The Heritage Contact Zone | Week of Contested Heritage

October 22, 2020, 2:09 pm
November 23 - November 25 - November 26, 2020

The Week of Contested Heritage offers workshops, a keynote presentation with discussion and a session with
policy-makers. Tune in for thought-provoking reflections about the current Zeitgeist that requires institutions and individuals to think about change. The Heritage Contact Zone (HCZ) project proposes a tool for that change, to open up spaces for difficult conversation about our heritage and the societies we want to live in. The Week will showcase and discuss the HCZ project’s experience with artists and activists that have worked with civil society initiatives to build ‘safe spaces’ that are open for dialogue.

3 Key Moments 

23 November 2020, 17:30 – 20:30 (CET) Local workshops and international panel conversation 

25 November 2020, 19:00 – 21:00 (CET) Keynote lecture with Q&A

26 November 2020, 14:00 – 16:00 (CET) Launch of Toolkit and discussion with policymakers

Who should participate?

The Week invites artists, activists, creative producers, cultural managers, and curators to engage with the project’s outcomes and bring in their own experiences in order to share and empower each other.


We live in unprecedented times. Never was history and heritage so much the focus of public attention. The post-colonial discussion, revisionism over national identities, Black Lives Matter, and many more strong and timely movements show how much public spaces, places of memory, and the stories we tell about our histories and roots matter for the togetherness of society and the feeling of belonging for all its members. The conference OPEN UP! – working with contested heritage’ proposes examples of working with complex histories in a participatory manner. It will discuss the outcomes of a two-year EU-funded international project that has produced the Heritage Contact Zone Toolkit.  The slogan ‘all personal is political’ could apply for these initiatives and implies that all personal memories can be politicised, for better and for worse. The question remains how we can build spaces of memory dissent for the better, in which conflict is made constructive and creativity and participation can become drivers of inclusive history-making. For a strong civil society and against exclusionary and authoritarian narratives and policies we need new tools to empower institutions and communities alike.

Registration is required

Consult the detailed HCZ Open Up Programme

About the Heritage Contact Zone project
Heritage Contact Zone (HCZ) investigates the potential of heritage spaces for creative processes and dialogue. HCZ focuses especially on contested, neglected or marginalised heritage with exhibitions, workshops and a toolkit. It discusses challenging innovative and inclusive heritage representation, using heritage as a space for dialogue and making conflict constructive. This final conference brings together the outcomes of the project.

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