2021’s International Day for Monuments and Sites, aka World Heritage Day is April 18. This year’s theme: Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures
- What are the this year’s publications, resources, and events focusing on world heritage? = ¿Cuáles son las publicaciones, recursos y eventos de este año centrados en el patrimonio mundial? = Quelles sont les publications, ressources et événements de cette année axés sur le patrimoine mondial?
Acknowledging global calls for greater inclusion and recognition of diversity, the International Day for Monuments and Sites 2021 invites participants to reflect on, reinterpret, and re-examine existing narratives.
ICOMOS encourages you to come together to share your experiences – of course in compliance with instructions from local and national authorities so as to ensure the safety of participants during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures
Conservation of cultural heritage requires critical examination of the past, as much as its practice demands provision for the future. Debates on the omission and erasure of certain narratives, and the privileging of particular stories over others, have come to a head in recent years. Addressing contested histories hence involves complex conversations, avoiding biased views and interpretations of the past.
The World Heritage Convention (1972) states: “deterioration or disappearance of any item of the cultural or natural heritage constitutes a harmful impoverishment of the heritage of all the nations of the world” – however imbalances in recognition, interpretation and ultimately, conservation of various cultural manifestations continue to exist.
ICOMOS wishes to engage in promoting new discourses, different and nuanced approaches to existing historical narratives, to support inclusive and diverse points of view.
Uncovering and generating more inclusive narratives can span a wide range of conservation issues, from toppled monuments of oppression within shared civic spaces to the treatment of ancestral sites, and indigenous domains across cultural landscapes. Today, many monuments and sites stand with their multi-layered history and importance which call for inclusive approaches.