability. Among diverse communities across the world, tangible heritage is inseparable from intangible cultural practices. How might World Heritage adopt an approach that more thoroughly recognises the interconnectivity between these heritage forms? Furthermore, how should World Heritage confront and address the ways that certain cultural knowledge, skills and histories are deliberately attacked, invalidated, or erased? Exploring these areas is important for highlighting how particular systems marginalise identities, groups and indigenous people, eroding their heritage. It also engenders wider debate on the strategies that could be used to support and strengthen heritage practices (particularly those under threat) for future generations. This is crucial when examples of intangible heritage can serve as vehicles of resistance to types of political/economic domination.

Reflecting on why place, sites and objects are often emphasised over less tangible forms of heritage leads to conversations about the structure of World Heritage. How does race, gender, class and nationality factor into who gets to decide which forms of heritage are elevated over others in UNESCO systems? Integrating varied perspectives that recognise the links between tangible/intangible heritage enables some reflection on the role that certain cultural values, knowledge and practice play in future sustainability. Examples of this might include the safeguarding of natural heritage and wildlife, and engagement in non- exploitative/non-extractive economic/farming activities that protect the environment.

Session Moderator: Vire Komolafe (Nigeria, Interim Vice Chair Nigerians in Diaspora Organization Ireland)

07:00-07:10 UTC
Opening Remarks
by Diversities& Genders Team
Opening Ancestoral Prayers by Ade Williams

07:10-08:00 UTC
SESSION III: Acknowledging Intangible Heritage as part of future heritage past
Speaker 1: Henrietta Marrie (Australian Indigenous Rights Activist, Yidinji Tribe)
Speaker 2: Liisa-Ravna Finbog (Sámi scholar and duojár from Oslo/Vaapste/Skánit on the Norwegian side of Sápmi)
Speaker 3: Yewande Okuleye (Founder, The Power of Nine: Reclaiming Language to Create and Celebrate Nigerian Herstories- UK)

08:00-08:10 UTC
Self-service coffee break

08:10-9:00 UTC
Keynote Speaker: Patricia O’Donnell (FASLA, AICP, F. US/ICOMOS; Founder, preservation landscape architect and urban planner, Heritage Landscapes, LLC; President, ICOMOS IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes)

9:00-10:00 UTC Informal Discussions with Diversities & Genders Team

10:00-11:00 UTC LUNCH BREAK

11:00-11:45 UTC Fringe Event: Virtual Tours
Uganda with an introduction from Conrad Kuzooka (World Heritage Site: The Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi with African Tigress)
El Salvador with Nantzin Anastasia Elder (World Heritage Site: Joya De Ceren) and with Frida Larios (The Stellas inspired/close to the WH site and commissioned by Kimberly Clark of Central America)

11:45-12:00 UTC Civil Society Theme Showcase (TBD)


SESSION IV took place on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 12:00-14:30 UTC

The main characteristic of any World Heritage asset is its outstanding universal value, initially determined by culturally based criteria. This has been recently intensified by the intangible contribution given by the so-called sense of place. Lefebvre argued that every society – and therefore every mode of production – produces a certain space, its own space, this as a result of different layers of societies. It is not merely an issue of Genius Loci, the specific creative inputs that is generated by a specific territory, the historic development associated to climatic conditions that create different, peculiar, site specific human responses for adaptation, but also about sense of place, that reflects the peculiarities that made a space place for diversities and genders in time. Sense of place refers to the use of the space, the way a space turns into place. World Heritage Sites, once in the list, openly belong to humanity and this may open new use dimensions that interfere with the existing “place”, and increase the plateau of diversities at stake. The entrance to the List enlarges the number of users, as well as their rights and responsibilities. In addition, the rights of use need to be distinguished from the ones of ownership.

Sites “owners” are confident of the positive development impact of listing. In this respect, the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations in 2015 expanded on 17 Goals, and Cultural Heritage was perceived as highly contributing to all of them. Nevertheless, the challenges of economic pressures, climate change, mass
tourism (and pandemics) may affect sites, their Indigenous communities, Kinships, Clans & nurturing communities, ecosystems and … the sense of place/space, thus reducing the impact potential of heritage to sustainable development.

Under these premises, this panel looks at the pressures generated by the listing and how they affect the sense of place, in the awareness that too often those who list are not those who live, that those who benefits are not those who care. It aims at feeding the international debate on how to create local development policies with holistic visions to address the SDGs and make them drivers for the eventual, positive change needed. It expects to deepen the knowledge on how SDGs can help sustaining local values, with the help of all actors.

Session Moderator: Marco Acri (Italy, Conservation Architect, University of Nova Gorica)


12:00-14:30 UTC
Speaker 1: Prof. Claire Smith (Professor, Flinders University, Australia)
Speaker 2: Dr. Madhura Dutta (Director, banglanatak dot com, India)
Speaker 3: Prof. Dr. Amra Hadzimuhamedovic (Architecture; expert in the process of implementation of Annex 8 of Dayton Peace Accord for Bosnia and Herzegovina managing the diverse projects of integrating the cultural heritage into post-war recovery)

13:00-13:15 UTC Self-service coffee break

13:15-14:00 UTC Call out competition: Round table with participants

14:00- 14:15 UTC Sponsor Session

14:15-14:30 UTC Closing Remarks by the OurWorldHeritage Diversities & Genders Team