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In the shadow of antiquities – living heritage and modernity in light of sustainable development

15 May 2018
12:30 - 13:30

Presenter: Dr Olga Bialostocka, Africa Institute of South Africa, HSRC

Date: 15 May 2018   

Time: 12:30 – 13:30 
Venues: Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town

Tangible and intangible aspects of living heritage shape the identity of communities whose daily experience is integrated into heritage cultural spaces. Interference in this intricately woven, historically rich context may have significant socio-cultural and material consequences for the people inhabiting it. Using the example of the ancient Theban necropolis in ‘modern’ Gurna, the presentation looks at the loss of living built environment in favour of Pharaonic antiquities to discuss the model of heritage management practiced in Egypt.

Focusing on the historical context of the community of Gurnawis, it highlights power inequalities that challenge the freedom of human experiences, and argues for imagining alternatives to the current discourse of development which remains marred by the Western understanding of ‘civilisational advancement’, seen as modernisation, industrialisation, and economic growth. South Africa’s approach to living heritage in light of sustainable development paradigm will also be discussed at the seminar.

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Contact : Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:

Cape Town: HSRC, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town. Contact : Carmen Erasmus, Tel: (021) 466 7827, e-mail:

Durban: The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001. Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel: (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786, e-mail:

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DST

Kindly note that seminars can now be accessed via the Vidyo link:
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