Reflections of our presence in space, production of place and interactions with landscape have been a feature of different social sciences and the humanities’ disciplines in recent decades, and, researchers have found, that despite numerous efforts the landscape has remained “undisciplined”. More complex interpretations and metaphors of the landscape that emphasize power relations (e.g. panopticum, palimpsest, heterotopia, spatial practices) date back to the 1970s. Since this so-called spatial turn, landscape is no longer understood merely as a passive background, but as an active foreground that creates, and is created by, different actors in a continuous and mutually interactive process of becoming. Heritage-making is one of the ways of meaning-making of, and to, this landscape, even though it may not necessarily be uncontested by all those involved. Heritage landscapes are multifaceted, heritage sites ambiguous. They are connected with local, national, and transnational interests and caught between subjective memories and various official historiographies, currently involved in different projects and policies. Heritage landscapes and sites have diverse visions of the future that go beyond static and immovable categories of natural and cultural, movable and immovable, tangible and intangible heritage.
The Heritage in a mobile world thematic cluster focuses on the dynamics of representations of the past and present that are related to the migration of individuals and groups as well as to the mobility of objects and ideas. We are interested in examples of tangible and intangible heritage resulting from migration (e.g. the artworks of migrant artists, the preservation of, and changes to, folklore, emergence of hybrid culinary dishes, etc.), or venues of particular importance to individuals and groups with a migrant experience (e.g. restaurants, train stations, factories, city districts, parks, football stadiums). In this respect, urban centres, which act as catalysts for hybrid forms, are of particular interest. Locations that have become established through migration or are marked by it can, over time, become a symbol of a particular part of a city or a particular population group and an important aspect of a shared past. As such, they are becoming increasingly recognised by many tourism, museum, monument and community initiatives and institutions, either by incorporating a minority view into existing narratives or by creating new narratives about the contribution of migrant populations to the so-called national heritage. Heritage-making is increasingly recognized as a tool for political emancipation of marginalised groups, so exploring the intersection of heritage-making and migration is especially relevant.
Changing borders and border regimes shape the lives of many people and communities, in cross-border regions these processes are even more dynamic. It may just be the case that a person can spend all their life in the same house, but at the same time, have lived in four countries. In border regions, the dominant policies and mechanisms are about contact, confrontation and transition, and at the same time these intermediate spaces also operate with their own dynamics. A view that focuses on dynamic border areas gives nuance to important processes and analyses the relationships and differences between them. Externally, the most noticeable and recognizable are those processes shaping the heritage of specific national, ethnic, linguistic, religious and other communities. In the context of Heritage in dynamic cross-border regions thematic cluster, we are interested in these diverse and dynamic practices of memory and heritage making, paying particular attention to the use of traditions and the past in constructions of borders and their margins, and their importance for self-understanding and self-representation of border communities. We take a detailed look at the possibilities and obstacles in cross-border spaces in heritagization and analyse the challenges and potential of transnational heritage-making. Namely, heritage-making enables the consolidation of dividing lines as well as the transformation of dividing border regions into meeting spaces.
The Language in use – Use of language thematic cluster deals with social and linguistic processes, the language as such, and individual and collective linguistic practices as subjects of heritage-making in minority communities, and, at the same time, active participants in this process. In our understanding, language stands not (only) for literary language, but all geographical or societal language variations and idioms. Linguistic diversity, be it multilingualism or linguistic variance within one language, is a potential intangible heritage of the community, from local, through national, State to supranational. In past processes of nation-building, linguistic diversity has often been denied, suppressed and silenced, and even today it remains the subject of ideologically motivated, often conflicting generalisations in different settings. In the thematic cluster on language, we critically examine and evaluate language practices in relation to the dominance of language standards, and attempt to critically evaluate the role of language in heritage. We strive to detect, understand and describe possible language-shift phenomena and to collaborate with speakers to mitigate them.
The houses we live in, the objects we use on a daily basis or the recipes we cook are not in themselves heritage. They become heritage when we recognize them as heritage, which dictates a series of questions with answers not being taken for granted. Why does a particular building become heritage, who decides, what criteria and considerations are these based on, and what does it mean to live with heritage are the questions that pave the way for the research tasks in this thematic cluster. Perhaps the residents and professionals who want to protect the house have completely different aesthetic criteria, preferences and fears. However, this never-ending dialogue can have unpredictable outcomes in the fast-paced everyday of the twenty-first century. Although seizing the past is universally human, individuals and communities seem to be strongly drawn towards reviving, preserving and expressing cultural features, which were being lost and are now becoming recognised as heritage. Such heritage can be used for economic reasons, for self-representation or to (re)gain visibility within society, as a sense of belonging, but also for exclusion. How those involved, excluded, forgotten or invisible live with heritage, how it is transformed or reshaped are the questions that form the central research axis of this thematic cluster.