The Past as Destiny: Heritage Discourses and Identity Formation in the Contemporary Gulf Region
Since 2016 I am conducting research on the upsurge of heritage related discourses and performances in the Gulf Region. By drawing on data collected in the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Syria, and Jordan, I am undertaking an extensive comparative study of the various ways in which heritage is displayed, enacted, and appropriated at local, national, and transnational levels. In this context, I examine heritage museums and parks, cultural festivals, local sport events, oral history initiatives, the reinvigoration of “traditional” art and architecture, heritage-related media productions (TV, Radio, Internet, - News, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), and the interrelations between local heritage and UNESCO World Heritage discourses. By looking into the ways in which ‘heritage’ is utilized to frame and legitimize cultural identities, I am particularly interested in the revitalization of imageries relating to ‘Bedouinities’, ‘Tribalism’, and ‘Auto-Orientalism’.
My research breaks new ground by taking into account not only the more prominent Emirates, such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, but also the Northern Emirates. This project will give rise to an encompassing comparative analysis of heritage in the Gulf region as a whole.
Foto: Laila Prager
- Projektleitung: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Laila Prager
- Dauer: 2016 - fortlaufend