Heritage Wars in Contemporary Societies

Nonument! Symposium Ljubljana

Rasa Balockaite

Heritage is broadly defined as “political use of the past.” During recent years, there have been huge waves of the heritage revisionism, or heritage wars, all over the globe. These wars are symptoms of a larger problem, i.e. societies trying to revise their own past, to redefine their relation to their own past, and to decide what is worth remembering and what is not. Rasa Balockaite’s research explores the troubled legacy of colonial heritage in Kenia, Namibia, and in the South African Republic, discontent regarding the Soviet heritage in Eastern Europe, conflicts regarding Confederate heritage and Christian symbols in Trump’s America, and use of heritage for resolving conflicts between South Korea and Japan. Balockaite’s lecture explores arguments regarding “uneasy heritage”, cultural and ideological logic of the debates, both formal and informal practices of resistance, major actors involved in the conflicts, formal procedures of decision making, and illuminate the link between heritage, power, ideology, and politics.

Watch the video of Rasa Balockaite’s lecture at the 2018 Nonument! Symposium in Ljubljana.

Rasa Balockaite is an associate professor at the Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania. Her scholarly interests include the Soviet and post-Soviet societies, Soviet colonialism and societies in transition. She has published in leading journals, such as Problems of Post Communism, Journal of Baltic Studies, Language Policy, European History Quarterly, among others, and her texts were translated into Hungarian, Bulgarian, Latvian and other languages.