African Heritage Challenges: Communities and Sustainable Development [1 ed.] 9789811543654, 9789811543661

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African Heritage Challenges: Communities and Sustainable Development [1 ed.]
 9789811543654, 9789811543661

Table of contents :
Notes on Contributors
List of Figures
List of Tables
Heritage Challenges in Africa: Contestations and Expectations
Heritage and Global Trends
Heritage Challenges in Africa
The Socioeconomic and Political Pressures
Legacies of Colonialism
Relating to Heritage
Heritage and (Sustainable) Development
Heritage and Communities
Structure of the Volume
Managing Africa’s Anthropocene Environment
Needle in a Haystack? Cultural Heritage Resources in Designated Nature Environments of Southern Africa
The Dissected Environments of Southern Africa’s Protected Areas
What Constitutes the Haystack?
Disciplinary Haystack
Policy Haystack
Political Haystack
The Economic Haystack
Biophysical (Natural) Environment Haystack
Finding the Needle, Maneuvering the Haystack
Case Study Findings: Mapping Cultural Values in the Okavango Delta Wetland
Conclusion: Finding the Cultural Needle in Nature’s Haystack
Policy Suggestions
African Cultural Heritage and Economic Development: Dancing in the Forests of Time
Introduction: Framing Heritage Challenges
Heritage Time
Indigenizing African Archaeology
Sustaining Heritage
Heritage Natures
Urbanizing Heritage
Hybrid Heritages
Conclusion—Broadening Heritage Constituencies
Policy Suggestions
Heritage and/or Development—Which Way for Africa?
Introduction to African Heritages
Africa and the Development Agenda
Energy Projects
Heritage and Development
Sustainable Development and Heritage Issues
Resource Exploitation in Africa
World Heritage and Resource Exploitation
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
Heritage and Planning Development
Policy Suggestions
Communities and the Quotidian
Mega Developments in Africa: Lessons from the Meroe Dam
Heritage and Mega Development
Meroe Dam: An Overview
Dam Building in a Dictatorship
Funding the Dam: Economic Motivations
Cultural Impact and the Rescue Campaign
Impact of the Dam on Indigenous Groups
Clashes Between Archaeologists and Indigenous Groups
Discussion: Embracing the Cultural Landscape in Sustainable Development
Policy Suggestions
Heritage and Sustainability: Challenging the Archaic Approaches to Heritage Management in the South African Context
Communities and the Fortress Conservation Paradigm
eMakhosini Valley in KwaZulu-Natal
Implementing the Project Plan: Community Protests
Sustainability and Heritage Management: Comfortable Neighbors?
The IFP, the ANC, and the ‘Heritage Pawn’
Conclusion: Resolving the Conundrum
Policy Suggestions
The Antimonies of Heritage: Tradition and the Work of Weaving in a Ghanaian Workshop
Weaving and the Complex Entanglements of Craft, Heritage, and Livelihoods
Heritage, Development, and the Elite in a Ghanaian Festival
History, Policy, and the Creation of Local Heritage in Agotime
Community and the Social Grounding of Weaving Heritage
Craft Learning and Intangible Heritage
Conclusion: Imperiled Livelihoods and the Role of Heritage
Policy Suggestions
Transformation as Development: Southern Africa Perspectives on Capacity Building and Heritage
Changing Spaces
Of Experts and Empowerment
Heritage Works
Transforming Topographies of Power
Policy Suggestions
African States and the Transnational Development Agenda
The Culture Bank in West Africa: Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development
A Socio-History of Culture Banks in West Africa
Examining the Culture Bank Model
The Impact of the ‘Heritageisation’ Process on the Dynamics of Local and Sustainable Development
The Togolese and Beninese Culture Banks, Two Divergent Examples of the ‘Heritageization’ Process
The Impact of the ‘Heritageisation’ Process on the Development Model
The Necessity of the Appropriation of Both the Heritage and Economic Perspectives through the Concept of Guarantee
The Guarantee, the Equivalence Between the Values of Cultural Artifacts and Loans
A Non-lucrative Micro-credit Bank
Cultural Heritage and Development: Oscillating Between Universalism and Particularism
Universalization of Cultural Heritage and Particularization of Development
Cultural Heritage and Development in Culture Banks: The Fragmentation of States and International Agendas
Conclusion: Lessons Learned from the Culture Bank Model in West Africa
Exhibition Making as Aesthetic Justice: The Case of Memorial Production in Uganda
Between Peace, Development, and Heritage
Memory in the Liberal Peacebuilding Paradigm
The Exhibition Process
Travelling Testimonies in Kasese
Tracing and Making the Archive
Artistic Palimpsests
Conclusion: Temporary Transitions
Policy Suggestions
Modern Nostalgias for Sovereignty and Security: Preserving Cultural Heritage for Development in Eritrea
The Modern Architectural Heritage of Asmara
Politics of Sovereignty and Security
A Global Heritage Assemblage Around the Modern Architecture of Asmara
Asserting Sovereignty and Security
Restorative Nostalgia/Reflective Nostalgia
Preserving Cultural Heritage for Development: The Need for Reflexivity
Policy Suggestions
Epilogue: Whose Heritage, Whose Development?

Citation preview


African Heritage Challenges Communities and Sustainable Development Edited by Britt Baillie · Marie Louise Stig Sørensen

Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa

Series Editors Ebenezer Obadare University of Kansas Lawrence, KS, USA Caroline Wanjiku Kihato University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, South Africa Garth Myers Urban International Studies Trinity College Hartford, CT, USA Martin Murray Taubman College University of Michigan–Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI, USA

The series offers a fresh and unique perspective on globalization and development debates and intervenes in the understudied but increasingly important field of African urbanism. Africa is one of the fastest growing arenas of urbanization in the world: it is in the cities of Africa where the interaction and confrontation with globalism, cosmopolitanism, and the future come into contact. This is an important series that is making significant contributions to the fields of African Studies, Development Studies, and Urban Studies, as well as to Geography, Sociology and Anthropology broadly. The editorial board includes key senior scholars in these fields, and builds on the high quality foundations of the former Africa Connects series of books. Its original contribution comes from its focus on connections: between Africa and the rest of the world, within and between different parts of the continent, between development, globalization, and urbanism, between different forms of production (economic, cultural, etc.), to name a few. The existing contributions represent path-breaking interventions into critical studies of development and globalization in African spaces and the future contributions and authors will only deepen this work. As African cities become ever more central to the future of the continent but also towards recalibrating theories of development and globalization, this series will only become more relevant and influential. The current and future titles engage a wide geographical and topical scope that will appeal to a variety of scholars and students interested in the African continent.

More information about this series at

Britt Baillie · Marie Louise Stig Sørensen Editors

African Heritage Challenges Communities and Sustainable Development

Editors Britt Baillie Wits City Institute University of the Witwatersrand Braamfontein, South Africa

Marie Louise Stig Sørensen Department of Archaeology University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK

Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa ISBN 978-981-15-4365-4 ISBN 978-981-15-4366-1


© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2021 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Cover image: © Stephen Lioy/Alamy Stock Photo This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. The registered company address is: 152 Beach Road, #21-01/04 Gateway East, Singapore 189721, Singapore


Heritage Challenges in Africa: Contestations and Expectations Britt Baillie and Marie Louise Stig Sørensen


Managing Africa’s Anthropocene Environment Needle in a Haystack? Cultural Heritage Resources in Designated Nature Environments of Southern Africa Susan O. Keitumetse


African Cultural Heritage and Economic Development: Dancing in the Forests of Time Paul J. Lane


Heritage and/or Development—Which Way for Africa? Webber Ndoro





Communities and the Quotidian Mega Developments in Africa: Lessons from the Meroe Dam Shadia Taha Heritage and Sustainability: Challenging the Archaic Approaches to Heritage Management in the South African Context Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu



The Antimonies of Heritage: Tradition and the Work of Weaving in a Ghanaian Workshop Niamh Jane Clifford Collard


Transformation as Development: Southern Africa Perspectives on Capacity Building and Heritage Rachel King, Charles Arthur, and Sam Challis


African States and the Transnational Development Agenda The Culture Bank in West Africa: Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development Mathilde Leloup


Exhibition Making as Aesthetic Justice: The Case of Memorial Production in Uganda Kara Blackmore


Modern Nostalgias for Sovereignty and Security: Preserving Cultural Heritage for Development in Eritrea Christoph Rausch




Epilogue: Whose Heritage, Whose Development? Chris Boonzaaier




Notes on Contributors

Charles Arthur has worked extensively as a professional field archaeologist in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, and Lesotho. He completed his doctorate at the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford in 2018. His thesis explored hunter-gatherer engagement with place and time in the early Holocene of Lesotho, southern Africa. Between 2008 and 2012, he directed major excavations and surveys in advance of the Metolong Dam, Lesotho. Together with other colleagues from the Lesotho Heritage Network, he is committed to training the first generation of archaeologists from Lesotho and finding new ways to practice archaeology that prioritizes community interests. Britt Baillie is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Wits City Institute, University of the Witwatersrand and a founding member of the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research, University of Cambridge. Previously, she was an Affiliated Lecturer at the Division of Archaeology University of Cambridge; Director of Studies for Archaeology and Anthropology at Peterhouse; Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on the Capital Cities Institutional Research Theme, University of Pretoria; a PostDoctoral Research Associate on the Conflict in Cities and the Contested



Notes on Contributors

State ESRC funded research project; an AHRC funded Early Career Researcher on the Cambridge Community Heritage Project; a Research Fellow at CLUE VU University of Amsterdam and a coordinator of the Cambridge Heritage Research Group. She co-edited Locating Urban Conflicts: Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Everyday (Palgrave Macmillan) with Wendy Pullan in 2013. Kara Blackmore is an anthropologist and practicing curator who works on postwar reconstruction and forced migration across East and Southern Africa. She has spent the last decade in Uganda working with cultural institutions, governments, academia and the private sector to create innovative exhibitions. To reflect on her curatorial practice, she has undertaken a Ph.D. at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her 2019 exhibition ‘When We Return: Art, Exile and the Remaking of Home’ was the culmination of three years of collaborative research and artistic practice in Uganda, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Chris Boonzaaier studied anthropology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. His postgraduate studies focused on customary law among the Tsonga in South Africa. From 1997 to 2018, he was the program manager of a degree course specializing in Heritage and Cultural Tourism at the University of Pretoria. In this field, he has published in accredited journals on topics such as community-based catering services for tourists, community dynamics in sustainable tourism development, rural people’s perceptions of wildlife conservation, community perceptions of tourism, and community-based ecotourism management. From 2009 to 2011, he was also a member of an international project, the African-European Academic Alliance for Sustainable Tourism, Environmental Sustainability and Poverty Reduction, which focused inter alia on tourism, conservation and development in Eastern and Southern Africa. Prof. Boonzaaier retired in 2018. Sam Challis is a senior researcher at the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand. He lectures undergraduates in global hunter-gatherer and rock art studies, and supervises graduates— one of whom comes from the Metolong training program. He started

Notes on Contributors


the Matatiele Archaeology and Rock Art program in 2011 at Charlie Arthur’s suggestion, in order to redress the neglected history in the Matatiele region of the former apartheid ‘Transkei’ homeland. Systematic survey has since revealed over 200 archaeological and rock art sites and prompted two excavations and sixteen graduate dissertations. All of this is undertaken in collaboration with the Mehloding Community Tourism Trust, who assist research and suggest the community members who might join the training program. Sam also writes about the interpretation of the rock art of the San and creolized raider groups of the colonial-era. Niamh Jane Clifford Collard is a social anthropologist and researcher based in London. She has a background in fine art and art history, and her Ph.D. (SOAS, 2017), for which she won the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Sutasoma Award, was an ethnography of life, learning, and work among young men in a Ghanaian textile workshop. She has conducted research in government, and since 2018 has been a postdoctoral researcher at SOAS working on an ERC funded project looking at the politics of mobility, infrastructure, and climate change in South Asia. Her interests are at the intersection of the anthropologies of work, youth, knowledge practices, and emerging studies of the future. Susan O. Keitumetse is a research scholar in cultural heritage and tourism at the University of Botswana’s Okavango Research Institute. She undertakes applied research in areas such as the Okavango inland Delta World Heritage Site and the Kalahari Desert. Her work strives to illustrate the specific relevance of cultural resources in the broader environmental conservation for sustainable development field. She is the author of a pioneering volume titled African Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management: Theory and Practice from Southern Africa (Springer, 2016). She is currently working on developing a guide for practitioners, scholars, and local communities in African contexts using the Community-Based Cultural Heritage Resources Management (COBACHREM) model. Dr. Keitumetse obtained an M.Phil., 2001 (Archaeological Heritage Management and Museums) and Ph.D., 2005 (Sustainable Development and Archaeological Heritage Management: Local Community Participation and Monument Tourism) from the University of Cambridge after


Notes on Contributors

winning two scholarships under the Cambridge Commonwealth Trusts. She is the associate editor of the Environment, Development and Sustainability journal and an expert consultant and facilitator for the UNESCOICH section. Dr. Keitumetse has served for six years as a board member of the Botswana Tourism Organisation. Rachel King is a lecturer in the Institute of Archaeology, University College London and an honorary researcher at the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand. Previously, she was the Smuts Fellow in African Studies at the Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge, and a research affiliate at the McDonald Institute of Archaeological Research. Her research addresses histories of archaeological thought and the intersections of heritage and natural resource extraction in Southern Africa. She recently published Outlaws, Anxiety, and Disorder in Southern Africa: Material Histories of the Maluti-Drakensberg (Palgrave Macmillan). Paul J. Lane is the Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Professor of the Deep History & Archaeology of Africa at the University of Cambridge. He has over thirty-five years’ research experience in Africa. His main interests are in the historical ecology of African landscapes, the archaeology of colonial encounters, the materialization of memory, the organization and use of space and time in pre-industrial societies, maritime archaeology, and the transition to farming in Africa. A former Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (1998–2006) and President of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists (2008–2010), he was also previously Professor of Global Archaeology at Uppsala University (2013–2020), where he coordinated the Marie Curie-Skłodowska Resilience in East African Landscapes Innovative Training Network. Mathilde Leloup received her doctorate in Political Science (International Relations) from Sciences Po/the Centre for International Research (CERI) in 2019. Her Master’s thesis entitled ‘Cultural Banks: considering the redefinition of development through art’ analyzed the contribution of cultural heritage to sustainable and local development. She pursued her research on the contribution of cultural heritage to peacekeeping in her Ph.D. thesis entitled ‘Redefining Humanity Through its

Notes on Contributors


Heritage: The Incorporation of Cultural Protection into Peacekeeping Mandates’. During her Ph.D. research, she worked under the supervision of Dr. Frederic Ramel (Sciences Po/CERI) and Dr. Dacia ViejoRose (McDonald Institute/University of Cambridge). From April to June 2017, she was a visiting researcher at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge. From 2017 to 2019, she was a Temporary Lecturer at Sciences Po Bordeaux. She has also completed two double Bachelor’s degrees, one from Sciences Po and Paris IV Sorbonne (in Political Science and French Literature) and the other from Sciences Po and the Freie Universität of Berlin (in International Relations). Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Pretoria. He completed his Ph.D. at Newcastle University, UK. Ndukuyakhe has 20 years’ experience in heritage management during which he served on various heritage councils. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the South African Archaeological Bulletin, Secretary for the World Archaeological Congress, and a member of Council for the Association for Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA) and the South African Archaeological Society (SAAS). Webber Ndoro is currently the Director General of ICCROM and an Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town. Previously, he was the Director of the African World Heritage Fund based in Johannesburg South Africa; a programme co-ordinator at the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, and a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. His recent books and edited collections include Great Zimbabwe: Your Monument our Shrine (2000 Uppsala UP); Cultural Heritage and the Law: Protecting Immovable Heritage in Sub-Saharan Africa (2009, ICCROM); The Archaeological Heritage of Africa (2014 Cambridge UP) and Managing Africa’s Heritage: Who Cares? (with Chirikure, S., and S. Deacon [eds.] 2017 Routledge). He has published widely in leading journals on heritage management in Africa.


Notes on Contributors

Christoph Rausch is an associate professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences at University College Maastricht (UCM) and a cofounding steering committee member of the Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage. Rausch’s book Global Heritage Assemblages: Development and Modern Architecture in Africa appears in the Routledge Studies in Culture and Development series. The book is based on his dissertation, which the Boekman foundation and The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research selected as one of the three best theses written in The Netherlands between 2012 and 2014 in the fields of arts, culture, and related policymaking. Rausch was visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and a guest scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. During the academic year 2019/2020, Rausch is a visiting researcher at the Centre for Art Market Studies in Berlin. In the fall semester of 2021, he is a visiting research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. Marie Louise Stig Sørensen is Professor of European Prehistory and Heritage Studies at the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, and the Director of the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre (CHRC). She has been involved with heritage research since 1990 when she designed and subsequently coordinated the M.Phil. degree in Heritage and Museums at the University of Cambridge. Recently, this has become a designated M.Phil. in Heritage Studies. She was the PI for CRIC—Cultural Heritage and the Re-construction of Identities After Conflict, 2008–2012, and is currently the PI for the project Yangshao Culture: 100 Year Research History and Heritage Impact, 2018–2022. She has in particular published on heritage and identity and on the conditions of heritage during conflict and post-conflict. She has co-edited various heritage-related volumes: Sørensen, M. L. S. and J. Carman (eds.) 2009. Heritage Studies: Methods and Approaches, London: Routledge; Sørensen, M. L. S. and D. Viejo Rose (eds.) 2015. War and Cultural Heritage. Biographies of Place. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; and Sørensen, M. L. S., D. Viejo Rose, and P. Filippucci (eds.) 2019. Memorials in the Aftermath of Armed Conflict. From History to Heritage, London: Palgrave.

Notes on Contributors


Shadia Taha obtained a B.A. (Hons) in Archaeology from the University of Khartoum (Sudan), and her M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge. Taha’s doctoral dissertation investigates attachments to abandoned heritage, using ethnographic research methods. Her Ph.D. was published by Archaeopress, Oxford in 2013. In 2011, she co-edited the ‘Historic Cities’, proceedings of the 10th Heritage Seminar with Chatzoglou, Polyzoudi, and Sørensen. In 2004, she co-edited. Fifty Years in the Archaeology of Africa: Themes in Archaeological Theory and Practice, in: Papers in honor of John Alexander, with Wahida, Smith, and Rose. Her research interests include: ethnography, oral traditions, intangible cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, local communities and sustainable development. Currently, she is a consultant for the ‘Rising from the Depths’ East Pemba Maritime Heritage Project, Tanzania; a tutor and a member of the Board of Governing Fellows at Wolfson College, Cambridge; an Affiliated Research Scholar at McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, a Researcher with the Civilisation in Contact Project; and a Research Associate with the Indian Ocean World Centre.

List of Figures

Needle in a Haystack? Cultural Heritage Resources in Designated Nature Environments of Southern Africa Fig. 1

Map showing places of cultural value within the Okavango Delta ‘wilderness’ and ‘wildlife’ designated area (Credit: Susan O. Keitumetse 2020)


African Cultural Heritage and Economic Development: Dancing in the Forests of Time Fig. 1 Fig. 2

Bui Dam, Ghana under construction in 2010 (Photo credit: Wazi Apoh, August 2010) a ‘Forgotten heritage’? Remains of a British colonial fort occupied between 1901 and 1904, at Loiminange, southern end of Lake Baringo, Kenya, and now a mission site (Photo credit: Paul Lane, April 2017); b Residual fragments of the Bakwena National Office, Ntwseng, Molepolole, Botswana (Photo credit: Paul Lane, March 2015); c Abandoned tanks from the 2nd (1983–2005) Sudanese Civil War, Juba, South Sudan (Photo credit: Paul Lane, October 2009)





Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

List of Figures

Traces of early Dogon villages immediately below Tellem remains (eleventh to sixteenth century AD), Banani, Bandiagara escarpment Mali. Dogon have a refined understanding of the chronology of the architectural remains in their landscape that is used to tie specific lineage histories to particular places in the landscape (Photo credit: Paul Lane, October 1980) ‘Heritage’ of fields: a domesticated Marakwet landscape of intercropping and arboriculture as seen from the Cherangani escarpment, Tot, Kenya (Photo credit: Paul Lane, September 2011) Part of Africa’s heritage? Former factory where ivory from East Africa was cut and processed during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Ivoryton, Connecticut, USA (Photo credit: Paul Lane, May 2010)




Mega Developments in Africa: Lessons from the Meroe Dam Fig. 1 Fig. 2

Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7

Meroe Dam location, Sudan (Source GNU Free Documentation License. Dam location added by S. Taha) The River Nile showing the location of Meroe Dam (Source International Rivers, People, Water, Life. Major Dam Projects in Sudan [P:1]. Date accessed 17 January 2017) Lush palm groves along the riverbanks (Photo credit: McMorrow May 2017) Lost cultural and social landscapes (Photo credit: McMorrow May 2017) Lost familiar surroundings (Photo credit: McMorrow May 2017) Failed agriculture in the new resettlement areas (Source Dirar et al. 2015. Photo credit: Mark Zeitoun April 2017) Re-settlement areas, showing their distance from the Nile. Water from a drinking tank can be seen from the distance (Source Dirar et al. 2015. Photo credit: Mark Zeitoun April 2017)


131 138 139 139 140


List of Figures

Fig. 8

Proposed dams on the River Nile–Sudan (Source African Energy 2012)



Heritage and Sustainability: Challenging the Archaic Approaches to Heritage Management in the South African Context Fig. 1

Location of eMakhosini Valley, or the ‘Valley of the Kings’, in KwaZulu-Natal Province (Map courtesy of Tim Forssman, 2019)


The Antimonies of Heritage: Tradition and the Work of Weaving in a Ghanaian Workshop Fig. 1

Kente weaving competition winner being carried through the durbar ground on the loom palanquin, Agbamevoza festival, Kpetoe, September 2013 (Photo credit: Niamh Clifford Collard 2013)


Transformation as Development: Southern Africa Perspectives on Capacity Building and Heritage Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Map showing the locations of the MCRM Project and the MARA Programme (Figure created using ArcGIS® software by Esri. ArcGIS® and ArcMap™ are the intellectual property of Esri and are used herein under license [Copyright © Esri. All rights reserved]) Photograph of graffiti at the ARAL 254 rock art site (Photo credit: Luíseach Nic Eoin)

205 216

The Culture Bank in West Africa: Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development Fig. 1

Fig. 2 Fig. 3

The diffusion of the Culture Banks model in West Africa (Source Compiled by Mathilde Leloup. © FNSP—Sciences Po, Atelier de cartographie, 2018) The Beninese Culture Bank’s three walking tours (Photo credit: Mathilde Leloup, January 2014) A traditional takienta in Koutammakou (Photo credit: Mathilde Leloup, January 2014)

238 245 246


Fig. 4

Fig. 5 Fig. 6

List of Figures

A display case in the Togolese Culture Bank featuring a headpiece worn during the initiation ceremonies of the Batammariba maidens (Photo credit: Mathilde Leloup, January 2014) The Beninese Culture Bank in Taneka (Photo credit: Mathilde Leloup, January 2014) The interior of the Beninese Culture Bank (Photo credit: Mathilde Leloup, January 2014)

246 247 247

Exhibition Making as Aesthetic Justice: The Case of Memorial Production in Uganda Fig. 1 Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

The Travelling Testimonies exhibition sites (Developed by Shaffic Opinyi, Refugee Law Project) Theatre performers photographing the archival table at Travelling Testimonies in Kasese, Uganda (Photo credit: Kara Blackmore, 2014) Young Kasese resident participates in making a collaborative artwork after viewing the exhibition (Photo credit: Kara Blackmore, 2014) Public artwork ‘I AM U-Gandan’ made in collaboration with exhibition visitors. Kasese, Uganda (Photo credit: Kara Blackmore, 2014)





List of Tables

Needle in a Haystack? Cultural Heritage Resources in Designated Nature Environments of Southern Africa Table 1

Descriptions of some of the places of cultural significance found within the Okavango Delta World Heritage Site (ODWHS) depicted in Fig. 1. ODWHS is popularly known as a natural landscape and predominantly used for nature-tourism


African Cultural Heritage and Economic Development: Dancing in the Forests of Time Table 1 Table 2

Heritage challenges for Africa (Compiled by author) Suggested ways to make heritage ‘work’ for different sectors

64 71


Heritage Challenges in Africa: Contestations and Expectations Britt Baillie and Marie Louise Stig Sørensen

Heritage and Global Trends Heritage is always local, rooted in particular conditions and ways of thinking and acting in the world. However, over recent decades, local heritage practices have become increasingly internationalized as they have become caught up in global trends, regulations, and expectations. For instance, the instrument of World Heritage Site (WHS) nomination has become one of the ideological and practical tools through which globalization affects the ways we talk about heritage, be it tangible and/or intangible. But other forces outside the narrow field of heritage practices also affect it. Such forces range from large infrastructure projects, B. Baillie (B) Wits City Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein, South Africa M. L. S. Sørensen Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen

which alter both landscapes and notions of ownership and belonging as regards to heritage, to the influence of broader political discourses, such as post-colonialism and environmentalism. Heritage has become ever more entangled in these developments as various interested and affected parties’ maneuver for control and influence. It is difficult to take stock of these interconnections; looking across Africa, for example, we see a highly variegated picture. Furthermore, the nature of one’s introspection will depend on one’s particular focus—is it the effect of the criteria of heritage valorization communicated and distributed by UNESCO that is the concern, or is it the impact on ‘local owners’ that is of interest, or something entirely different? The complexities do not, however, mean that we can ignore the challenges that have arisen from these developments. One of the clear tendencies since the 1970s is the extent to, and the ways in which, heritage has become recognized as a resource, be it as a resource for community pride, an economic resource, or as a resource used in development projects. Heritage has always been claimed. It always ‘belonged’ to someone—individuals, communities, nations, empires, or indeed humankind; but the enhanced recognition of heritage as a resource matters in the modern capital-driven world, and it means that heritage is being assigned new usage and is becoming involved with new frameworks, such as development agendas. At the same time, post-colonialism and other political re-orientations have brought attention to the need and desire to rectify past wrongs. Within heritage, this often expresses itself as a willingness to reconsider and reallocate claims to heritage. The relationships being granted, moreover, often take the form of redistribution of explicit legalized ownership, rather than merely guardianship. This increased recognition of varied forms of ownership and rights reiterates a notion of heritage as a resource albeit a complex and multifaceted one. Equally obvious, the explicit link between notions of ownerships and resources (or heritage as the entry point for claiming resources such as land) means that this has become an area of tremendous dispute, contestation, and disquiet. These tensions are often further exaggerated due to conflictual attitudes and positions which in their essence are not just about the protection of heritage, but

Heritage Challenges in Africa: Contestations and Expectations


rather about rights over its use and thus about the claimants’ positions in the political present. So, in many parts of the world, and in particular in former colonized areas, heritage is currently pulled in different directions by various agents, including well-intended international bodies, NGOs, commercial actors, national institutions, a myriad of local groups and communities, and spokespersons. There are many different interests at play, and heritage is differently valorized, even differently recognized, by these players. At one level, the heritage concerns that have arisen from these interactions reflect shared global challenges, but at another level they are local and specific. We have, accordingly, become more aware of the need for local tailor-made responses to specific challenges encountered in different parts of the word—and at different scales of the ‘local’—and the tensions that may arise. For example, conflicts between local practices and values enshrined in various international conventions often come to the fore when local traditions demand the exclusion of certain groups from certain rites or (sacred) places (Chirikure et al. 2018: 12). These aspects demand that we rethink what would be meaningful contemporary heritage engagement and how to develop such practices. A number of challenges can be recognized, some particular to certain parts of the globe or specific communities, but many widely shared in terms of core principles. In terms of current heritage challenges in Africa, we find that two stand out as very important and widely shared: (i) heritage as part of (sustainable) development initiatives and (ii) the roles of communities. Before further discussing these challenges, we need to briefly reflect on the reasons one can claim a continent (or part of a continent) as the focus for discussing heritage challenges. Can a continent possess some kind of essence beyond merely its geographic unity? Does this unity set it apart from the rest of the world (Parker and Rathbone 2007)? There is a tendency to lump all of the continent’s various regions together in a vague abstraction—‘Africa’—which is simultaneously exceptional and homogenous (Padayachee and Hart 2010: 2, 8). One must ask whether ‘Africa,’ or even sub-Saharan Africa, is too broad a scope to make a coherent focus. Africa is home to the common ancestors of humankind and is characterized by extraordinary levels of cultural, religious, ethnic


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as well as natural diversity. Given the plurality of landscapes, communities, and ways of living, defining shared responses to heritage challenges is not only unrealistic, but probably also counterproductive. It is, however, possible to engage in debates, identify shared challenges, good practices, and failures, and to use specific case studies to gain more detailed insights into varied forms of heritage and heritage defining processes. This volume does not advocate copy-paste, parachuted, or one-size-fitsall solutions. Yet, the suggestions that are explored are of interest to us all, even if they are deemed unsuitable for certain contexts or require considerable adaptation to local conditions. Calls for decolonization, referring not just to institutions and resources but also to the mind (e.g., Thiong’o 1986; Mudimbe 1988; Mbembe 2001), and the development of a post-colonial critical reinterpretation of ‘Africa’ are part of an ongoing African intellectual debate that deeply affects heritage (Konaré 1983; Schmidt and Pikirayi 2016; Chirikure 2016; Chirikure et al. 2016). The current explicit focus on decolonization is important, not just in its own right but also in terms of its potential opposition to the simultaneous globalizing trends. Moreover, this development is not just about political rectification but can also be argued to reveal deeper philosophical distinctions, focusing on new or different ways of understanding and thinking, including about core concepts such as heritage value (e.g., Mbembe 2001: 14). However, these are not simple challenges or easy tasks to carry out in practice. In putting this volume together, we have, therefore, been concerned about how a continent-wide focus risks echoing a colonial gaze. Much of the scholarship about African heritage (with this book no exception) is carried out by or under the auspices of non-Africans, is tied to development funded by international bodies, and is informed by international heritage discourses (cf. Akiwumi 2014; Boswell 2011; Rausch, this volume). Attitudes to heritage in Africa are often shaped as a ‘mission of rescue’ with externally formulated solutions. The need for diverse African voices to be heard on this topic is obvious. Therefore, when organizing the African Heritage Challenges conference, from which this book emanates, we made a widely disseminated open call for papers coupled with travel funding to engage a broad range of scholars from Africa, some of who were subsequently able to contribute to this volume. But

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the volume also includes contributions from non-Africans working in different parts of the continent. So in answer to the question of with what kind of legitimacy do we discuss Africa’s heritage, especially if we do not all have practical involvement or responsibility for what happens, nor could happen there, we propose that: African heritage practices and experiences have significance at local, regional, and international levels and that different voices and positions may all make worthwhile contributions towards pushing critical future-orientated heritage agendas. We assert that despite Africa’s diversity, there may be common ground in terms of how some of the global heritage challenges are encountered on the continent. Echoing the concerns of Daly and Winter, who faced similar challenges editing the Routledge Handbook of Heritage in Asia (2012), we are mindful of the inevitable gaps and omissions that arise when addressing such a large geographical area. We make no claims of analytical, thematic, or geographic comprehensiveness; but we suggest that scrutinizing ongoing practices and learning from examples is a worthwhile endeavor. The task that lies ahead for future scholars—is how to continue to do so in a manner that does not undercut the African shaping of its heritage and its management.

Heritage Challenges in Africa The tourism industry uses images such as the Pyramids, Robben Island, the Big Five, or ‘cultural villages’ to brand ‘Africa.’ The reductive focus means that the subtlety and diversity of local cultures are lost, risking African hosts becoming prisoners of clichés (Ashworth 2014: 14; Passano 2012: 1342). Such branding contrasts sharply with the 13 May 2000 cover of The Economist which labeled Africa ‘The Hopeless Continent.’ In the post-independence period, many well-intentioned governments, donors, and NGOs persist in seeing Africa, ‘through the telescope of one hundred years of crises from tum-of-the century rinderpest to turnof-the-century AIDS’ (Roe 1999: 7). Despite a post-millennium focus on the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative, the continent continues to be portrayed in the international media as being plagued by primeval irrationality,


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tribal anarchy, civil war, political instability, flagrant corruption, incompetent leadership, managerial ineptitude, hunger, famine, starvation, and rampant diseases (Michira 2002). Collier (2007) argues that these characteristics coupled with the continent’s rich (mineral) resources have led to a ‘resource curse’ enhancing the internal fragmentation of African countries. Yet, correlation is not the same as causation. One must query what is going on when experts persistently frame Africa within crisis narratives. Roe (1999: 6) asserts that this promotes paternalism and becomes the primary means whereby development experts, and the institutions for which they work, claim rights to stewardship over resources they do not own. Ferguson (1994) goes further to argue that this understanding of ‘development’ problematically defines poverty as a technical problem with a technical solution, thereby depoliticizing it. A twofold claim is put forth, namely, not only are insiders, specifically local residents, not able to steward their resources, but those who really know how to sustain those resources are outsiders, specifically professionally trained resource managers or agents of the state. In response, heritage managers and archaeologists are often perceived by local communities as grave robbers, treasure seekers; or as being ‘in the pocket’ of developers and/or government (Arazi 2009: 96; Chirikure 2014: 220; Ndlovu 2017: 156; Schmidt and Pikirayi 2016; Taha, this volume). Yet, in other circumstances, heritage practitioners are regarded as allies or advocates against large multinationals, developers, and the state, or as advisors for (tourism) development (Abunga 2016; Apoh and Gavua 2016; Nasir and Ndoro 2018). All domains of heritage are currently informed by ‘notions of endangerment’ (Harrison 2015: 35). Certainly, a crisis narrative has been and continues to be adopted by many heritage practitioners who regard Africa’s heritage as being under threat from armed conflict, terrorism, climate change, illicit trafficking, neglect, natural disasters, population growth, and the cultural erosion which accompanies ‘modernisation and development’ (Arazi 2009: 95; Ichumbaki and Mjema 2018; Moon 2005; Schmidt and McIntosh 1996; UNESCO 2017a). The damage caused by the extractive industries, mega-projects, tourism development, and urbanization can be singled out. The ‘undeveloped’ nature of heritage management in the region is seen to have exasperated

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these issues (Breen 2007: 357; Stahl 2005; Nasir and Ndoro 2018; Ndobochani and Pwiti 2018; Robertshaw 1990). Despite a series of initiatives over the last three decades, national surveys, institutions, legislation, and capacity are regarded as inadequate in many African states (Arazi 2009: 96; Kankpeyeng and DeCorse 2004; McIntosh 1993). In 2006, UNESCO created the African World Heritage Fund in response to the unique pressures on sites on the continent. A decade later, in 2016, UNESCO launched the annual African World Heritage Day in an effort to raise the profile of African World Heritage Sites. Despite these initiatives, the proportion of African World Heritage Sites has not changed significantly, nor has the number of sites listed as being ‘in danger’ been radically reduced (Ndoro 2017: 130). Problems remain, and these are not just practical ones or due to lack of resources, or the underrepresentation of sub-Saharan Africans on relevant committees or advisory boards, but are also about, and due to, disparities between the understanding of heritage within different sectors of societies and a lack of trust. These issues are clearly demonstrated by several of the case studies within the volume. It is important to be critical of the tendency of mechanical crisis narratives; nonetheless, many parts of Africa face substantial and complex challenges. Three aspects seem crucial for understanding the ways in which the role and potentials for heritage may be particular to Africa. These are the socioeconomic and political pressures on heritage, the legacy of colonialism, and the roles of traditional connections with heritage. From these emerge a need to better understand and plan for the role of heritage in (sustainable) development and to find ways to ensure that it may remain a meaningful presence in the everyday lives of various communities.

The Socioeconomic and Political Pressures Temporally, Africa’s heritage spans from the origins of humankind to a staggering heterogeneity of contemporary iterations of traditional practices and rites. Yet, Africa remains underrepresented on the World Heritage List. At the beginning of 2018, only 135 sites were listed on the


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continent (90 sites in sub-Saharan Africa and 41 sites in North Africa) making up a mere 13% of the World Heritage list. It is also rather telling of attitudes that 43 of these sites were designated as natural ones (with another 6 being mixed). In comparison, of the 390 WHS in Europe, a mere 6% are natural sites. Even more striking, 17 of the African WHS (13% of all African WHS) are listed as in danger; in Europe, the ratio is 1.5%; and globally, it is around 5%.1 This data suggests that Africa’s contribution to world culture tends to be underestimated and that the management of sites is often regarded as inadequate when compared with international expectations and policies. However, these figures may reveal more about expectations about what heritage in Africa should look like and the effect of using outdated assumptions about the value of particular forms of visibility, than it tells about what Africa’s heritage is and in particular how its different communities understand and value their heritage. The perceived lack of important heritage, irrespective of whether it is based on an ‘external’ perception and outdated measures, does, however, point to a need to articulate Africa-based understandings, whether driven by local communities or the state, of what they (in the most plural forms) want their heritage to be (see Ndoro, this volume). It is not, and cannot be, the role of international bodies to decide these matters. Developmental and political pressures in parts of Africa mean that such concerns about its heritage have become urgent challenges. In turn, the continent, with its many constituent parts, needs to contemplate the instrumentalization of heritage as not just an economic resource, but also a crucial political one. This concern comes into sharp relief when connected to sociopolitical and economic realities. Africa has just been through two decades of unprecedented economic growth during which the economy grew 4.7% per year (from 2000 to 2017) making it the world’s second-fastest growing region (AU/OECD 2018). Yet, this growth has often been ‘decoupled’ from formal job creation and has not translated into ‘higher well-being’ (ibid). Despite the Millennium Development Goals’ target to reduce poverty in Africa to 28% by 2015, it remained at 48% (Nhamo 2017: 232). According to the World Bank, Africa as of 2013 had the globe’s lowest human development indicators, with one in 16 children dying before their fifth birthday (Diop 2013:

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vii). While population growth slowed in much of the world, in Africa the population has increased from 477 million in 1980 to 1.2 billion in 2017 and is expected to double to 2.4 billion by 2050 (United Nations Populations Division 2017). As a result, the number of people living in extreme poverty in Africa increased by more than 100 million over the last two decades, and it is projected that the world’s extreme poor will increasingly be concentrated in Africa (Beegle et al. 2016: v). After a decade of ‘relative peace,’ conflict is on the rise and the continent’s inequality gap continues to widen (ibid: 1). So, what is, or could be, the role of heritage within this variegated context? To engage with this question, we do need to bring into the equation some of the restrictions that historically have been imposed upon Africa’s heritage and the means and reasons for engaging with it.

Legacies of Colonialism Beyond the continent, the perception of ‘Africa’ has been heavily influenced by the ways in which Europe has imagined it, including its history and heritage. The Greek and Roman portrayals of Africa by Herodotus, Diodorus of Sicily, and Pliny populated the continent with strange beings. The slave trade meant that Europeans needed to develop a better knowledge of Africa and Africans—both of those whom they enslaved and those whom they traded with. Colonialism was inextricably intertwined with the notion of exploring Africa and establishing what Said (1978) calls the ‘positional superiority’ of the colonizers. The more Europeans dominated Africans, the more savage their portrayals of Africans became (Brantlinger 1985: 184). African culture and heritage were used to order the continent, to enforce boundaries between the ‘civilised’ and the ‘savages,’ and to fetishize the latter (Tilly 2007). In the nineteenth century, (evolutionary) anthropology strengthened the stereotypes offered by missionaries and the imperial apparatus. As the colonizers held a monopoly on discourse, Africans were stripped of articulation. African customs and beliefs were condemned as superstitious, their social organizations were despised and demolished, their land, belongings, and labor appropriated (Brantlinger 1985: 198). It was only


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in the postwar period that Raymond Michelet in his African Empires and Civilizations (1945) and Basil Davidson and Georges Balandier in their numerous publications opposed widely accepted conceptions of Africans as ‘living fossils’ or members of ‘frozen societies.’ Indeed, revisionist views of African history and culture made prominent contributions to African nationalism and independence (J. C. de Graft Johnson’s African Glory: The Story of Vanished Negro Civilizations (1954) and Cheikh Anta Diop’s, Nations nègres et culture (1954). Yet, despite these revolutionary publications, scholarship on Africa continued to produce works which portrayed African communities as bounded and timeless—as people without history (Aria et al. 2014). Colonization exercised an interest in heritage, frequently using it for political and ideological aims. Napoleon Bonaparte’s military expedition to Egypt (1798–1801) with its extensive ‘scientific expedition’ is a well-known early example of this intertwining of scientific, political, and economic interests, including territorial gain and control. Heritage was also mobilized to justify racial segregation and the colonizers’ claims of cultural superiority (Garlake 1972; Meskell 2011; Ndoro and Pwiti 2001). It was taken for granted that Africans could produce ‘nothing of value’: the technique of ‘Yoruba statuary must have come from Egyptians, Benin art must be a Portuguese creation, the architectural achievement of Zimbabwe was due to Arab technicians, and Hausa and Buganda statecraft were inventions of white invaders’ (Mudimbe 1988: 13). Different regimes sought to outdo each other in the ‘scramble for Africa,’ and the investigation, salvage, and control of the past was one field within which such endeavors of control could be exercised (Carman 2012: 19). This self-appointed task was driven in part by the belief that ‘native cultures’ would vanish through contact with whites and the ‘modernisation’ or ‘development’ that they believed themselves to have introduced (Gruber 1970; Lane, this volume; Lindqvist 1996). This resulted in not just scientific expeditions and research, but also often in the founding of heritage legislation and institutions based on the European model. This introduced a form of heritage management carried out at the behest of the colonial elite. Local communities were neither included in the process (apart from as manual laborers) nor regarded

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as the audience for these endeavors (Ndoro et al. 2018). Development carried out toward the tail end of colonialism was undertaken in part to address, curtail, and ultimately control the concerns raised by rising liberation movements. Through these initiatives, local elites were integrated into structures established by the colonizers (including heritage institutions) ‘so that at independence the institutional inheritance was not one created organically out of the development of the institutions of “traditional rule” but one superimposed by colonial rule’ (Lawrence 2010: 28). The full effects of colonialism in Africa are not understood nor were they even across the different colonial regimes. They include not just the outcomes arising from the insertion of alien infrastructure and managerial philosophies, from the displacement of people and alterations of demographics, and from enforced changes to economic practices but also effects in terms of cultural behavior and expectations, sense of belonging as well as deeper-rooted notions of self, rights, and efficacies. Some argue that the colonized in part internalized the imposed racial stereotypes, particularly in attitudes toward technology, culture, and language (Mudimbe 1988: 106). Thus, the protocols and expectations inherited from the colonial period and the (partial) internalization of the hegemonic model, continue to define much of the heritage scholarship and ‘official’ or ‘authorised’ practice on the continent (cf. Chirikure et al. 2018; Schmidt and Pikirayi 2016; Passano 2012: 1341). It should be noted, however, that the various colonial powers and administrative systems did not entirely erase preexisting understandings and relations to heritage, even if they were made largely invisible in the legal system. Colonialism’s legacy is, therefore, neither entirely pervasive nor homogenous across the continent. Alternative ways of valuing and being with heritage, which are unrelated to the ontologies of the dominant paradigm, are held and practiced in various forms. Thus, the contemporary African concept of heritage management has two roots, or forms. One is the inherited colonial notion of heritage management as part of an administrative and legalistic top-down system. The other is an older parallel existence of traditional custodianships and practices that have kept part of the cultural heritage alive despite its lack of formal recognition (Bwasiri 2011; Ichumbaki 2016; Jopela 2018). In practice,


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these distinct, although sometimes overlapping, approaches continue to relate to educational and socioeconomic differences within Africa today.

Relating to Heritage In Africa, the concern with the community relevance of heritage finds expression through various community-orientated initiatives. This has both commonalities with and yet diverges from general global trends. It is similar to what happens in other areas insofar as the heritage discourse articulated by international heritage conventions and charters as well as regional actors over recent decades has become ever more focused on the recognition of alternative understandings of heritage, the rights of ‘cultural owners,’ and meaningful involvement of local communities. This has, for example, led to calls for greater contextualization of heritage management practices in terms of their respective cultural contexts (e.g., the 1994 Nara Document on Authenticity, 1999 Burra Charter, 1999 Hoi An Protocol, 2000 China Principles, 2002 Budapest Declaration on World Heritage, the 2003 Intangible Heritage Convention). These shifts have predominantly emanated from Asia and Oceania, but they have potentially profound implications for the African continent—both in terms of sharing insights and ideas of new management practices and philosophies, and for understanding our differences and how they emanate from the specific relations that exist between communities and their heritage. The notion of custodians of tradition, which is found in many parts of Africa, is a particularly salient aspect of the heritage challenge in Africa. This understanding of heritage, and especially its ‘management,’ appears strongly linked to living heritage, and it is often based in contemporary practices and promulgated through oral tradition. Within these practices, special people—elders, traditional or ritual leaders—take central roles in the management of heritage, in the valorization of certain places and associated cultural practices, and in turn, the authority of different roles becomes intermingled with the significance and value of heritage at the local level. The understanding of heritage expressed within such custodial practices does appear to express a different kind of relationship to

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heritage than we see, for example, in Europe—from which the dominant heritage paradigm emanated. This may be encapsulated in the difference between the terms guardian and custodian, in other words, rights versus caretaking perspective. Guardianship refers to a legal relationship in which one party is empowered to act for the benefit of another, whereas custodians have a wider set of duties regarding the well-being of the subject. One of the outcomes of this difference is that heritage management in Europe is hierarchically organized and largely formalized, whereas in many parts of Africa such state-based systems and locally derived practices and governance exist in parallel. The shifts toward differently rooted engagements with heritage have not been straightforward and thus remain incomplete (see Byrne 2014; Poulios 2014). Due to the legacies of colonialism and the Westerncentric concerns of what Smith 2006 has labeled the ‘Authorised Heritage Discourse’ (AHD), official heritage management in Africa continues to be predominantly concerned with normative understandings of natural and monumental heritage. While increased recognition has been given to the rights of communities as well as potentials of traditional management approaches, understandings of both what heritage is and how it can appropriately be cared for, by whom, and for whose benefit in a rapidly changing Africa, remain highly contested. Perhaps the future will not entail the ‘development’ of heritage management practice in Africa, but rather its disentanglement from the AHD? The role of heritage in (sustainable) development and the connections between heritage and communities could be two core aspects of this future. The parallel presence of two different philosophies of management, and of value, is one of the distinct traits of Africa today, and it is central to some of the fractures that are currently experienced and debated (see Ndlovu, this volume; Ndoro and Pwiti 2001). The future fate of these two traditions—can they coexist or will both have to transform to suit new concerns—is an important ongoing debate for African heritage practitioners and theorists. The contributions to this volume indicate the rich potential of the work that is currently being undertaken around this theme.


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Heritage and (Sustainable) Development Independence and the pursuit of ‘modernity’ through large-scale development projects ushered in the current globalizing heritage discourse in Africa. A key example was the International Nubian Campaign (1960– 1971), which was mounted to salvage archaeological sites threatened by the construction of Egypt’s Aswan High Dam (see Ndoro and Wijesuriya 2015). Among others, this project resulted in the valorization of what became known as ‘World Heritage’ which claims to preserve heritage on behalf of ‘humankind’ (Hassan 2007). Half a century later, it seems timely to reflect on how the relationship between heritage management and development has shifted on the continent. A perusal of the relevant literature suggests that much of the rhetoric used by the contemporary heritage sector and its funders continues to be phrased in terms of this salvage paradigm (cf. Apoh and Gavua 2016; Arthur, Mohapi, and Mitchell 2011; Ichumbaki and Mjema 2018; Falser 2015: 14; King and Arthur 2014; Nic Eoin and King 2013). In Africa, the development and heritage agendas have often been regarded as ‘clashing.’ Although they often have the greatest impact on communities, heritage, and the environment, mega-development projects often continue to regard heritage as little more than an expensive afterthought, an unessential ‘luxury’ (Nasir and Ndoro 2018; Taha, this volume). Advocates highlight that development provides the opportunity to address some of the socioeconomic challenges that the continent faces, and provides opportunities for site discovery, conservation, training, and the funding of heritage-related research (Chirikure 2014). Yet, the highest, if invisible, cost incurred by heritage development, is the opportunity costs of other development options forgone (Ashworth 2014: 13). Heritage scholars and practitioners recognize the pressing need for development in Africa, but they also query at what cost Africa’s heritage sites and practices are being ‘developed.’ They caution against ‘development’ in the form of ‘a weak mixture of lost tradition and unaffordable modernity’ (Latouche 2004). Heritage managers often portray developers and the archaeologists who work for them as ‘the bad ones’ whose ‘love for profit outweighs their love of the heritage’ (Ndlovu 2017: 154). Yet,

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this in part reveals an underlying ‘reluctance among heritage “professionals” to think in economic terms or place their activities within an economic context, for which they are usually unfamiliar, untrained and often unsympathetic’ (Ashworth 2014: 13). Objective 4 of the UNESCO 2012–2017 Action Plan for the African Region highlights the necessity to ‘develop and implement strategies to enable State Parties to effectively address the challenges of balancing heritage conservation and development needs (authors’ emphasis).’ In part, this is a reflection on how shifting development paradigms and agendas employed on the continent to date have revealed themselves to be unsustainable (Nhamo 2017: 228). Yet, Bushell and Staiff (2012: 247) stress the need to be ambivalent about the notion of conservation and development being ‘balanced.’ The contributions to this volume look instead to unsettle this oft-used binary and attempt to move beyond the expectations this precarious language creates, instead seeing conservation and development as entangled processes with multiple definitions within living places with (plural) heritages. Since independence, the elusive goal of ‘development’ has been central to the agenda of African nations, which became regarded as ‘laboratories’ for different development paradigms. The idea of Culture Banks discussed by Leloup in this volume is an example of such experimentation. Yet, the (immediate) post-independence reliance on former colonial masters, the structural adjustment policies of the 1980–1990s, and the more recent sustainable development agendas have been the subject of significant critiques. Indeed, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (2005) noted ‘the continuing failure of thinkers and practitioners to historicize African development, the inappropriateness of the dominant paradigms to the African cultural milieu, the persistent resort to unilineal models, and the glorification of technicist notions of development bereft of power relations’ as challenges to which responses need to be forged. Despite decades of (uneven) emphasis and practice, there remains an enormous disjuncture between official aspirations and actual development. Kothari (2011: 65) argues that in its failure to acknowledge its own colonial heritage, the development industry has tended to reproduce, or at best merely rework, ‘relationships, perceptions and attitudes


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of empire.’ Others, however, argue that former colonies in other parts of the world are faring better, prompting them to suggest that the root of the problems in Africa is to be found in corruption, poor governance, ongoing armed conflicts, and/or it’s ‘incapacity to follow the Western model’ (Freund 2010: 43). Yet, Célestin Monga (2014), at the time a Senior Economic Advisor-Director at the World Bank stated: ‘The main reason for our failure has been bad ideas. Period. Not bad leaders, poor institutions, bad infrastructure. But simply bad ideas.’ At the time of independence, understandings of ‘development’ were rooted in belief that economic transformation and growth would inevitably lead to the attainment of ‘modernity.’ Initially, the emergent ‘development sector’ equated ‘traditional’ society with underdevelopment or saw it as an inferior phase to full development (Castro-Gómez 2007: 436). In this framework, ‘culture’ and ‘nature’ were regarded as obstacles to ‘modernisation’ and ‘progress.’ The final declaration of the Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies in Africa (AFRICACULT) in 1975, marked an opportunity for change as it affirmed the will of African states ‘to give culture the decisive position which it should rightfully occupy in the process of global development, of which man is both the agent and the end.’2 However, by the 1990s, across the continent there was a widespread perception of the failure of ‘development’ and the belief that ‘cultural dimensions have somehow been left out of the equation’ (Klitgaard 1994: 82). In practice, ‘terms such as undeveloped, traditional and backward replaced the colonial nomenclature of the primitive, savage and aboriginal’ as ‘the tendency to equate spatial or cultural distance with temporal distance’ remained common to both colonial and development discourses (Basu and Modest 2014: 5). The programs introduced often encouraged materialist aspirations and desires to consume the goods and services produced (including technocratic knowledge) by the socalled Advanced Economies3 further undermining traditional practices and values (Labadi and Gould 2015: 198). These criticisms brought on the ‘cultural turn’ epitomized by the UN Decade for Cultural Development 1988–1997 (UNESCO 2014a: 11). References to the importance of culture both as a driver and enabler for sustainable development have been included in recent major documents

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that chart the path for a renewed development agenda, including the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. In response to this shift, the heritage agenda in Africa has moved from an Authorised Heritage Discourse approach which sought to freeze sites at all costs to a perspective which regards heritage as instrumental in leveraging development (Abunga 2016: 11). This, however, is not necessarily easy. While people go hungry, lack shelter, and clean drinking water and have no access to basic health care or primary education, donors query how they can justify devoting scarce resources to heritage (Basu and Modest 2014: 11). Schmidt and Pikirayi (2016: 19) caution that archaeologists and heritage managers in Africa ‘cannot look the other way when confronted by poverty, disease, inadequate shelter and poor education.’ Conversely, Mire (2011: 73) questions whether care for heritage should ‘remain only something for the privileged countries where matters of peace, security, food, and health have largely been overcome?’ For some community members, heritage items both cultural (artifacts and properties for example) and natural (ivory, pangolin scales, etc.) have become resources sold to support subsistence. For a minority, heritage is a means to get rich quick. But when communities are involved in heritage projects, they often express their disappointment or lament the ‘unfulfilled promises’ of such programs. The failure of such initiatives to address socioeconomic redistribution has made it difficult to change the perception of heritage as ancillary to the development equation (Chirikure et al. 2010; Ndoro 2001: 23). The underfunded sector has rendered many conservation projects heavily donor dependant. The quest for private or international partnerships has forced some projects into Faustian bargains. In many cases, the result is that local communities, who often have different development aspirations from those imposed by managing authorities, do not regard themselves as the primary beneficiaries of heritage projects. This in turn renders the future of such endeavors problematic, if not untenable and at times involves a transformation of the heritage in question to meet outsider aims (Keitumetse, this volume). Furthermore, donors often seek to work with NGOs as opposed to the state on the grounds of mistrust,


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corruption, etc. However, such strategies risk ultimately further weakening the state and/or creating parallel systems and institutions (Leloup; Lane, this volume). Tourism is the primary means through which heritage has been instrumentalized as a resource. Advocates portray tourism as a panacea emphasizing its economic and sociocultural benefits (promoting mutual understanding, improving well-being, enhancing education, preserving local cultural and environmental heritage, fostering local pride, catalyzing infrastructure development, etc.) (Ashworth 2014; Marschall 2012). Others urge caution, highlighting the costs and potential negative impacts of tourism, including leakage, the promotion of unproductive land uses, a widening development gap, dependency and sociocultural costs (cultural homogenization, commoditization, prostitution, crime, considerable environmental impact, and carbon footprint) (Corbin Sies 2014; Loubes 2015). Heritage development projects in Africa have often produced mono-functional heritage dependent places which fall victim to fluctuations in the market much more rapidly than their more diversified counterparts. Many communities court tourism, but perhaps need help from heritage experts to apprise the pitfalls that such projects may entail (Schmidt and Pikirayi 2016: 17). Heritage tourism is often identified on the continent as a means to capitalize on heritage with the aim of enabling access to the way of life experienced in the ‘Advanced Economies’ (Fazi and Furt 2009). Yet, hosts may feel incarcerated in the ‘repetition of the ancestral’ invoked by Nora (1996), while they wish to narrow the distance between their world and that of their visitors, seeking a share in their ‘modernity.’ Developing ways of engaging with tourism in a manner that is genuinely supportive of heritage, community lifeways and aspirations therefore remains a major challenge in Africa and globally. Since the 1990s, a significant portion of development aid has been channeled into heritage-related projects rooted in tourism. A study by Naidoo et al. (2019) indicates that children residing within 10 km of 603 multiple-use protected natural heritage areas in 34 ‘developing counties’ had 17% higher wealth levels and 16% lower poverty levels than those residing further away. Yet, tourism is accused of prioritizing economic

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sustainably over ecological and cultural concerns while community-based tourism initiatives have a poor record of survival (Marschall 2012: 726). Some scholars argue that certain African nations have become aid dependant while failing to reduce poverty levels (Chao et al., 2010: 454; Collier 2007; Moyo 2009). Former colonial powers dominated aid provision in the immediate aftermath of independence. During the Cold War, developmental assistance became a proxy battlefield. Over the last two decades, partly in an effort to shift away from (aid) dependency, development projects were launched across the continent on ‘a scale reminiscent of the era of independence’ (Arazi 2009: 103). Important heritage sites are often discovered or affected by such projects and by the continents continued reliance on the extraction of non-renewable resources and other raw materials (Bocoum 2008; Folorunso 2008; King et al., this volume). Even when impact assessments are carried out, there is a general bias toward the biophysical elements of the environment, often coupled with a lack of comprehensive data to guide fieldwork and analysis, a shortage of qualified people, and time pressure, with the result that implementation of relevant legislation can be challenging (Campbell 2000; King et al., this volume; Ndobochani and Pwiti 2018). The further impact of such projects on intangible heritage has only recently become a concern (see, e.g., Taha, this volume). In Africa’s ‘developer friendly environment’, investors or donors often fail to adhere to the relevant codes of practice or legislation (Apoh and Gavua 2016: 220). According to José Graziano da Silva, the Director General of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Agency, Africa is perceived as a ‘wild west’ for contemporary investors (Tran 2012). Among other factors, the 2007–2008 financial crisis encouraged largescale land grabs and the launch of ‘developmental’ projects in Africa by China and Middle Eastern nations. This may signal a return to the ‘overtly economistic approaches to development typical of the post war era, prior to the “cultural turn”’ (Basu and Modest 2014: 25). The formalization of the concept of sustainable development has been one way to address such concerns. Stemming from fears of the environmental consequences of unbridled economic growth, the seminal 1987 Brundtland report defined sustainable development ‘as a process of change through which the exploitation of resources, direction of


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investments, technical and institutional mutations are in harmony and reinforce the potential and future meeting of human needs… It must meet the present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (WCED 1987: 43). The launch of the report meant that the dominant development model which hitherto had focused primarily on producing financial returns was called upon to account for social and environmental, and since the 2002 Johannesburg Summit, cultural impacts as well. However, culture as a so-called fourth pillar has yet to gain the traction of the other three and therefore remains understudied and represented (Keitsch et al. 2016: 273; Parra et al. 2018: 1). Three decades since the launch of the Brundtland report considerable gains have been made toward sustainable development on the global scale, but in Africa such development remains elusive and the concept continues to be contested (Nhamo 2017: 232). International awareness of the concept of sustainability was cemented by the launch of Agenda 21, a product of the 1992 Earth Summit. Quickly embraced by environmental conservationist, the notion of ‘sustainability’ was found to have profound crossovers with that of cultural heritage in that both focus on providing a meaningful legacy for future generations (Keitumetse 2011; Robinson and Picard 2006). UNESCO’s World Decade for Cultural Development (1988–1997) and the launch of Our Creative Diversity sought in the words of its President, former UN Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, ‘to do for “culture and development” what had been achieved for “environment and development”’ (quoted in Torggler et al. 2015: 6). Yet, despite a surge in references to sustainable development in UNESCO declarations and conventions,4 national policy documents, and in academic literature, and although even the smallest development projects in Africa today pay at least lip service to this criterion, a lack of shift in practice indicates the limitations of cultural economics as an influencer of actual behavior (Labadi and Gould 2015: 205; Torggler et al. 2015; Robinson and Picard 2006). Initially, within environmental conservation circles, sustainability was viewed as steady-state equilibrium concerned with preserving a finite resource through management strategies that avoided depletion. However, living systems do not exist in steady states, they survive

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by changing and adapting and seeking a dynamic equilibrium within evolving environments (Landman 2018). Therefore, sustainability is not about restoring something to its original state or preventing failure, neither is it a goal or a solution to problems in and of itself. In Africa, environmental sustainability is often understood to mean conservation of the land and its ecosystems (see Keitumetse, this volume). In practice, this has often elevated the needs of ‘nature’ over the needs of people (Ribot in Corbin Sies 2014: x). Within the development sector, however, sustainability has been used to promote initiatives that would result in ongoing and long-term economic growth and/or economically selfsustaining public institutions. Yet, not all of the population bears the cost of development equally and the pursuit of economic sustainability can amplify certain people’s marginality (Ribot in Corbin Sies 2014: xi). Problematically, development practices can be sustainable and just, as well as sustainable and unjust (Marcuse 1998: 105). UNESCO (2014b) has made Africa a ‘priority’ for 2014–2021 with the aim to ‘harness the power of culture for sustainable development and peace.’ Yet, when cultural sustainability is pursued, it is often rooted in archaic understandings of tangible heritage which value historicity over contemporary practice or dated anthropological understandings which prioritize ‘pristine’ cultures over changing cultural behaviors (Keitumetse 2011: 54). In 2003, the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage elevated an alternative understanding by stressing that intangible cultural heritage is ‘a guarantee of sustainable development.’ Paradoxically, the Convention’s own Operational Directives continue to warn of the danger of development which it regards as being ‘a real threat to the viability of the intangible cultural heritage’ (Labadi 2011: 117). The omission of culture and heritage from the Millennium Development Goals indicates the difficulty experienced to date in achieving their full integration into discourses of sustainability (Labadi and Gould 2015: 200). Many heritage and/or development projects have sought to address the economic, environmental, social, and cultural dimensions of sustainability. Case studies from Botswana (Keitumetse, this volume) Mali (Corbin Sies 2014), Mozambique and Namibia (Silva and Khatiwada 2014), and South Africa (Ndlovu, this volume) indicate the tensions


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which arise between different sustainability discourses and their accompanying development practices. In part, this is due to the difficulties of measuring cultural sustainability. UNESCO’s Culture for Development Indicators (CDIS) project has attempted to empirically illustrate cultures multidimensional contribution to development and advocate for its greater integration in the national development agendas. Part of this initiative is focused on four African countries: Ghana, Swaziland, Namibia, and Burkina Faso (UNESCO 2014a: 5). However, CDIS takes the view that heritage sustainability largely depends on policies and advocacy actions that ensure the protection of cultural heritage’s ‘fragile wealth’ (UNESCO 2014a: 130). This approach assumes that topdown policy making through the deployment of the Authorised Heritage Discourse is the most valuable means to secure sustainability. Perhaps a more dynamic definition of heritage rooted in African traditions while recognizing it as ‘whatever the present selects from imagined pasts to satisfy contemporary needs’ could help to further remove any contradictions between heritage and (sustainable) development (Ashworth 2014: 8). The museumification and ‘fortress’ approaches to conservation of heritage, widely applied in Africa, have been criticized for effectively ‘holding it back’ in a romanticized version of its past rather than providing a vision for its sustainable future (Meskell 2011, Ndlovu, this volume). At the same time, drawing on idealized notions of pre-colonial traditions, calls have been made for ‘voluntary simplicity’ or ‘de-growth’ economics in Africa (Latouche 2004). Such ideas break the assumption that we must have more to be better off, and suggest that managing with less in some instances and/or redistributing existing resources in a more effective way might help ensure that humans consume no more than their ‘equitable share of nature’ (Alexander 2015: 133). These calls place a double bind on communities in Africa implying that their future development rests on their ability to remain in what some perceive to be an undeveloped past and present. Scholars and practitioners will have to be mindful about the impacts of ‘imposing a vision of sustainability that derives from Western privilege on countries operating with varied and different political economies and open our eyes to the everyday kinds of sustainability practices that ordinary citizens deploy to respond to the

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environments and economies they find themselves in’ (Corbin Sies 2014: xvi). Heritage and development professionals have ‘determined the futures imagined for development beneficiaries, including how their pasts should be preserved, or sacrificed, or made into a resource in attaining those futures’ (Basu and Modest 2014: 10). Moving forward, African nations will have to address the question of how to domesticate both the concepts of ‘sustainable development’ and heritage to make them appropriate for the needs of the continent and its constituent parts. Sustainability discourses require further interrogation, asking whose interests they serve, and carefully observing how environmental, economic, social, and cultural sustainability interact (Corbin Sies 2014). The concept will have to be defined and applied in a way that will fit local needs while nesting them within concerns that affect the globe as a whole. While the ‘Advanced Economies’ may at times be allies in moving toward sustainable development, their agendas should not dictate African aspirations in this regard—even though they often hold the purse strings and drive the dominant discourse. We recognize that heritage will be but one, albeit an important one, of many interlocking arenas which will need to be considered. Heritage is often positioned within development discourses as a benevolent force, but it can be divisive or exclusionary functioning to normalize and historicize inequalities of many kinds. Therefore, we must develop an ontological politics of heritage that remains deeply critical and suspicious of its deployment and its developmental capacities (Harrison 2015: 39). Finally, in Africa and globally, scholars must give the nature and conditions of ‘sustainable development’ agendas critical attention as important questions need to be addressed concerning how its rhetorical deployment by states and developmental agencies is recoding and transforming cultural forms inherited from the past and what this means in terms of how the future is imagined (Keitumetse 2011; Daly and Winter 2012). The contributions to this volume move us toward these aims, but much work lies ahead of us to conceptualize, operationalize, and internalize these ideas while recognizing that the lack or delay of effective implementation comes at considerable cost.


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Heritage and Communities The involvement of community in heritage management is now frequently called for, but we have learned that this is not necessarily easy or without its own problems. Nonetheless, it has become apparent that when many different stakeholders, with varied attitudes, interests, and positions converge around a particular expression of heritage, those who become most marginalized in decision-making are usually those most directly involved with and affected by said heritage. Despite the many good intensions, and a handful of ‘best practice cases’ our ability to involve community members in the management of heritage is still poor (Boswell 2011; Little and Borona 2014). Our inadequateness is partly due to our management practices. In particular, the languages and terms that we use are a major hindrance for equal or equitable participation. An asymmetry in cultural capital belies the common reference to ‘stakeholders’ with its suggestion of equality. Heritage practitioners struggle to meaningfully incorporate ‘local’ people who do not speak the same ‘language’ and who do not recognize themselves as ‘stakeholders’ (Abunga 2016: 1; Schmidt and Pikirayi 2016: 3; Sørensen, forthcoming). Too often, even when power-sharing is called for, ‘community’ inclusion becomes tokenistic and problems prevail or increase (Leonard and Lebogang 2018). When the ‘community’ does not function in an ennobled ‘democratic’ fashion but rather features unjust, hierarchical, and/or sexist features, fostering ‘participation’ becomes further fraught with difficulty—and unveils the series of choices which lie behind ‘participation’ (Klitgaard 1994: 96). Variations on the challenges around heritage and communities are found in the case studies discussed by several of the chapters in this volume. One of the key themes that bind these contributions is the difficulty defining the ‘community’ or even the ‘communities.’ Often, the ‘community’ is taken as a given without examining what it is that defines them and their relationship to the heritage in question—is it based on geographical proximity, longevity of connection, active use, or some other factor? While the terms ‘stakeholders’ and ‘interested and affected communities’ are frequently cited in policy documents, they remain unclear and are often highly problematic. The application of such

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terms may even result in a tendency to essentialize and instatiate homogenized understandings of such groups and/or they call upon certain individuals to represent the whole. The boundaries of such groups are blurry—where does a community start and end? What happens when a community is geographically dispersed or displaced? What are the implications when multiple communities lay claim to the same heritage? It is clear that heritage has the potential to become a site of ‘fierce struggle and impassioned debate’ often centered around questions of who constitutes the community and who exercises the power to define its identity (Duncan 1995: 8). An additional challenge that regards community involvement arises from the changing demography of Africa. In 2013, Africa had 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24, making it the youngest population in the world (Ighobor 2013). Moreover, this is an increasingly urbanizing demographic which is defined in part by its relationship with digital technologies. These trends have profound implications for the relationships of youth to their communities, traditional leaders, and their heritage. An important question moving forward as Collard and Lane’s chapters highlight will be how to engage youth in heritage management to address their needs and concerns without undermining traditional authorities and/or the intergenerational knowledge transmission practices which have previously enabled the perpetuation of certain forms of heritage. This intergenerational aspect is perhaps particularly pertinent to Africa, but contributions by Blackmore, Boonzaier, Keitumetse, King et al., Ndlovu, and Taha make the broader point that contemporary heritage practice in Africa and beyond, seems to be caught at times, between the conflicting agendas of employing expert knowledge, recognizing traditional social hierarchies, and seeking to democratize heritage management through the empowerment of previously marginalized groups within those communities. While local communities’ right to and expert knowledge about their own cultures have become widely recognized, there can also be a danger of idealizing this connection. In certain contexts, local people have no connection to, may reject, or are not interested in ‘their heritage.’ In such cases, there is little motivation for forward planning for heritage, even if these aim at their ‘benefit.’ The effect of historical disruptions on people’s


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connections to place and practice must be recognized and factored into our understanding of the ‘local’ relationships to heritage. This, moreover, is neither just a concern for Africa but is a wider phenomenon, nor is it due only to colonialism but is also a result of war, displacements of people, droughts, and starvations. It has become obvious that, for example, the urban poor, the millions of displaced people, and other disenfranchised communities do not have straightforward relationships to heritage. For some, the estrangement from their heritage has resulted in a sense of disinheritance. Indeed, the displacement caused by ‘fortress’ style conservation which resulted in the relocation of an estimated 14 million people on the continent seems to have contributed to this trend (Dowie 2009: xxi). Rendering heritage out of bounds has damaged relationships to it. Such practices often involve imposing someone else’s vision on the landscape, and they are therefore regarded as paternalistic by people whose contact history with such places and/or the institutions that safeguard them has been one of exclusion and condescension. Deep ruptures in people’s connection with place will affect their sense of heritage. In such circumstances, social memory and history are shallow, connections to a place of origin/home may have been radically severed, and there is no recognized or known history in the landscape around communities while connections to a current ‘home’ remain under construction. However, displacement can also breed new and hybrid forms of identity which rely heavily on and foster new forms of heritage (Lane, this volume). In some cases, displacement even appears to have rendered group and community identities stronger as a longing for a lost home or family members and/or the performance of heritage become key survival techniques. In other instances, repeated ruptures often coupled with the loss of key memory holders (elders, custodians, practitioners) have damaged collective and institutional memory. In cases where heritage is regarded to be restricting aspirations—for example, when the adherence to tradition is perceived to deny coevalness, when new identities have been adopted which are no longer compatible with older identities (e.g., the rise of more radical forms of Islam or Christianity), or when new identities are regarded as fragile or unsettling (e.g., displaced and migrant communities)—related heritage might be outright rejected or suppressed (e.g., Mire 2011; Schmidt and Pikirayi 2016). In

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such contexts, community outreach engagement in Africa faces layered resistance and distinct problems. Variations on these challenges are found in the case studies discussed by several of the chapters in this volume. To engage and reach such disenfranchised populations in terms of heritage requires special efforts; but it also calls for honesty in recognizing that not all communities have strong bonds with heritage. The ‘voices’ of such communities often need to find champions, but this always brings a risk of alienation and distortion. Forward planning is difficult and risky, and there is often a tendency for local communities to either take a conservative approach as they find security in the known, or, alternatively, they jettison their uniqueness in reverence for external expertise or in their quest for aspirational lifestyles. There are, nonetheless, distinct qualities in community engagement in many parts of Africa, some hardly explored but others not just setting new standards of good practice (e.g., Schmidt and Pikirayi 2016), but also challenging some of the fundamentals of global heritage philosophies. Take for example the concept of intangible heritage, as defined by UNESCO. How Africa’s living heritage is recognized, managed, and performed, radically questions how well we understand the nature and character of heritage. Does this version of heritage have a vibrant, agentic transcendental efficacy and performative ability, that is beyond the reach of current categorizations? Our formal understanding of intangible heritage focuses on craft and a knowledge tradition, on the living expressions inherited from ancestors and the skills to produce traditional crafts. Despite appearing abstract, this concept relates the intangible to form (in the sense of outcome), and as a result tends to reify practices and performances. This means that the underlying enacted and embodied practices, and the range of economic, mnemonic, material, and obligatory relationships (see King et al., this volume), which enable them, move out of sight. But living heritage in Africa provides insight into heritage practices as a matter of being rather than performance. Basu and Modest have similarly argued that some of the heritage in Africa provide us with examples of heritage being embodied, metaphysically agentic, or part of habitus (2014: 9–10). This challenges current terminology and shows existing categories to be unstable.


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If indeed there are such distinctive relations to heritage, it is equally clear, however, that they do not find equal expression in all parts of Africa. Why is that the case? In some areas, particularly those with histories of repeated displacement or trauma, there is less interest in heritage and at times particular forms of it are even rejected. This may be due to the prevailing imperative to meet basic needs, how heritage is presented to communities, which forms of heritage are focused on, or the ability for local residents to find ways of becoming involved, but as discussed above it may also be a result of too many violent ruptures brought on by processes such as slavery, colonialism, armed conflicts, desertification, urbanization, and development (e.g., Rausch, Lane, and Blackmore, this volume). While some communities do have linkages to the deep past, there is an unevenness of connection with, access to, and engagement with heritage in Africa, as on the other continents. This suggests that if heritage should be for all, then the future of heritage cannot just be left as a bottom-up agenda, but neither can it simply be dictated. While we strongly commend efforts to privilege community perceptions and aspirations and where possible to engage in knowledge and power-sharing, we recognize that such approaches are difficult to execute, sometimes unwanted, and are often problematic given the short time scales allowed by development-driven heritage work. We therefore recognize the need for various forms of interaction between community members and experts. This point affirms that current categorizations which underpin hegemonic heritage management agendas and practices must make way for more tailored approaches and understandings.

Structure of the Volume The first section of the volume entitled Managing Africa’s Anthropocene Environment problematizes the culture-nature binary which continues to underpin dominant heritage management discourse. Although critique of the separation of natural and cultural heritage is now well-established, contemporary nature conservation policies and practices in Africa remain firmly rooted in colonial practices which sought to regulate space and

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people. Despite recent shifts, and despite the discord between such artificial separation and the routine thinking of most communities in Africa, who do not employ such separation, ‘Fortress Conservation’ of ‘natural environments’ remains the hegemonic practice. Keitumetse’s chapter on the Okavango Delta in Botswana highlights how current research agendas, parachuted management paradigms, and the pursuit of the international tourist market continue to marginalize alternative understandings of heritage and place. She argues that the ‘brand’ of sustainable development employed further transforms these places—labeled ‘nature parks’ and ‘game reserves’—into reified wilderness commodities. Situating his arguments within a broad overview of the challenges facing Africa’s heritage, Lane posits that because heritage has a dual ‘temporality’—simultaneously being from the past and of the present, it risks being at times rejected as anti-modern or alternatively is uncritically mobilized as a resource for sustainable development. However, given the longue durée of the co-produced African human-ecosystems, he argues that a detailed understanding of past human-environment relations may help the continent identify strategies to employ in the face of climate and population changes. Ndoro’s chapter focuses on contemporary large-scale energy and extraction projects which are currently advocated as means of catalyzing both economic development and improving human development indicators. Both the scale of these projects and local understandings of the spaces in which they are being carried out subvert the imposed culture-nature divide. Furthermore, the development-conservation binary collapses as development (in the widest sense of the term) is a condition of the Anthropocene. Therefore, ‘freezing’ places—in the quest to bind them off from change over time or the people who use them is a problematic option. This requires us to rethink the current understanding of the compatibility of heritage and development. The second section Communities and the Quotidian continues to re-center people and their everyday practices at the core of a field previously focused on the celebration of biophysical exceptionality. While the previous section highlighted the prioritization of ‘natural’ heritage, the papers in this section investigate the impacts of placing high value on


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historic ‘safely dead’ (Chippindale and Baillie 2006) cultural remains as opposed to everyday mundane forms and aspects of ‘living’ heritage. Although intangible heritage has come onto the agenda, this concept as distinct or separate from other forms of heritage does not find resonance in many African contexts. The question remains as to whether the intangible heritage paradigm can be employed in Africa in a manner that will help to maintain, transmit, and develop knowledge and traditions which are crucially embedded in various manifestations of habitus without reducing the more colorful practices to fetishized and commodified products. Taha’s chapter on the Meroe Dam in Sudan contends that the mega-development projects currently being carried out across the continent often require the displacement of populations and their lifeways (despite the rise in the incorporation of living heritage assessments in mitigation programs, see King et al., this volume)—threatening both alternative understandings of heritage and the practices that sustain it—while perpetuating the salvage paradigm. Displacement is not only a reality associated with large-scale infrastructure or natural conservation projects, it remains the dominant model underpinning the management of cultural or mixed forms of heritage as well. Due to the internalization of this model, it continues to reverberate in post-colonial Africa, indicating the urgent need to further decolonize the field as well as the legislation, policies, and institutions which underpin it. Even when projects are designed to re-assert the value of pre-colonial heritage, they often result in the perpetuation of Eurocentric understandings of heritage. Ndlovu’s investigation of the heritage management of the eMakhosini Valley, South Africa, discusses these challenges. His contribution critiques the discourse of sustainable development as it is currently applied within heritage management arguing that it tends to temporally overvalue past and future uses. He asserts that heritage should be managed principally to ensure its current values and to serve contemporary purposes. This section also queries the role of traditional leaders (who are in part a product of colonial invented tradition), arguing that heritage management strategies which celebrate tangible remains or products serve as means to legitimize their rule and negotiate access to development organizations, politicians, and their respective funds. Clifford Collard’s

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chapter examines the tensions within a community around the traditional practice of weaving of Kente cloth in an increasingly globalized marketplace. In contrast to the position taken by traditional leaders, she argues that for the weavers who live on the brink of economic precarity, their craft is their livelihood rather than ‘heritage.’ The heritageization of Kente cloth, she argues, has not ameliorated but rather further jeopardized the livelihoods of practitioners through the marginalization of their concerns. This section contends that the leveraging of heritage to reinforce the existing socioeconomic hierarchy is problematic on a continent already grappling with high Gini coefficients—a point that Boonzaaier returns to in his epilogue. The questions of the nature of the relationship between heritage and livelihood as well as the shifting identity of what it means to be a ‘heritage expert’ which run through this section are key themes in the contribution by King, Arthur, and Challis. Drawing on capacity building case studies in Lesotho and South Africa, they reflect on how calls for the transformation of heritage practice to become more relevant, representative, inclusive, and accessible are predominantly framed in terms of socioeconomic as opposed to epistemological concerns. Attempts have been made to devolve custodianship in an effort to make heritage tourism projects sustainable both in economic and conservation terms. However, the majority of these attempts have only produced temporary employment opportunities and have not taken ‘non-experts’ seriously in terms of understanding their heritage or its role in development. The obligatory nature of public engagement in turn often problematically positions the failures of such projects on the communities themselves. The authors conclude by outlining key strategies which could enable capacity building projects to be reimagined to enable sustainable livelihoods and living heritage. The final section of the volume is entitled African States and the Transnational Development Agenda. Building off the discussions of the notion of community provided in the previous section, it critically explores the impacts of the move from top-down to bottom-up approaches to heritage management and development. The contributors to this section root this shift in: the response to the failures of structural adjustment policies, changing international heritage and


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development discourses, efforts to address narratives and communities marginalized by the state, and international strategies to by-pass (certain) African states which were reconfigured as corrupt and inefficient organs of change. Initiated, directed, honed, and funded by international actors such projects are rarely truly bottom-up but rather often repackaged or presented as such. This new global imperative for community engagement reconfigures communities as the direct interlocutors of international funding and expertise. While it is claimed that such a shift assists with the localization and tailoring of solutions to particular contexts, in practice it has often resulted in the copy and pasting of both agendas and ‘solutions,’ the parachuting of expertise, the undermining of states, and the divestment and decoupling of local actors from the support, (decolonized) knowledge, and forms of expertise increasingly available through national and continental networks. Leloup’s chapter traces the origins and subsequent permutations of the highly lauded Culture Bank model. This approach was initially conceived of by a member of the Peace Corps as a means to provide an alternative for locals in Fombori, Mali, who were increasingly forced to sell their heritage through the illicit antiquity trade. By depositing artifacts into a Cultural Bank instead, it was envisioned that local owners would retain ownership and use rights, while enabling them to secure microloans and leverage the symbolic capital of heritage artifacts for tourism development and education. Paradoxically, she explores how this system has controversially been regarded by heritage practitioners to be continuing the financial valuation of heritage inherent in the very form of trade, which it was seeking to curtail. Her chapter provides an analysis of the factors contributing to the appropriation (or lack thereof ) of this ‘bottom-up’ model in the quite different contexts provided by her case study sites in Togo and Benin. Both her chapter, and that by Blackmore which follows it, query how the value and power of each object transfer, diffuse, or become magnified by its recontextualization in collections and/or exhibitions. The final two chapters in the volume examine the nexus between the international post-conflict and peace agendas and their intersections with development and heritage management praxis. Contemporary mobilization of heritage for post-conflict reconstruction, peacebuilding,

Heritage Challenges in Africa: Contestations and Expectations


and transitional justice is based on the assumption that the cessation of armed conflict coupled with such transitional processes will assist affected nations to move toward democracy and neoliberalism and as a result—development. Yet, the development process itself has been instrumental in both producing and shaping violence (Winton 2004: 179). Critiques of formal justice mechanisms have called for engagement with context-specific justice frameworks. Blackmore’s chapter argues that in scenarios of unstable peace, ‘permanent’ memorials rooted in a Western memorial tradition, have the potential to crystallize divisive narratives. Through the provision of an ethnography of production, she argues that the methodology employed by the Travelling Testimonies exhibition, created in response to Uganda’s complex recent history, provides temporary stages for the public negotiation of trauma, justice, and aspirations for peace. She asserts that by beginning with the concerns of those directly impacted by conflict and then employing the official archive and expert knowledge to support their needs, evidence-based calls for the state to instigate change in the present, rather than merely acknowledging the wrongs of the past, can be mounted. Rausch’s chapter details how Eritrea, a newly independent state, was used as a laboratory for ‘holistic development’ at a time when the international community and white settler communities in Africa and beyond sought to reimagine colonial heritage under the more benevolent label of ‘shared heritage.’ While Eritrea has embraced its colonial heritage because it helped to foster its national identity, even if such a common identity was the result of brutal colonial policies of racial segregation, it is reluctant to ‘share’ its ownership. He documents how Asmara’s modernist heritage has become a pawn in the clashes between Eritrea’s assertion of a national politics of self-reliance and sovereignty on the one hand, and transnational appeals to post-conflict reconstruction, nation building, economic development, and poverty reduction on the other. He argues that the transnational nostalgia for Asmara’s modern architecture, obscures poverty, hunger, and militarism in the Horn of Africa as well as attempts to use development to stem migration from the region. While the international community seems to regard the current government as a temporary obstruction to achieving its longterm interests in the region, the Eritrean government has become adept


B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen

at exploiting the Western fascination with Asmara to support its own aspirations while shutting down internationally imposed ‘bottom-up’ initiatives which it regards as divisive. The volume concludes with an epilogue by Boonzaaier which draws upon the leitmotifs and themes emerging from the previous chapters. In it he reflects on what issues relating to heritage, development, and sustainability are specifically relevant to Africa and whether they are distinct to certain parts of the continent. Through these subsections and individual chapters, this volume aims to contribute to the distribution of knowledge about and experiences with heritage within Africa. Collectively, the individual contributions provide insight into some of the diversity found across Africa through the lens of heritage management and in view of the sustainable development agenda as well as the desire to involve communities. The chapters also seek to contribute to ongoing debates by providing policy suggestions that are framed around the belief that we can improve both our insights and our practices by sharing experiences and debating their outcomes. Acknowledgements This volume stems from The African Heritage Challenges: Development and Sustainability conference which was co-convened by the University of Pretoria (UP) and Cambridge University’s Heritage Research Group (HRG) as the latter’s 16th Annual Research Seminar. Funding came from Cambridge University’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge Africa Alborada Research Fund, The British Institute in Eastern Africa, and UP’s Capital Cities Institutional Research Theme. This enabled the financing of seven scholars from Africa (flights, accommodation, fees) and to charge a subsidized fee for students. The aims of the conference were to explore how heritage can promote, secure, or undermine sustainable development in Africa, and in turn, how this affects conceptions of heritage. It also aimed to challenge the seemingly dichotomous relationships between preservation and development, conservation, and innovation in Africa. A subsidiary aim was to extend existing scholarly networks and links. An open call for papers was made after which members of the CHRG selected the final contributions. We would like to thank everyone who helped to make the conference and this volume possible. Leanne Philpot and Elana Theunissen deserve special

Heritage Challenges in Africa: Contestations and Expectations


thanks for their editorial assistance. This chapter acknowledges support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation contribution to the Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities Initiative at the Wits City Institute based at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and the Capital Cities Institutional Research Theme at the University of Pretoria. Opinions expressed in this chapter are those of the authors and are not necessarily attributed to the funders and/or respective institutions.

Notes 1. 29th January 2018. 2. Available at: 3. The IMF uses this term to describe 37 nations which were previously regarded as ‘developed’ nations (Singer 2002: 2). 4. See, e.g., UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001), the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005).

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Managing Africa’s Anthropocene Environment

Needle in a Haystack? Cultural Heritage Resources in Designated Nature Environments of Southern Africa Susan O. Keitumetse

The Dissected Environments of Southern Africa’s Protected Areas The word ‘conservation’ is a popular term in southern Africa. However, it is rarely associated with cultural heritage resources. Why? Most of southern African protected landscapes were set up for natural resource protection and preservation during colonial times, and their postcolonial conservation strategies are therefore perceived through the lens of nature-based, environmental indicators to the exclusion of culture-based indicators. Similarly, the word ‘environment’ as ascribed to southern Africa’s supposedly untouched pristine wilderness and wildlife areas is also not popularly associated with cultural- and heritage resources. Of even greater concern, the cultural and heritage dimensions S. O. Keitumetse (B) Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



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of the environment are rarely perceived as resources with the potential to support environmental conservation strategies in southern Africa. This is perhaps because they are regarded as the products of human change to the environment, in contrast to natural resources which are perceived to be part of nature. These perceptions result in a situation in which southern African cultural heritage resources are continuously subsumed (in both theory and practice) within natural resource protection strategies, rather than being considered in their own right. Therein lies the needle (cultural heritage resources) in the haystack (natural landscapes). This chapter discusses this ‘needle and haystack’ relationship in three sections. The What Constitutes the Haystack? section illustrates how nature-based concepts and practices in southern Africa’s protected areas have become dominant over time—eventually overshadowing the recognition and protection of cultural resources. The Finding the Needle section explores how the needle that is cultural heritage could be made to ‘shine’ through an examination of the case study of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Finally, the chapter concludes by synthesizing the concepts and suggesting a way forward. A few terms require clarification for the purposes of this chapter: The term ‘environment’ describes all of the products of life that have ever existed in a biophysical landscape and influenced its composition— including human activity. However, most southern African environmental conservationists’ perception of the term ‘environment’ is focused on ‘nature’ even though human beings have been and continue to select what lives on (as heritage), be it natural or cultural remnants. The term ‘conservation’ generally refers to sustainable use of resources, whereby resource use is permitted at a monitored pace. In southern Africa, the word conservation is rarely applied in the context of cultural heritage resources but is regularly employed for natural resources. Finally, the term ‘management’ in the broader conservation field refers to the use and maintenance of either natural and/or cultural aspects of the environment. Over the years, the term has been adopted from the corporate context and has become widely associated with the safeguarding of the environment. In southern Africa, environmental ‘management’ is mostly applied to scenarios in which the government and local residents and/or communities seek to leverage resources for

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tourism. The application of this parachuted idea of management can entail both negative and positive outcomes. In most of southern Africa, the exclusion of cultural heritage resources from conservation has been heavily influenced by the dynamics of nature-tourism, whereby wildlife and wilderness are viewed as ‘enough’ to satisfy the tourists. I have discussed elsewhere why the omission of cultural resources in conservation discourses does not lead to sustainable environmental conservation in the long run (Keitumetse 2016c).

What Constitutes the Haystack? Haystacks, in the context of this chapter, are approaches, policies, and other strategies that obscure a focus on aspects of cultural heritage resources in the broader environmental conservation discourse of southern Africa. These ‘haystacks’ are diverse, and they range from disciplinary approaches to conservation knowledge production, policy frameworks within both national and international contexts, the political status of areas under consideration, the economic needs of the area, as well as the biophysical properties of the concerned landscapes.

Disciplinary Haystack Advocacy for both natural and cultural heritage conservation is largely active at the discipline level and act through a process whereby scholars and practitioners identify ambiguities or inadequacies in policy and design research questions that address such loopholes. The primary disciplines in question are archaeology, anthropology, and sociology. Policy, whether national or international, is informed by existing research literature as well as (documented) practitioner experiences. In the general context of southern Africa, this is true of natural resources management policies that are substantially backed by findings and experiences from both the research and activism of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), to mention


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a few key players. However, with the exception of archaeological artifacts, very little is addressed in terms of broader issues pertaining to conservation of cultural heritage resources, leading to minimal and/or passive reference to these resources during the process of policy formulation for environmental landscape conservation (Keitumetse 2016b). This neglect can be attributed to both national and international stakeholders in conservation, but it is equally a contribution of the disciplines that feed cultural heritage studies. Representatives of these disciplines are consistently absent from international environmental conservation debates (cf. Keitumetse 2011). The disciplines that feed cultural heritage policy are all involved in a non-committal relationship with the field of environmental conservation. This passive engagement results in minimal contribution of cultural heritage studies when compared with the ‘heavy weight’ that the sciences have become in the context of ‘nature’ conservation. Therefore, cultural heritage resources, even where they are in abundance in certain areas, attract minimal to no attention when environmental policy is formulated.

Policy Haystack As outlined in earlier publications (Keitumetse and Pampiri 2016; Keitumetse 2016b), the platforms within which cultural heritage management policy is formulated are isolated and scattered. International policy frameworks, in the form of international conventions, do not nurture a combined/simultaneous implementation of the various related conventions about the management of both natural and cultural resources when they are found in what are deemed to be ‘natural’ landscapes. Each convention is ratified and implemented in isolation from the rest. Their approach then spills over into, and is mirrored by, national conservation strategies that also reify the two as separate resource categories when it comes to ministerial placements, policy enhancements, etc. International policy also filters into national policy, local implementation, and civic advocacy reinforcing the disconnected approach to the conservation of southern African protected landscapes that host a variety of resources, but which continue to be presented as ‘wilderness’ and ‘wildlife’ areas only (see Fig. 1) by international conventions.

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Fig. 1 Map showing places of cultural value within the Okavango Delta ‘wilderness’ and ‘wildlife’ designated area (Credit: Susan O. Keitumetse 2020)

Political Haystack Large parts of Africa are facing conditions of war and/or conflict that make it difficult to access so-called wilderness areas to acknowledge and inventory (map) cultural heritage values. These conflicts have also displaced large swathes of the populations in countries such as the DRC, Angola, and Mozambique from their cultural landscapes. The mapping of sites must then be based on memory rather than through direct engagement with the landscape, making claims and recollections fragile and easily ignored or challenged. Another side of the political haystack affecting African protected areas results from the reluctance of African governments to engage with questions of social identity due to a fear of rising land reclamation claims by tribal communities. Moreover, most of the lands that sustain nature-based tourism are leased out to private foreign investors (cf. Keitumetse 2016a). While this protects


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governments’ economic and political investments, it thwarts human connectedness to these environments. This culminates in the affected communities developing indifference to, and even becoming resentful of, the protected areas resulting in actions that cause environmental degradation as illustrated by the case of Kilimanjaro, Kenya (Maathai 2004), or the poaching in countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Angola, and the DRC (cf. Henk 2005; Maingi et al. 2012; Büscher and Ramutsindela 2015).

The Economic Haystack ‘Wilderness’ and ‘wildlife’ spaces in southern Africa are frequently regarded as cash-accruing geographies enabling most governments to disregard other resources that may not be perceived as equally economically viable. Cultural heritage resources are regularly perceived this way by experts from other disciplines with limited capacity to decipher their potential economic (and other) benefits. The negative impact of this economic lens is exasperated by the acute subsistence needs of affected communities. This position makes it difficult for communities to defend a resource that bears a delayed gratification potential, against those resources that provide instant gratification and thus affect their day-to-day survival.

Biophysical (Natural) Environment Haystack In addition to the human-made conditions outlined above, researching, inventorying, and maintaining cultural heritage in these spaces are difficult because of the dangers posed by animals, and this results in human signatures becoming inaccessible. In the protected national parks and game reserves of southern Africa, such areas’ safety concerns keep social science researchers at bay or make it difficult for them to inventory the cultural heritage components of these places. In the more politicized conservation areas, the exaggerated requirements of ‘wilderness’ conservation are even at times used as a weapon to keep other sectors away, thus making it difficult to inventory and/or overlay cultural heritage aspects on landscapes that are otherwise known as natural environments.

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Finding the Needle, Maneuvering the Haystack Despite these ‘haystacks,’ there are various strategies to locate and make known the ‘needles’ that are the cultural heritage resources. To start with, a change in perception is needed. A first step toward this is a change of language. A terminology that expresses the relationships between the so-called natural environment and cultural heritage resources in more profound ways has to be adopted. Over time this shift entails a change in the way that cultural resources are viewed and engaged with in relation to what is now termed the ‘nature parks’ and ‘game reserves’ of southern Africa. One of the key perceptions that needs to be embraced is ‘heritage IN the environment ’ rather than ‘heritage AND the environment.’ Since the word ‘environment’ is already perceived to favor the natural resources, the change to the former phrase emphasizes that cultural and natural heritage aspects are intertwined, that cultural components are embedded within, and embody features of the environment. The latter phrase, in contrast, signals the prevailing perception of cultural heritage resources as existing outside of the environment, thus allowing isolation of the disciplinary, policy, economic, and biophysical platforms of development implementation. Such steps may appear simplistic, but they can be effective and are needed to change the ways in which the relationships between nature and culture are talked about and thus perceived. The next step after a change in perception is conducting applied research to illustrate that, indeed, cultural resources are inherent within the broader environment as we perceive and understand it today. One example of such research has already been conducted by the author, with the explicit aim of mapping cultural values in the Okavango Delta wetland of Northern Botswana. The case study, as described below, briefly illustrates this research.

Case Study Findings: Mapping Cultural Values in the Okavango Delta Wetland This case study illustrates a way of moving beyond theoretical arguments by implementing certain practical changes that can be pursued. The case


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study is concerned with how the hidden cultural significance (needle) in supposedly ‘natural landscapes’ (haystack) can be properly recognized— a first step toward helping to ensure that it can be protected. Figure 1 and the descriptions in Table 1 show the results of a preliminary cultural mapping exercise which draws upon the memory of affected community members in the wetland (waterbody) ‘haystack’ of the Okavango Delta World Heritage Site in Botswana. The research, which is ongoing, demonstrates that what currently appears to be a vast ‘wilderness’ and ‘wildlife’ sanctuary also contains sociocultural meanings even in the absence of contemporary human occupation. The research also shows that although people may have been relocated from the wetland, they still harbor memories of what was where (Keitumetse and Pampiri 2016). This knowledge can be used to re-construct people’s symbolic and memorial associations with the landscape. In turn, this process enables people to re-connect their cultural and communal identity with the geographic space, providing them with the means to heighten their sense of connection, belonging, and consequently cultural responsibility toward a particular landscape, which could result in improvement of their social well-being. The mapping exercise richly illustrates the future potential to interpret both the nature and culture of this landscape. A selection of the features on this map is described in Table 1. The numbers refer to mapped human occupations (cultural places) in the supposedly ‘natural’ Okavango Delta. This case study of the mapping of the Okavango Delta’s cultural attributes illustrates that some of the landscapes that are commonly branded as ‘nature-tourism’ landscapes host cultural heritage attributes. This reveals that these environments are not just pristine wilderness areas that team with wildlife. They have a human- and cultural footprint. The mapped cultural attributes of the popular ‘natural’ landscape of the Okavango illustrate that management approaches, such as applied research, can expose cultural attributes that can later on be juxtaposed alongside nature aspects to provide a more inclusive interpretation of the Okavango landscape. By so doing visitors and/or international tourists’ experiences of the landscape may be enhanced. Also, the approach helps to improve and diversify engagement of residents or local communities with the protected landscape as they are better enabled to connect with

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Table 1 Descriptions of some of the places of cultural significance found within the Okavango Delta World Heritage Site (ODWHS) depicted in Fig. 1. ODWHS is popularly known as a natural landscape and predominantly used for naturetourism Number (#) on map #47 depicts

#49 depicts

#51 depicts

#52–53 depicts

Description of communal cultural identity places on the map Xaxaba commercial camp—the camp derived its name from the local communities’ name for an island they called XouXaba (motlhaba/mochabawaditou)—meaning sand of/or eaten by elephants Area called Kakanaga/Xaxanaga (Bushmen language)—the island is deserted now. Settlers moved from the island to another area called Sedibana in 1975 so that they could form a bigger village to access government amenities. It was inhabited mainly by people of Wayeyi origin Area called Jukujuku (an onomatopoeic name reflecting the sound of the water as it moves through the lake). People came up with this name after observing the flow of water indicating a people-environment relationship in the past. The feature is described by community members as a very deep lagoon (lekadiba le leboteng in the local language). The area was used by Bayei and river Bushmen as a camp site during their travels across the Okavango Delta. The communities never settled here but used it as a waypoint on their way to other villages in the vast delta landscape. The island is remembered as not having had enough land space for settlement as it floods. It is remembered as a place where people lost a lot of canoes and goods when their boats capsized Area called Ntshwarelangwana (hold the baby for me)—the name derives from a folk tale about a woman who gave her child to a hyena (Phiri Setswana and umpuru in Seyei) in the dark, thinking that it was her husband. In 1971 people moved from the island to a place called Sedibana to pave the way for tourism activities, and to be in an area where government could provide them with modern amenities (continued)


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Table 1 (continued) Number (#) on map #54–55

#55–56 #60 #64–68

Description of communal cultural identity places on the map Area called Tshao or water that flows (metsi-a-elelang) as opposed to the stagnant water in the lagoon. In the past it was a camp or settlement for the Bayei. The community informants narrate that the island used to be large enough to have an airstrip but changes in weather patterns have seen water encroachment, reducing its land mass Xeedau or Xhoedau—former river San/Bushmen settlement Xhooisland Mamweresite. The Mamwere, according to a folk-tale of the Bayei ethnic groups, is a mystical woman who inhabited the middle of the Okavango Delta centuries ago. The general location of her territory is at a confluence of two big rivers lying between a lagoon and an island with a palm tree (mokolwane) that ‘never dies’. The island is known to elders who travelled the river using traditional canoes when they were younger. They identify the place as a special place where one could rest over-night if it got too late in the day to continue on their journeys. Currently the place is completely surrounded by water except for small pockets of land, one of which is described as the mythical woman’s home

their past. In turn, stronger connections to their past may affect how visitors perceive these contemporary communities, and this may make it possible to interact with the international visitors who flock to southern Africa’s protected national parks and game reserves, such as the Okavango Delta World Heritage Site (ODWHS), in new and more varied ways.

Conclusion: Finding the Cultural Needle in Nature’s Haystack This chapter highlighted and discussed factors that often lead to southern Africa’s cultural resources remaining obscured in protected landscapes as these are perceived to carry only natural value and significance. The discussions in the chapter further illustrate how African cultural

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heritage resources practitioners can address the lack of acknowledgment, identification, and inclusion of cultural resources in environmental conservation, through engagements such as applied research as illustrated through the Okavango Delta case study above. An ingrained bias toward a branding of protected areas as landscapes of untouched nature and wilderness in southern Africa continues to prevent the recognition and acknowledgment of the cultural heritage components of national parks and game reserves. The production of knowledge through the type of research highlighted through the Okavango Delta case study provides a point of departure that can lead to the inclusion of cultural attributes (archaeological, anthropological, ethnological, and historical) within these well-known ‘natural’ landscapes. Beyond recognition, cultural attributes of these landscapes can then be factored into their interpretation and management and be explored both for community well-being and for their interactions with tourism. In this way, sustainable conservation can be achieved because the recognition of the cultural attributes of these landscapes increases their environmental protection indicators. An increase and a diversity of environmental indicators allows for environmental monitoring to cover a high number of assessment points, consequently enhancing the broader environmental conservation. The haystacks outlined in the first section of this chapter illustrate how a point of departure for bringing together the cultural and natural resource discourses on conservation can be identified. One of the practical ways to achieve balanced interpretation of supposedly natural landscapes is to develop a deliberate applied research approach that embraces meaningful engagement of other disciplines (multidisciplinary) such as cultural heritage-based ones to assess attributes related to their areas of focus. This approach is illustrated by the findings in Fig. 1 and Table 1, that brought out attributes of cultural significance within a supposedly pristine wilderness and wildlife landscape that is included in the World Heritage list as a purely ‘natural’ site. More specifically, the paper argues that a number of designated strategies should be developed and adopted going forward, among these the following four strategies should be highlighted: Firstly, the nature-culture dichotomy, evident in the current ‘wildlife’ and ‘wilderness’ management framework inherent in most of southern


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African, excludes other resources that are crucial in providing different conservation indicators to enhance landscape preservation. This framework needs to be changed both theoretically and in practice. For existing World Heritage Sites, practitioners may need to revisit the original designation of areas as either ‘natural’ or ‘cultural’ landscapes, to assess whether they can be re-designated as ‘mixed sites’ as this allows for both nature-culture acknowledgment and recognition. Overlaying the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage within sites where the UNESCO 1972 Convention on World Heritage has already been implemented, is another way to balance representation of all resource indicators in protected nature landscapes. Studies have shown that the disconnect between the two conventions often leads to negative impacts on the various cultural heritage forms that UNESCO is purporting to conserve (see Keitumetse and Nthoi [2009] on the Tsodilo World Heritage Site, Botswana and Kim’s 2016 case study of the Hahoe village, Korea). Perusal of various case studies helps to reveal how common an imbalanced emphasis on natural and cultural elements is, and also provides hints at new approaches. For instance, in Tanzania, in the Serengeti National Park, residents were relocated to enable and enhance the preservation of ‘wildlife’ and ‘wilderness.’ In contrast, in the Ngorongoro Crater National Park, Tanzania, people still reside alongside the wild animals, indicating that an enforced relocation is not always necessary. These two examples illustrate that both approaches have been tried and tested, with advantages and disadvantages available for us to learn from when shaping future conservation models. In addition to protected areas, there are other natural resource policy instruments which can be used to enhance the safeguarding of cultural heritage. The 1971 Ramsar Convention on wetlands is one example of an instrument that has already attempted to mainstream components of cultural heritage in landscapes otherwise regarded as natural in form. The Ramsar Convention’s chapter on the ‘Cultural heritage of wetlands’ provides a guide on how to consider alternative resources when managing wetlands. However, for most of the relevant instruments, much still needs to be done, and some of the existing conventions, such as the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), would be an ideal candidate

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for review with a view to change toward a balanced interpretation of environmental landscapes. Secondly, most of southern Africa’s protected areas are interpreted either as natural resources or as tourist assets. Tourism by its very nature transforms landscapes into a capitalist concern, and the substantial revenue accrued from nature-tourism makes it difficult for practitioners to consider other (e.g., cultural) values attached to such environments. It is, therefore, important that the ‘sustainable interpretation’ of landscapes is considered so that broader environmental assessment indicators for conservation monitoring can be accounted for. The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) charter on interpretation (2008) defines ‘sustainable interpretation’ as that which enables intellectual access and understanding; uses and draws upon accepted scholarly methods and living traditions; covers a wider context and setting; respects authenticity; has sustainability as a central goal; includes heritage stakeholders in their entirety; and engages in continuing research, training, and evaluation of site identities. Such aspirations should be made commonplace and part of routine engagement with protected areas. This will add to several layers of meaning and values and help to highlight the cultural attributes of landscapes, as well as ensure more indepth nature appreciation, more meaningful and new forms of tourism, and local engagement. Thirdly, research-based conservation approaches are proving to be very effective tools in developing countries (see CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship by National Park Service, first issue 2003). Collaborative-multidisciplinary applied research in ‘natural’ landscapes is crucial for enhanced conservation. It is important to recognize that whereas attempts to change conservation attitudes, mainly implemented through a focus on practical strategies, have tended to fail, research-based approaches promise alternative choices. This is because practice-based approaches have failed due to a lack of understanding of baseline conceptual issues that could have been fleshed-out through research—this is evidenced by the case study on the Okavango Delta presented above where only ‘natural’ attributes of the landscape were acknowledged and touted as being representative of the landscape, but the understandings


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provided by other disciplines are excluded. As such this chapter emphasizes the relevance of multidisciplinary collaborative research that has the potential to inform policy on a much broader scale than hitherto has been the norm. The literature on sustainable development identifies two broad categories: ‘weak’ sustainability which uses human capital as an indicator (Biely et al. 2018), and ‘strong’ sustainability which relies on nature capital as an indicator (Pearce and Atkinson 1993; Gutés 1996; Ayres et al. 1998). The former is popularly attributed to a concern with sustaining development from a human perspective, whereas the latter is commonly attributed to sustaining the environment from a biophysical point of view. Of these two categories, cultural heritage resources fall under the human capital category. However, as the terminology indicates, these forms of sustainability focus primarily on economic values, a standpoint which is criticized by some scholars because it fails to consider the cultural values imbued in the environment (cf. Chan et al. 2012). To aim toward the sustainable engagement of cultural heritage resources, it is important that the relationship between the ‘haystack’ (natural environment) and ‘needle’ (cultural resources) is constantly monitored and evaluated in order to allow for the formulation of solutions that strike a balance between both of these resources’ visibility and recognition in environmental conservation practice.

Policy Suggestions 1. Inventorying of the cultural heritage of National Parks and conservation areas through research-based conservation approaches is a valuable first step toward encouraging a more balanced interpretation of these landscapes. 2. ‘Wildlife’ and ‘wilderness’ spaces need to become regarded as more than tourism assets. They are also resident communities’ identity spaces. 3. Existing designations should be re-examined in light of their cultural attributes and existing policies should be re-worked to break down the nature-culture divide which they reify.

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References Ayres, R.U., J.C.J.M. Bergh, and J.M. Gowdy. 1998. Viewpoint: Weak Versus Strong Sustainability, 98-103/3. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Tinbergen Institute. Biely, K., D. Maes, and S. Van Passel. 2018. The Idea of Weak Sustainability Is Illegitimate. Environment, Development and Sustainability 20 (1): 223–232. Büscher, B., and M. Ramutsindela. 2015. Green Violence: Rhino Poaching and the War to Save Southern Africa’s Peace Parks. African Affairs 115 (458): 1–22. Chan, K.M., T. Satterfield, and J. Goldstein. 2012. Rethinking Ecosystem Services to Better Address and Navigate Cultural Values. Ecological economics, 74, 8–18. Gutés, M.C. 1996. The Concept of Weak Sustainability. Ecological Economics 17 (3): 147–156. Henk, D. 2005. The Botswana Defence Force and the War Against Poachers in Southern Africa. Small Wars & Insurgencies 16 (2): 170–191. ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites). 2008. The ICOMOS Charter for the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites. Paris, France. Keitumetse, S. O., and O. Nthoi. 2009. Investigating the Impact of World Heritage Site Tourism on the Intangible Heritage of a Community: Tsodilo Hills World Heritage site, Botswana. International Journal of Intangible Heritage 4: 144–149. Keitumetse, S.O. 2011. Sustainable Development and Cultural Heritage Management in Botswana: Towards Sustainable Communities. Sustainable Development 19 (1): 49–59. Keitumetse, S.O. 2016a. International Conventions as Frameworks of Management and Identity for African Cultural Heritage. African Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management, 23–61. Cham: Springer. Keitumetse, S.O. 2016b. Towards Sustainable Communities: CommunityBased Cultural Heritage Resources Management (COBACHREM) Model. African Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management, 89–111. Cham: Springer. Keitumetse, S.O. 2016c. Heritage Enterprising: Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism in Southern Africa. African Cultural Heritage Conservation and


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Management: Theory and Practice from Southern Africa, 157–179. Cham: Springer. Keitumetse, S.O., and M.G. Pampiri. 2016. Community Cultural Identity in Nature-Tourism Gateway Areas: Maun Village, Okavango Delta World Heritage Site, Botswana. Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage 3 (2): 99–117. Kim, S. 2016. World Heritage Site Designation Impacts on a Historic Village: A Case study on Residents’ Perceptions of Hahoe Village (Korea). Sustainability 8: 258. Maathai, W. 2004. Nature, Nurture. Available Online at: http://www.alternet. org/author/wangari-maathai. Maingi, J.K., J.M. Mukeka, D.M. Kyale, and R.M. Muasya. 2012. Spatiotemporal Patterns of Elephant Poaching in South-Eastern Kenya. Wildlife Research 39 (3): 234–249. Pearce, D.W., and G.D. Atkinson. 1993. Capital Theory and the Measurement of Sustainable Development: An Indicator of “Weak” Sustainability. Ecological Economics 8 (2): 103–108. Ramsar, I. 1971. Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Especially as Waterfowl Habitat. Ramsar (Iran), February 2. United Nations. 1992. Convention on Biological Diversity. Paris. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meeting, Paris, 17th October to 21st November 1972, 17th session. Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage adopted 1972. Paris: UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meeting, Paris, 29 September to17th October 2003, 32nd session. Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, adopted 17th October 2003. Paris: France.

African Cultural Heritage and Economic Development: Dancing in the Forests of Time Paul J. Lane

Introduction: Framing Heritage Challenges Heritage, whether African or otherwise, is an elusive concept that is hard to tie down. There are dominant views on what constitutes both natural and cultural heritage, just as there are dominant understandings of tangible versus intangible heritage, all of which are accompanied by a raft of governmental legislative frameworks, institutions, proscriptions, and systems for attributing value to those ‘things’ called heritage. This Authorised Heritage Discourse (AHD), as Laurajane Smith (2006: 11) termed it, is now routinely contrasted with other evaluations and philosophies of heritage that coexist alongside AHD, and attribute heritage significance in different ways and oftentimes to different kinds of ‘things.’ As countless case studies have shown in recent decades, these ‘other’ P. J. Lane (B) Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



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heritage discourses typically question key notions of ‘universal value’ that underpin much of what AHD is about. This paper offers a series of vignettes on some of these issues as they relate principally to ‘cultural heritage,’ so as to highlight some of the key challenges that Africa’s heritage professionals may have to face over the coming decades. I focus on six broad, yet-interlinked topics (Table 1) so as to explore, on the one hand, some of the epistemological and ontological issues relating to ideas of indigenous knowledge and non-AHD constructs of heritage and cultural empowerment, and, on the other, the practical challenges of integrating heritage protection, conservation, and monitoring into enabling resilient and sustainable societies and environments. My main argument is that if these challenges are to be negotiated successfully (by which I mean so as to minimize detrimental effects on cultural heritage), they are likely to require organizational changes, the redirection of research activities and management resources, and greater intellectual scrutiny than has sometimes been the case heretofore. I make no claim that this list is comprehensive—and other contributors to this volume make equally pertinent suggestions. Table 1 Heritage challenges for Africa (Compiled by author) Challenge 1 Challenge 2

Challenge 3

Challenge 4

Challenge 5:

Challenge 6

Determining the epistemological basis of indigenous archaeologies, and their heritage consequences How to write, tell, and present unsettled histories in a manner that fosters mutual understanding and recognition of the contributions made to today’s society by different communities, without glossing over the consequences of more painful legacies Thinking more creatively about how an understanding of the past can help us plan for a better, more environmentally sustainable future Historicising African Indigenous Knowledge systems through integrated cross-disciplinary research and identifying their role in enhancing socio-ecological and cultural resilience How to better integrate heritage protection, conservation, and monitoring into the planning systems at local, regional, and national levels Determining the antiquity of African cultural hybridity and its legacies both on the continent and elsewhere in the world

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It is important to stress, also, that I approach these issues from my perspective as a British-trained archaeologist—although I hope one who has embraced the notion of transdisciplinary research—and as a consequence I give greater weight to challenges that relate to tangible rather than intangible cultural heritage. This is not meant to diminish the significance of intangible cultural heritage and the work that has been and is being done to promote it in different settings on the continent (e.g., Keitumetse 2006; De Jong 2007; Mire 2007; Nic Eoin and King 2013). However, as will become clear later, I am skeptical about the longterm value of the distinction between tangible and intangible heritage— at least as articulated by UNESCO and its supporters—and favor instead a more holistic perspective (see also, e.g., Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 2004; Pétursdóttir 2013).

Heritage Time As already intimated, the term ‘heritage’ means different things to different people and has diverse connotations even within related disciplines and discourses (Turnpenny 2004; Smith 2004; Vecco 2010; Pétursdóttir 2013). Literally meaning ‘that which can be inherited,’ the term is now used to refer to quite diverse entities, including its common association in archaeology with specific artifacts or sites; its usage within ecology and conservation to refer to ecosystems and landscapes; and in anthropology, history and development studies as a synonym for local tradition and knowledge. Cultural heritage has often been regarded in a positive light, despite recurrent critiques, as something that needs to be protected from unrestrained modernization; as a source of pride; as a way to guide development based on ‘indigenous knowledge’; and as a resource to promote tourism. None of these are without their particular problems and challenges, however (e.g., AlSayyad 2001; Holtorf 2006; Boswell and O’Kane 2011; Tengberg et al. 2012; Lafrenz Samuels 2016). Cultural heritage preservation efforts may also have unintended negative consequences, such as the increased gentrification of urban neighborhoods and the resulting exclusion of certain groups from access


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to their heritage sites and monuments (Donaldson et al. 2013). Furthermore, the use of scarce financial and human resources to protect and conserve cultural heritage is sometimes portrayed in a more negative light, imposing an unaffordable financial burden and drawing resources away from other more pressing concerns such as the provision of good public health and education services (Spennemann 1999). It is partly in response to such negative perceptions of the cost to public finances of maintaining cultural heritage as a social good that heritage professionals are now arguing that cultural heritage needs to be ‘put to work’ (see, e.g., Bhola 2003; European Union 2015). Part of the reason why attitudes to cultural heritage can be so ambivalent is due to its dual temporality. As ‘heritage’ it is necessarily of the past—and in many cases, the past of some considerable time ago. However, cultural heritage also exists in the present, and whether tangible or intangible, is something that requires dealing with in our everyday lives. This dual temporality—a manifestation of tradition in the modern world—can thus create a perception that cultural heritage works to hold back progress and development rather than enable these. This may be taken quite literally, in the sense that archaeological impact assessments and mitigation work may be considered unnecessarily time-consuming luxuries that delay construction and mining projects, adding financial costs to these without any immediately obvious future monetary returns. This happened, for example, during the construction of the Bui Dam on the Black Volta River, Ghana in 2007–2011, where the commissioning authority was reluctant to act on the recommendations for mitigation work made following an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (Fig. 1). As Wazi Apoh and Kodzo Gavua (2016: 207) note, their ‘key rationale was that shortfalls in electrical power supply and the need to quickly provide an uninterrupted supply’ were of greater national priority than protecting the cultural heritage and built environment threatened by construction activities. The controversy over the process by which an Australian mining company (Coal of Africa Limited) was awarded a concession to develop and operate open-cast and underground coal mining close to the World Heritage Site of Mapungubwe, South Africa, is another well-documented case (Centre for Applied Legal Studies 2016). Both examples underline the delicate balances that need to be

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Fig. 1 Bui Dam, Ghana under construction in 2010 (Photo credit: Wazi Apoh, August 2010)

found between promoting economic growth and wealth-generation, with protecting and managing significant cultural heritage resources. When conceived primarily as something of the past, cultural heritage, especially with respect to cultural practices and beliefs, may be deemed anti-modern and retrograde. The destruction on September 11, 2016 of a 190-year-old building in Tinubu Square, Lagos known as Ilojo Bar seems, for example, to have been motivated by precisely such sentiments ( 2016). Formerly also known variously as Angel House and Casa De Fernendez, the building was the best surviving example of a style of Brazilian-inspired architecture that was popular in the early nineteenth century and closely associated with manumitted slaves who had returned to Nigeria to begin a new life. Despite being a gazetted monument, the building was destroyed by a developer acting on behalf of some of the family owners to make way for a commercial development. Within the context of Africa, with its complex histories of European and other colonial encounters, different heritage traces may also be valued differently—some despised, deliberately neglected, or even


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destroyed,1 others celebrated as a source of indigenous innovation and accomplishments, and other traces simply ignored (Fig. 2). However, we should not forget that the importance of laying claim to a ‘pre-colonial past’ to demonstrate that African societies had histories that were as diverse and as rich as those of Europe and North America was a central part of the process of decolonization. This was clearly recognized by several of the first generation of leaders of independent African nations. The best-known example of this is probably the statement made by Sir Seretse Khama, Botswana’s first president, at the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland graduation ceremony in 1970: We should write our own history books to prove that we did have a past, and that it was a past that was just as worth writing and learning about as any other. We must do this for the simple reason that a nation without a past is a lost nation, and a people without a past are a people without a soul. (cited in Phaladi 1998: 233)

Similar sentiments can be found in the speeches of other firstgeneration post-independence African leaders, including President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, as for example in his 1962 speech at the opening of the first Congress of Africanists (Nkrumah 1973: 206–217); and President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania in his opening address at the International Congress on African History in 1965 (Nyerere 1968: 80– 85), and his speech on ‘The University’s role in the development of the new countries’ in 1966 (Nyerere 1968: 179–186). The importance of the past as a source of identity and self-confidence was also central to the writings of the earliest proponents of Pan-Africanism, including Cheikh Anta Diop and William Du Bois (MacDonald 2003), while also incorporating notions of négritude as developed by Aimé Césaire and Léopold Senghor (Holl 1990: 301–304). The debates stimulated by the publication of Black Athena (Bernal 1987) likewise underline the significance and importance of history and notions about the past in contemporary constructions of personal and national identity in newly independent African countries. The value of promoting and preserving Africa’s diverse cultures and ‘indigenous knowledge’ systems was also given prominence at the start

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Fig. 2 a ‘Forgotten heritage’? Remains of a British colonial fort occupied between 1901 and 1904, at Loiminange, southern end of Lake Baringo, Kenya, and now a mission site (Photo credit: Paul Lane, April 2017); b Residual fragments of the Bakwena National Office, Ntwseng, Molepolole, Botswana (Photo credit: Paul Lane, March 2015); c Abandoned tanks from the 2nd (1983–2005) Sudanese Civil War, Juba, South Sudan (Photo credit: Paul Lane, October 2009)


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of this century by NEPAD—the New Partnership for Africa’s Development—which was launched in 2001 at the 37th Summit of the Organization for African Unity (African Union 2001). More recently, the creation of an African continent with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values, and ethics, in a manner that ensures the restoration and preservation of Africa’s cultural heritage, has been restated as a key aspiration of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, adopted at its 24th Annual Ordinary Assembly 30–31 January 2015 (African Union 2015). In light of these kinds of public political statements on the significance of heritage and culture for Africa’s development as a continent and for its individual nation-states, it is somewhat ironic, to say the least, that the teaching and practice of both archaeology, history, and critical heritage studies despite such overt statements, have received only limited government support in most independent African nations. The lack of both resources and trained personnel has been a recurrent trope in most commentaries on the state of these disciplines (e.g., Musonda 1990: 11–15; Karega-M˜unene 1996; Mabulla 2000: 212). As if to underline this devaluing of the importance of history and archaeology by African governments, Neil Parsons noted over a decade ago that Seretse Khama’s famous exhortation about the value of the past was frequently being rendered as: ‘A nation without a culture is a nation without a soul’ in official references to the speech in Botswana, without any reference to history (Parsons 2006: 668–669). Accordingly, cultural heritage professionals working in Africa perhaps need to consider the implications of these different assessments of the ‘value’ of the continent’s tangible and intangible heritage, and what lies behind more negative evaluations of the past and its study. As Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels (2009) has noted for North Africa, and Colin Breen (2014) for the African continent more generally, archaeology and heritage management are becoming increasingly linked to strategies aimed at promoting sustainable development and poverty reduction. While welcoming these developments, both caution against an uncritical acceptance that local communities will value their heritage in the same way as heritage professionals, or that they will necessarily agree that their heritage should be ‘put to work’ for the same reasons or with the same aims in mind as now being articulated within the heritage

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Table 2 Suggested ways to make heritage ‘work’ for different sectors Economy

Society Environment

Promote innovative finance, investment, governance, management and business models to increase the effectiveness of cultural heritage as an economic production factor Promote the innovative use of cultural heritage to encourage integration, inclusiveness, cohesion and participation Promote innovative and sustainable use of cultural heritage to enable it to realise its full potential in contributing to the sustainable development of... landscapes and environments

Source European Commission (2015: 8–9)

professions (Table 2). Local communities may even regard the goals of archaeology and heritage conservation as antithetical to their own beliefs (Kankpeyeng et al. 2009). Elsewhere, I have argued that one (of several) potentially key reason(s) why the contributions—both actual and potential—of archaeological research are so poorly recognized may lie in the assumption that the discipline is regarded as being a modernist and largely Western invention (Lane 2013; see also Eyo 1994 on ambivalent attitudes toward Western concepts of ‘the museum’). If considered simply as a formal academic discipline, this may well be true. The birth of archaeology as a professional practice/distinct discipline in the nineteenth century certainly gave a particular value to ‘things’ as sources of evidence about the past in a manner that was founded on a combination of the principles of Newtonian physics and Cartesian metaphysics (Thomas 2004). However, it is well known that individuals throughout the world place considerable importance on the historical associations of particular objects, buildings, and spaces. While it is by no means ‘universal,’ there is also a growing body of well-documented examples of non-Western societies using elements of the physical remains of previous inhabitants of their area in their construction of historical narratives about their place in that world and their relationship to those previous inhabitants (e.g., Van Dyke and Alcock 2003). These attitudes have also had important consequences for what has been preserved and why these particular material remains and not others, as well as how such alternative archaeologies2 may be deployed in the management of heritage


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resources today (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2007). Even at the level of routine practice, decisions such as those entailing repair, modification, replacement, curation, preservation, or disposal all draw on specific cultural understanding of the historical value of an object and the contextual appropriateness of this value. Recent research on these themes has thus undermined the assumption that archaeology is an exclusively Western, modernist sensibility. Furthermore, recognition of the importance individuals throughout the world place on the historical associations of particular objects, buildings, and spaces, and how they use these in their construction of their own pasts, opens up the possibility for a reappraisal of how we conceptualize archaeological remains and their management (Fig. 3). Unfortunately, the manner in which historical objects are mobilized by different contemporary societies to construct a ‘past’ has been poorly studied—although a

Fig. 3 Traces of early Dogon villages immediately below Tellem remains (eleventh to sixteenth century AD), Banani, Bandiagara escarpment Mali. Dogon have a refined understanding of the chronology of the architectural remains in their landscape that is used to tie specific lineage histories to particular places in the landscape (Photo credit: Paul Lane, October 1980)

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well-established disciplinary subfield, ethnoarchaeology, must surely be one of the best research strategies available for identifying the characteristics of different ‘indigenous’ archaeologies and heritage making (see Lane 2016, and references therein for further discussion). Addressing such knowledge gaps must now be treated as a research priority.

Indigenizing African Archaeology The development of ‘Indigenous archaeology’ in North America and elsewhere over the last few decades is closely linked to the development of post-colonial perspectives and practices. Sonya Atalay, for example, has argued that archaeologists, especially those working in former settler societies and other countries subjected to Western colonialism, need to develop a ‘collaborative approach that blends the strengths of Western archaeological science with the knowledge and epistemologies of Indigenous peoples’ (Atalay 2006: 301). In a similar vein, George Nicholas (2010: 233) has stated that failure to incorporate indigenous approaches within the discipline ‘will limit significantly or marginalise the potential contributions of archaeology as a more representative and responsible discipline and constrain its continued intellectual growth.’ A basic feature of these statements is that they draw a contrast between archaeological approaches to understanding and writing about the past, and Indigenous constructs of history and the knowledge systems of which these form a part. In both the cited examples, and in broader trends within the discipline (Watkins 2000), the goals of promoting Indigenous archaeology/archaeologies are to celebrate these alternative strategies; challenge long held assumptions about who has the right, authority, and power to interpret the past; and wrest exclusive control over the production and use of archaeological knowledge from the discipline of archaeology. Beyond this, however, there are considerable differences between various calls for the development of ‘Indigenous archaeologies,’ and in the issues they highlight, ranging from contrasting interpretations of the past, to debates over rights of access, and the repatriation of human remains and objects (McNiven 2016). Archaeologists


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also use multiple, and sometimes conflicting definitions of ‘Indigenous people’, that may diverge from both formal definitions (such as those favored by the United Nations) and taken for granted concepts circulating in the public sphere. Archaeologists working in Africa have certainly noted that archaeology’s ‘governing paradigms and epistemologies often conflict with African historical needs, views of the past, and ways of structuring time and space’ (Schmidt 1995: 119). Recognition of this has encouraged calls for alternative archaeologies (Andah 1995; Pwiti 1996). Nonetheless, there have been relatively few explicit calls for the development of ‘Indigenous archaeologies,’ and instead recent debates have focused more on the need for the creation of post-colonial archaeological practices (e.g., Schmidt 2009), the ethical issues this raises (e.g., Shepherd 2015), the mechanisms by which this transformation might be achieved (e.g., Giblin 2012), and their possible consequences (e.g., Ndlovu 2011). Where the concept of ‘indigenous archaeology’ (without a capital ‘I’) has featured in recent discussions, it is usually used somewhat interchangeably for different manifestations of archaeological engagement with ‘the public’ and ‘local’ communities (e.g., Chirikure and Pwiti 2008), or with reference to the importance of ‘indigenous’ or customary custodianship (e.g., Jopela 2011) and others strands of ‘indigenous knowledge’ in heritage management and applied archaeology (Stump 2013a). In both regards, the concept of ‘community’ or ‘collaborative’ archaeology seems to be preferred over ‘Indigenous archaeology’ (e.g., Chirikure et al. 2010; Almansa et al. 2011; Schmidt 2014; Pikirayi 2014; Schmidt and Pikirayi 2016). This contrasts with the situation in many other parts of the world, especially North America and Australasia where the concept first gained intellectual capital (Watkins 2000). Defining the term ‘Indigenous’ is complicated, as the appellation ‘indigenous/Indigenous’ (i.e., with or without a capital ‘I’) can mean quite different things in different contexts (Lane 2014; McNiven 2016). In one sense, we are all ‘indigenous,’ at least in particular settings, since we all have some ties to a particular space within the broader global community (Corntassel 2003). Consequently, in contexts such as those found across much of sub-Saharan Africa where the majority of the population would probably describe themselves if asked as ‘indigenous,’

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there may be little call or cause for self-definition as such (Lane 2017; see, inter alia, Hodgson 2009 for a broader discussion). However, we should not lose sight of the fact that Africa’s poor, rural and politically nondominant peoples are often considered exotic or marginal by their urban and agricultural neighbors, and as a result commonly experience various forms of prejudice, discrimination, and a lack of recognition of key human rights. These communities more closely qualify for designation as ‘Indigenous Peoples’ as understood in terms of the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (United Nations 2008). Botswana’s N/oakhwe populations (known as San in the academic literature, and as Basarwa in Setswana) are an obvious example—although the Botswana Government has frequently contested their claim to such a status, arguing instead that all Batswana are ‘indigenous’ (Saugestad 2011). The different Twa communities of Central Africa are another obvious group given their current low political and socioeconomic status, historical and cultural trajectories, and history of discrimination by neighboring societies and the state (Vandeginste 2014). Adding to such complexities, with regard to sub-Saharan Africa there is the further distinction between ‘indigenous’ and ‘autochthonous.’ The latter term is more widely used in Francophone West and Central Africa, partly because ‘indigene’ (the French near equivalent for ‘indigenous’) was widely employed as a term of abuse during the colonial era, and hence in former French and Belgian colonies on the continent the appellation ‘indigenous’ may be considered to be insulting rather than a desirable status (Friedman 2008: 31). Derived from the Greek word ‘autochthon,’ autochthony means ‘born from the soil’ (Ceuppens and Geschiere 2005). The term was used initially in West Africa by French colonial authorities so as to distinguish those of their colonial subjects who were ‘of the soil’ and those who, despite being more recent migrants, were the non-European ‘ruling class.’ Hence, like ‘Indigenous,’ the term ‘autochthonous’ generally implies temporal priority of settlement and a degree of political subordination, although unlike the latter these communities are not necessarily marginal but rather believe that their resources, culture, or power are threatened by ‘migrants’ (Gausett et al. 2011: 139).


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While African governments may be resistant to the notion of Indigenous Peoples, on the grounds that such categorization has the potential to foster disharmony between ethnically diverse national populations, African societies commonly make distinctions within their own oral histories and traditions between ‘first-comers’ (‘les primo-arrivants’ in French) and latecomers (‘les nouveaux arrivants’). A particular heritage challenge that needs to be addressed, therefore, is how do we write archaeologies and historical narratives that give due recognition to the copious material, linguistic, and genetic evidence for long histories of population migration and replacement that do not over romanticize the social and political consequences of these processes, and which also do not provide material that could fuel the fires of ethnic conflict? To put this differently, how should we write about unsettled histories? That is, histories that are unsettled: firstly, in their initial enactment, being as much about moving on as about staying in place; secondly, in the sense that the historical narratives of these settlement histories cannot be fully resolved; thirdly, that particular histories can be unsettling in an emotional sense (as research on the legacies of the Transatlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades has highlighted, e.g., MacGonagle 2006; Gijanto 2011; Wynne-Jones 2011); and finally, that in their telling these ‘unsettled histories’ also challenge dominant narratives and perceptions concerning Africa and its peoples’ place in the world.

Sustaining Heritage The next heritage challenge I want to draw attention to regards livelihoods and how an understanding of cultural heritage can potentially contribute to improving these and to sustaining African environments. To start with, it is worth noting that roughly 65% of sub-Saharan Africans currently rely on agriculture for their livelihood, with the majority of these as subsistence pastoralists, farmers, or mixed agropastoralists. Agriculture provides ca. 30–40% of the continent’s gross domestic product, yet few farms are more than a couple of hectares in extent and most agricultural production is organized at the household

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or community level while also being at least partially commercialized (Brzeska et al. 2012). As well as having particular significance for devising sustainable futures for sub-Saharan Africans (World Bank 2008; Haggblade and Hazell 2010), the centrality of agriculture in most contemporary African economies also points to a long and intricate history, or more strictly histories, of food production over the course of at least seven millennia (Fig. 4). These histories have included independent domestication of different food crops and possibly also some domestic animals; the modification and manipulation of ecological niches to better suit the needs of farming and herding; the nurturing of new crossbreeds, hybrids, and varieties better adapted to distinctively African ecological conditions; and the exploitation of a vast array of other plant species that seemingly have not undergone significant morphological change as a consequence.3 The adoption of a wide range of ‘exotic’ species from other parts of the globe—such as banana and taro, both of which were originally domesticated in SE Asia—has also had a significant role in

Fig. 4 ‘Heritage’ of fields: a domesticated Marakwet landscape of intercropping and arboriculture as seen from the Cherangani escarpment, Tot, Kenya (Photo credit: Paul Lane, September 2011)


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shaping food histories and culinary heritage on the continent (on maize, see, e.g., McCann 2005; on food security, see Logan 2016). As critically, the consequences of the spread of various African domesticates beyond the geographical confines of the continent to other parts of the world also need to be considered as part of this wider culinary heritage story (Carney and Rosomoff 2009). We know, for example, that millets and sorghums first domesticated in the West African Sahel about four and a half thousand years ago were already being regularly cultivated across many parts of the Indian subcontinent within five hundred years, i.e., by 4000 years ago, possibly even earlier (Fuller and Boivin 2009). Such evidence also reminds us that Africans have been part of the global community for millennia, and given what we know about the origins of our own species, it is probably more correct to say that the global community has been part of Africa for much longer. Taking the long view on African agriculture and water management reminds us also that several different agricultural systems often coexisted alongside one another, while also leaving space for the continued existence of hunter-gatherer-fisher populations, thereby generating ethnolinguistic, economic, and political mosaics that diversified further with the emergence of urban communities. By the early first millennium CE, several sophisticated systems of intensive agriculture and irrigation were in operation in many parts of the continent, and not just along the Nile (Stump 2013b). Most of the sub-Saharan systems, which developed in both rain-poor and rain-rich areas, were organized and operated within non-hierarchical social systems, in marked contrast to the command economies of Mesopotamia and other so-called great civilizations. We find similar systems in operation today (Widgren and Sutton 2004). Understanding how these systems are organized, and their origins, can bring a fresh perspective to current debates regarding the benefits of the commercialization of water management and water as an economic good versus decentralized community management and water as a human right. This knowledge may also have more practical application as a source of models for the effective capture of ‘green water.’ This will become increasingly important in the coming century, particularly if average global temperatures and their effects on rainfall distribution continue to rise at their current rate (Rockström and Falkenmark 2015).

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It is estimated, for instance, that by 2030, 75 million to 250 million people in Africa will be living in areas of high water stress. This has the potential to displace anywhere between 24 million and 700 million people, across up to 25 countries, with major potential impacts on health, food supply, poverty levels, security, industrial and economic development and ecological resilience (Besada and Werner 2015). Yet, in much the same way that international interest in improving contemporary agriculture has lagged behind work on other continents, research on how to use knowledge about the effectiveness of past systems of environmental management and sustainable food production as found on the African continent, remains limited and, integrated multi-disciplinary studies even more so. The reasons for these large gaps are numerous. They include the low numbers of professional scientists and researchers in most sub-Saharan African countries; internal and external research agendas that have directed research attention toward other topics; and the limited funding available to support research, especially for local scholars. A further problem is that until very recently (e.g., Stump 2010; Davies 2012) heritage professionals have also failed to engage with these kinds of issues—focusing on what the tangible and intangible evidence can tell us about the past but neglecting to think about what African cultural heritage can do for the future. This is unfortunate given the diversity of sources available. Interestingly, the origins of food production in sub-Saharan Africa followed a different trajectory to that of most other regions with the adoption of domestic animals typically preceding the adoption of food crops (Lane 2015a). Moreover, the histories of food production and autochthonous systems of water management on the continent offer numerous opportunities for novel theoretical insights into a range of topics: the creation and maintenance of ethnic mosaics across moving and stable frontiers; the drivers of agricultural intensification, and the ecological impacts of the adoption of farming; the reconstruction of ideological structures and patterns of descent; propositions concerning ‘landscape domestication’; and the role of indigenous knowledge in planning for sustainable and resilient futures. Key to facilitating these kinds of contributions both substantively and theoretically will be the development of more sophisticated approaches to the study of human-nature interactions.


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Heritage Natures African ecosystems have been shaped over millennia by diverse interactions between changing climatic conditions, biophysical variables (such as soil, vegetation, and fauna), and ever-increasing human interventions. These ‘heritage natures’ in which humans and nature have been intimately entangled for centuries, perhaps even millennia, both coproducing the other, are now under pressure from rapid population growth and the associated resource needs this has created. Also, it is anticipated that likely climatic and atmospheric change will have significant consequences for human-ecosystem relationships thereby posing new challenges for their management and sustainable development (Midgley and Bond 2015). Governance, land tenure, and economic conditions may also change, further complicating the task of ecosystem management. Recent research has suggested that understandings of past humanecosystem-environmental interactions and how these evolved can be of central importance to planning and designing more resilient societies and sustainable food production systems (Marchant and Lane 2014). Critically, the long history and extent of such interactions as revealed by these studies means that few places, if any, in Africa can be thought of as truly ‘pristine’. Yet all too often, large tracts of African landscapes, especially those now set aside for wildlife conservation, have been presented in precisely these terms (Neumann 1998). Because many of these landscapes have been associated historically with groups that now self-identify as Indigenous Peoples, this has often resulted in their historic portrayal in museums and other interpretive media in largely ahistorical terms and as being part of nature and the wilderness, rather than as cultured human beings (Davison 2001). While such negative stereotyping should rightly be criticized, it is instructive to note that in some parts of the continent self-identifying Indigenous Peoples are now positioning themselves as the rightful and original custodians of nature conservation areas, and many international conservation bodies are responding to such claims (Colchester 2003; Robinson 2011). These efforts can certainly be applauded on a number of fronts, not least for empowering local communities and fostering greater participation in wildlife conservation efforts and even bringing

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genuine economic benefits. However, we must also be cautious about some of these claims and not be too easily swayed by the rhetoric of sustainability (Lane 2015b). To put this differently, much more research needs to be directed at establishing the temporal depth of particular components of indigenous knowledge (Stump 2010), and especially those that are currently being proposed as providing solutions to current environmental crises. One of the most effective ways to begin to address this challenge is through the development of historical ecology in a manner that complicates the notion of human environmental impacts by acknowledging the possibility that disturbance caused by human activities has often played a key role, as in Amazonia (e.g., Erickson 2008; Balée 2013) in enhancing the diversity and complexity of specific ecosystems. Most African ecosystems thus need to be understood as ‘constructed’ or ‘domesticated’ landscapes in which nature is as much part of the human sphere as humans are of nature. Examples can be found across the continent, from the West African rainforest (Fraser et al. 2015) to the grazing lawns of East African semiarid savannah landscapes (Lane 2016). The latter have diverse origins and complex histories (Petek 2015). Thus, it is known that various natural processes including fires, long-term droughts, ungulate densities and grazing regimes, and the actions of large keystone species such as elephants and rhinos can all contribute to the creation of glades and the maintenance of grazing lawns (Boles and Lane 2016). Ecological research has also confirmed that in some landscapes glades mark the location of abandoned pastoralist settlements where livestock is consistently penned overnight as a result of a series of linked relations of ecological mutualism (Boles and Lane 2016; Marshall et al. 2018). Once established, a series of feedback mechanisms can come into play that help maintain glades within the landscape by restricting tree recruitment, and in so doing set in train additional ecological processes that typically enhance localized biodiversity at all trophic levels. Oral histories have shown that these glades can remain as biodiversity hotspots for upwards of a hundred years. Ongoing archaeological research suggests that some may even remain within the landscape for considerably longer, and it is possible that some glades created by intensive human activity have sustained high levels of biodiversity for almost 600 years (see Lane 2016),


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and in some instances potentially for several thousand years (Marshall et al. 2018). Unlike sacred groves, which are found widely distributed across the African continent and are acknowledged as biodiversity ‘hotspots’ derived from their active management as important sociocultural and religious spaces (Sheridan and Nyamweru 2008), glades are largely the result of unintended consequences of pastoralist settlement dynamics. Nonetheless, this particular example illustrates a broader point that knowledge about the past is not simply a means of satisfying our ‘backward-looking curiosity’ but can also play a fundamental role in helping understand the present (Lane 2009) and potentially also in planning a sustainable future (Ekblom 2015; Lindholm 2015).

Urbanizing Heritage While it is important to consider rural contexts and the value of African farming and herding heritage, more of Africa’s population now live in urban settings. Accordingly, the legacies of urbanism, the transformations in urban dwelling, how these relate to shifting concepts of urbanity, and the sustainability of Africa’s towns and cities, are all issues that require critical consideration. As Paul Sinclair and colleagues (2016: 2) have recently highlighted, globally there have been massive losses ‘of social-ecological memory among present-day urban residents about how to produce food and procure water for domestic consumption,’ with a consequent erosion of urban ‘resilience and the diversity of options needed for urban systems to accommodate perturbations and reorganise food systems.’ Also, the continuing growth of cities, and the stimulus this will give to the extraction industries, will inevitably pose increased pressures on heritage resources management. If even only a tiny proportion of those that are likely to be threaten with destruction are to be preserved—whether on record or physically—this will require far more efficient systems of archaeological impact assessment and mitigation than currently exist, and considerably more robust planning systems (Lane 2011). I am not convinced that the heritage professions as whole in Africa have fully recognized the scale of urban expansion that is likely to

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occur over the next half century, so it is worth considering some of the commonly cited estimates—although I acknowledge these predictions always need to be used cautiously. Between 1950 and 2000, the percentage of urban dwellers in Africa grew from 14.7% of the total population to 36.2% (United Nations Development Programme 2004), and by 2014, it had reached 40% (roughly 455.3 million) (United Nations 2014: 7, 20). The continent’s total population is expected to rise by 60 percent by 2050, with eastern, western, and Central Africa predicted to experience particularly rapid rises. During this same period, the urban population may triple to 1.23 billion (UN-HABITAT 2010), with some of the fastest growth in urban populations likely to occur in the next 15–20 years. Historical trends are also worth reflecting on as they can provide us with some sense of the possible consequences for heritage resources as more land is built on, urban infrastructure is expanded, and the extraction industries supplying raw materials grow to meet escalating demand. One area for which good statistical data are available is West Africa (see Agence Française de Développement 2011), where between 1950 and 2000, the urban population grew from 4.6 million to 74.6 million, and the rate of urbanization across the region as a whole rose from 7.5% p.a. in 1950 to 31% p.a. in 2000. Over the same period, the expansion of urbanized surfaces grew at an average annual rate of 5.1% and the average distance between urban areas was reduced by a factor of three, from 111 km to just 33 km. By 2000, the total built area was calculated as covering 14,450 sq. km (Denis and Moriconi-Ebrard, n.d.). There was also an increase in the total number of ‘urban’ agglomerations (from 125 to 1500), characterized by a proliferation of secondary settlements and increases in the density of settlement of already urbanized spaces. Nearly all of this expansion was left unmonitored by heritage authorities partly because so much of it was driven by informal development. But, even where urban expansion was planned, the lack of routine cultural heritage impact assessments means that virtually nothing is known about how many heritage sites in the region were destroyed or damaged by associated construction and extraction activities over this time period. Although the situation has improved in many countries, both in West Africa and elsewhere on the continent (Arazi and Thiaw 2013), large


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tracts of land and the heritage resources they contain are still likely to be threatened by the predicted expansion of urban settlements and infrastructure in coming decades. The global expansion of urban populations is also having direct consequences across Africa as Asian and Arab nations with rapidly growing urban populations are increasingly acquiring large tracts of land across the continent for intensive agriculture, often accompanied by large scale irrigation projects. Recent assessments of the distribution of such land acquisitions, which are often obtained through back hand deals with local elites and government officials, indicate that somewhere around 51–63 million hectares across Africa had been appropriated, or were in the course of being acquired, by 2009 (Friis and Reenberg 2010). The precise scale of ‘land grabbing’ on the continent is unknown, however, and estimates are regularly contested because of the way in which data have been compiled (Baglioni and Gibbon 2013; Edelman et al. 2013). Even so, it is clear that the Gulf States, China, India, and South Korea are among the major players in this process, although major Western companies are also purchasing large tracts. Multiple drivers are involved; these include the growth in demand for biofuels, wildlife conservation initiatives, and the fallout from the 2008 global financial crisis—which triggered a significant rise in investment in land by multi-nationals and African entrepreneurs. These developments are eroding local food production systems, dispossessing and impoverishing local communities and impacting biodiversity, with little evidence for genuine financial benefits accruing to either regional or national economies (Fairhead et al. 2012 Woodhouse 2012 Messerli et al. 2014). Furthermore, because of the manner in which the land is acquired and then converted to farmland and the geopolitical motivations behind many such acquisitions (Verhoeven 2011; Scheidel and Sorman 2012), this upsurge in external demand for large tracts of land is having a major impact on both tangible, especially archaeological, and intangible cultural heritage in these areas. As events in the Sudan in reaction to dam building (Hafsaas-Tsakos 2011; Kleinitz and Näser 2013) and tensions surrounding other megadevelopments indicate (e.g., Kankpeyeng et al. 2009; Apoh and Gavua 2016), local communities are becoming increasingly hostile to these kinds of acquisitions and it seems likely that violent confrontations over

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land and the cultural heritage it supports may thus become increasingly common across Africa in the near future. Certainly, there has been continuing protest in the Sudan, especially from Nubian communities, over plans for yet more dams and land appropriation (Enough Team 2016). Related to these developments, there are worrying signs that the greater engagement of foreign nationals in commercial farming, construction, and extraction projects is stimulating the looting of sites, although other drivers—including the promotion of tourism—also need to be considered (Keenan 2005; Mayor et al. 2015). All is not necessarily bad, however, and as Shadreck Chirikure (2015) has pointed out, some mining and other companies have been very accommodating of the concerns raised by archaeologists and other heritage professionals. Working with rather than against commercial interests and with major development projects, as demonstrated in different ways by recent projects in Cameroon (MacEachern 2010) and Lesotho (Arthur et al. 2011), although certainly not without challenges—including ethical ones (King and Arthur 2014)—these models can offer a more promising way forward. There can even be some surprising positive consequences—especially when it comes to using mitigation projects as a means to also build and reinforce local capacities and community engagement, even if the end results are not always ideal.

Hybrid Heritages Returning to the issue of modernity introduced above, much more effort needs to be directed toward transforming heritage-oriented disciplines, such as archaeology and museology, so as to avoid the constant reproduction of narrow dualisms of modernity that cast individuals and societies as necessarily being either traditional or modern, and instead embrace more pluralistic concepts. More specifically, recognizing that we need to ‘understand modernity from Africa’ (Geschiere et al. 2008: 4), I suggest that heritage work on the continent would benefit from the development of multi-sited approaches.


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Geschiere and colleagues (2008) draw particular attention to the entangled relations that emerged throughout the Atlantic world following the expansions of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Numerous studies have been undertaken both in Africa and beyond its shores on different forms of commemoration, memorialization, and other heritage work associated with the legacies of this trade (e.g., Kowaleski-Wallace 2006; Smith et al. 2011; Dresser and Hann 2013; Araujo 2014).4 However, few if any of these studies have sought to compare the ways in which tangible and intangible heritage with Transatlantic slavery associations have been mobilized by the different descendant communities and nation-states that were linked to one another during the trade, or how their respective engagements in the trade (whether enforced or willing) shaped each other’s heritage.5 Other commodity (e.g., cocoa, palm oil, and ivory) chains that arose along with slave trading, or as a direct consequence of efforts to abolish the trade in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds, helped fuel industrialization in North America and Europe. These similarly lend themselves to multi-sited analyses. By this I mean parallel studies of and engagement with heritage at multiple sites at different points along the value chains that connected different parts of Africa with places and people outside the continent. Thus, for example, a study of the heritage landscapes of the nineteenth-century trade in eastern African elephant ivory would not just be focused on the tangible and intangible heritage of this trade found in eastern Africa, but would engage also with their associated traces elsewhere, such as Sheffield (Symonds et al. 2006; Unwin 2014) in the UK and Ivoryton CT (Malcarne et al. 2003; Kelly 2014) in the USA—both places where the working of ivory had consequences for their historical trajectories (Fig. 5). It would also need to consider the localities in India, Europe, and North America where products, such as beads, cotton cloth, and brass wire, were produced for exchange with ivory, and other ‘sites’ associated with the consumption of ivory. Even in eastern Africa, given the multiplicity of actors and agents involved in the trade, from hunters and caravan porters to the financiers, merchants, and ivory buyers, multi-sited research is needed. To be effective, precisely because regional histories have been globally entangled for millennia,

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Fig. 5 Part of Africa’s heritage? Former factory where ivory from East Africa was cut and processed during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Ivoryton, Connecticut, USA (Photo credit: Paul Lane, May 2010)

these multi-sited studies must explore the shifting influences and contributions of different cultures and societies to the creation of ‘heritage,’ acknowledging the power it has to shape lives and to change cultural registers many miles away (e.g., De Jong and Quax 2009). At present, much research on Africa’s diverse heritages still has a tendency to search for ‘the authentic/traditional/original’ in Africa’s pasts, to the neglect of research documenting the antiquity of African cultural hybridity and its legacies both on the continent and elsewhere in the world. Without this, we will always be struggling to contest the stereotypical views of Africa as a continent of cultural stasis and as a remnant


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of a pre-modern world (Leissle 2012), rather than as having been a key player in the making of the modern world and all its attendant consequences.

Conclusion—Broadening Heritage Constituencies Heritage, as Laurajane Smith (2009: 34) notes, ‘is a cultural process or performance, concerned ultimately not with the management of things, but with the management and regulation of social value and cultural meanings.’ But precisely because heritage is about social values and cultural meanings, it is also about making decisions over what to maintain and sustain. Such values, of course, are always transient, variable, and mutable. Hence, what we today identify as something worth sustaining may not correspond either with what people in the past identified as such, or what future generations will find to be significant. As heritage managers, our ethical responsibilities to protect and conserve for the future are frequently challenged also by the demands and interests of the present which may not align especially closely with the values our professions and disciplinary affiliations assign to different kinds of traces from the past. As is increasingly recognized, decisions about what to conserve and the degree to which such decisions are ultimately realized depend in part on the characteristics of the heritage regime (Bendix et al. 2012) in which that decision-making process is embedded, and the relative authoritative and allocative power of those involved. When it comes to tangible remains there is always a degree of ‘monumental ambivalence’ (Breglia 2006), which is given its most extreme expression through the kind of iconoclasm seen in recent years in the Middle East and northern Africa (e.g., Abraham 2012; O’Dell 2013). Calls for the criminalization of such activities (e.g., Martinez 2015), commonly appeal to a particular universalizing normative ethos that emphasizes the value of heritage as a source of identity and pride, a means of knowing the past, and as symbols of human accomplishments and ingenuity, while overlooking the political economy of heritage and its power not just as a

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means of allaying anxieties over modernity, but also as a form of futuremaking (Zetterstrom-Sharp 2015). And therein, perhaps, lies the biggest challenge facing African heritage professionals over the coming decades. Namely, how to best enable the youth of Africa to take control of their cultural heritage in a manner that serves their aspirations for a better future while also allowing space for the voices of the dead to be heard and their actions remembered.

Policy Suggestions 1. The promotion of sustainable development and the creation of resilient societies should be grounded in a detailed understanding of past human-environment relations and their consequences, both intended and otherwise, as they have developed over the course of centuries and even millennia. 2. The protection and management of heritage should be given greater importance and more respect in the planning and development processes, and be re-designed so as to better enable communities in their efforts to protect and manage the cultural heritage they value and attach significance to, without undermining the responsibilities of the state to cultural heritage more generally. 3. The false binary between cultural heritage and natural heritage, and the different management regimes associated with these, need to be abandoned, and new approaches to the protection, management and celebration of biocultural heritage developed in consultation with all relevant stakeholders, including local communities. Acknowledgements I would like to thank organizers and sponsors of the 2015 African Heritage Challenges Conference, and especially Britt Baillie, Marie Louise Sørensen, and Leanne Philpot for their invitation to present a keynote paper, and for handling all the travel plans and logistics. My thanks too, to Britt and Marie Louise for their helpful editorial comments and patience while I was revising various drafts. Thanks are also due to the Conference participants for their comments and feedback on my paper, especially John Giblin and


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Rachel King. I take full responsibility for all remaining errors and expressions of opinion.

Notes 1. The second part of my title is a reference to Wole Soyinka’s 1963 play A Dance of the Forests. The play explores the unfolding of events at a ‘gathering of the tribes’ festivity where the living having asked their gods to invite some illustrious ancestors, have to deal with the demands and critical scrutiny of ‘two spirits of the restless dead’ rather than the cultural heroes they expected. This seems like a fitting metaphor for the task of contemporary heritage management, both in Africa and elsewhere. 2. As for instance has happened in South Africa following the launch of the #RhodesMustFall movement in March 2015 (Oxlund 2016; Schmahmann 2016) and, for quite different reasons in Timbuktu between 2012 and 2013 (Abraham 2012; O’Dell 2013). 3. In other words, the historically informed reading of material traces. 4. For instance, over 60 species of wild grasses have been recorded as being used either as staples or as famine foods (National Research Council 2006, 2008). 5. There is a large body of literature on this topic; these cited works are intended to be simply indicative of some of the themes now being studied. 6. One attempt to do precisely that, by the Museum of London Docklands in 2007 as part of the Bicentenary events to mark the passage of the British Act of Parliament to abolish the slave trade in 1807, unfortunately never came to fruition (Leanne Munro, pers. comm. 22 July 2016, see also UNESCO 2007).

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Heritage and/or Development—Which Way for Africa? Webber Ndoro

Introduction to African Heritages In his book, Triple Heritage (1986), Ali Mazrui reminds us of the key cultural identities of Africa which derive from indigenous African culture and traditions, from the influence of Islam, and from the influence of the West through colonialism and Christianity. Africa is not a culturally homogeneous continent and neither does it represent a common history, traditions, and customs. Far from the romantic image of Africa as a continent with a uniform and common ancestry, language, and orientation, the real Africa presents a complex tapestry of cultures and social influences that have variously shaped norms of behavior and community identities across its vast landscape. These varying historical trajectories and varied geographies also have their own influences on cultural and other behaviors, and this results not in the creation of an African culture, custom, or tradition, but a variety of African cultures, traditions, and W. Ndoro (B) University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



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customs. The apparent indifference to this reality presents a real challenge to post-colonial heritage practices, which are supposed to promote democracy, human rights, and equal access and contribute to the ideals of the development of the African continent as espoused by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDG 2015) and the African Union Agenda 2063.

Africa and the Development Agenda Africa as a developing continent is faced with challenges in achieving sustainable development, while maintaining its social and cultural fabric as well as ensuring that heritage places such as World Heritage Sites are preserved. At times, the conservation of heritage and the improvement of livelihoods are perceived as opposite sides of a coin. Issues relating to the incompatibility of resource utilization and conservation have dominated the conservation debates on the continent. Recently, the African Union, through its development blueprint Agenda 2063 ‘the Africa we want,’ has called upon heritage to contribute to a better and more prosperous Africa. Agenda 2063 is a long-term policy document on sustainable development with implications for the protection and promotion of both cultural heritage and natural heritage in Africa. It envisions an integrated prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its citizenry. The central role envisaged for cultural heritage in the future development of the continent is articulated in Aspiration 5, which seeks ‘An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics.’ However, the aspirations of Agenda 2063 are supposed to unleash economic development which will in turn have considerable impact on the continent’s heritage (Blake 2014). Agenda 2063 outlines the envisioned development projects and where they are likely to occur but does not detail their impacts on the heritage landscape. The key flagship programs to drive the development agenda on the continent are identified as: a. An Integrated High-Speed Train Network; b. An African Virtual and E-University; c. An African Commodity Strategy;

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d. e. f. g. h. i. j.


An Annual African Forum; A Continental Free Trade Area; An African Passport and Free Movement of People; The Grand Inga Dam Project; A Pan African E-Network; Silencing the Guns; African Outer Space Strategy.

At the national level, many countries have also made economic transformation a key focus of their development agendas. For example, the Ethiopian government has a Growth and Transformation Plan aimed at increasing agricultural and industrial growth. Cote d’Ivoire has an Economic Emergence Strategy aimed at making it an industrial economy by 2020. Similarly, Uganda intends to accelerate its socioeconomic transformation through Vision 2040 and Lesotho’s Vision 2020 gives pride of place to industrial development. Countries such as Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, among others, have also development plans and strategies to transform their economies (UNCTAD 2014). These plans call for the exploitation of resources and infrastructural construction on phenomenal scales. In 2009, for example, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa began work on the North-South Corridor Project which is a series of roadways and railways spanning more than 6000 miles across seven countries. Projects at this scale will have impacts on heritage and its protection.

Energy Projects One of the identified key drivers for development in Agenda 2063, is energy. Sub-Saharan Africa is starved of electricity. The region’s power sector is significantly underdeveloped, in terms of energy access, installed capacity, or overall consumption. The fact that sub-Saharan Africa’s residential and industrial sectors suffer electricity shortages means the countries struggle to sustain GDP growth (McKinsey & Company 2015). Indeed, fulfilling the economic and social promise of the region, and Africa, in general, depends on the development of energy sources.


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Sub-Saharan Africa’s situation is the world’s worst. It has 13% of the world’s population, but 48% of the share of the global population without access to electricity (Ibid.: 6). Only 24% of sub-Saharan Africans have access to electricity and the energy generation capacity of Africa (excluding South Africa) is only 28 gigawatts, equal to that of Argentina alone and about 5% the consumption of the United States (Avila et al. 2017: 16). The inadequacy of electricity supply is a fact of life in nearly every sub-Saharan country. Furthermore, in most countries, electricity is provided by diesel generators, whose costs are exorbitant. This makes many Africa-based industries and manufacturing sectors uncompetitive and brings down annual GDP growth (McKinsey & Company 2015). This, in turn, means that the construction of dams and resource exploitation of minerals such as coal to ensure energy for development is a priority in many African countries. While the harnessing of green energy sources is an alternative option as indicated in Agenda 2063, the costs currently are very high and the process very slow, hence the overreliance on hydro and thermal power (Karekezi and Kithyoma 2003). The construction of large dams prior to the 1960s was very significant globally and celebrated in countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada, the former Soviet Union, Japan, as well as in Western Europe. Institutions like the Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers of the United States became world famous for their expertise in constructing and managing large dams to promote economic development and sustain human welfare. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the United States was, for example, regarded with awe by the rest of the world for a considerable period (Biswas and Tortajada 2001). The TVA was one of the most famous and successful projects begun by the federal government during the Great Depression. It led to the widescale provision of energy and irrigation and became a recreational success. It is one of the major projects accredited with the reindustrialization of the United States after the Depression. Thus, the building of dams, because it provides a local non-extractive source of energy, has frequently been seen as a catalyst for economic development—hence the prioritization of the Grand Inga Dam within Agenda 2063. Countries with low electrification rates have lower GDPs per capita, and the logic is that increased

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energy leads to improvements in health care, education, life expectancy, and job opportunities. The Grand Inga Dam is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063. It is seen as the key to unlocking Africa’s energy requirements and hence its development. The Grand Inga Dam, actually a series of dams that are proposed for the lower Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), will be the world’s largest hydropower scheme. The Grand Inga Dam will become the largest energy-generating body in the world. Its total development cost is an estimated $100 billion. Developers expect to finish the project by 2025. The dam is part of a greater vision by the international economic community to develop a power grid across Africa that will spur the continent’s industrial, economic, and sustainable development. Grand Inga could produce up to 40,000 MW of electricity, over twice the power generation of the Three Gorges Dam in China and Itaipu Dam in Brazil and Paraguay. Fully operational, the Inga Dam will provide more than a third of the total electricity currently produced in Africa (McKinsey & Company 2015). However, it should be noted that dams at this scale, like the Three Gorges, have had serious environmental and heritage impacts, which are irreversible. Of all the flagship projects, the greatest hope for the future of Africa is placed on the Grand Inga Dam. The project is already being touted as a way to ‘light Africa.’ Grand Inga is listed as a priority project of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), South African Power Pool (SAPP), and the World Energy Council. Although the project has been discussed for the past decade, no significant impact assessment on the heritage that will be affected has been done, despite the fact that the DRC itself has five natural World Heritage Sites which could be affected. Some of the Agenda 2063 flagship programs will inevitably impact on heritage resources. It can be argued that the failure of heritage conservation to be on the agenda of decision makers has been the major heritage problem on the continent. It appears that when issues pertaining to the sustainable development of the continent are discussed, heritage is rarely presented as an enabling factor for the ‘Africa we want.’ At the same time, heritage practitioners tend not to engage with the decision makers


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at the economic or political levels. Rarely does one find heritage professionals and practitioners participating in the formulation stages of some of the African Union or regional organizations’ (SADC, ECOWAS, etc.) debates on the development agenda.

Heritage and Development The concept of sustainable development is popularly more associated with the protection of natural rather than cultural heritage. However, it is important, particularly on the African continent, to include cultural heritage in all sustainable development projects. The African continent is the cradle of humankind and therefore carries the imprint of human interactions with nature over millennia. Africa’s nature: the landforms, the fauna, and flora are inextricably entwined with its culture. Sacred forests, mountains, pools, trees, and animals have populated the African landscapes for centuries. The divide between nature and culture on the continent is not very clear, and often not very helpful. Many of the ‘natural’ landscapes have been shaped by cultural interactions. The issue of sustainable development is therefore as much about ‘culture’ as it is about ‘nature.’ Sustainable development is relevant to people’s livelihoods which is the sphere in which cultural heritage is performed (Selfslagh 2002). Poverty, unemployment, and inequality indicate the lack of economic development in Africa. Here, the majority of people live below the poverty line (Beegle et al. 2016). Often, capital and employment opportunities are scarce, effectively leaving communities with few options to meet their development needs. Indigenous knowledge, a form of heritage, has emerged as one of the most potentially powerful engines for economic development (Galla 2012). Heritage provides opportunities for job creation, infrastructure development, and education. One of the most common ways of exploiting heritage resources is through the promotion of heritage-based tourism. Evidence from various countries in the world, including Africa, demonstrates that World Heritage status of places serves as a catalyst, not only for conservation, partnerships, social cohesion, skills development,

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and education, but also for job creation, infrastructure development, and foreign direct investment, which all contribute to an increase in GDP (Ibid.). The mere presence of internationally designated cultural or natural heritage places is likely to affect long-term GDP growth (Arezki et al. 2009). Tourism at heritage places can trigger growth in several ways other than through the direct revenue gained from visitor receipts. The foreign direct investment associated with tourism can bring managerial skills and technology with potential downstream benefits to other sectors. Policies designed to foster tourism, by improving security, stability, and openness, can also enhance growth in other sectors. Cultural and natural heritage also supplies the ‘raw material’ and ‘backdrop’ for the creative entertainment industries, featuring in film, fashion, advertising, television, and video games. However, the reality on the African continent is that rarely do the benefits of tourism benefit the local communities (Ndoro 2015). Heritage places can be seen as important resources that have the potential to drive socioeconomic development, provided that the ‘right mix’ is attained. Although World Heritage inscription is generally considered to act as a catalyst for economic development, there are many issues in Africa which create obstacles to sustainable development and heritage conservation. These include actions by local communities and local government, contestation over ownership and access rights, and the forced displacement of local populations from sites as governments seek to comply with UNESCO-imposed management systems (Ndoro 2015; Hampton 2005). The money visitors spend at World Heritage Sites on admission fees, souvenirs, transport, food, and accommodation represents a substantial contribution to the global economy, and heritage sites employ millions of people directly and indirectly (Timothy and Boyd 2003). However, although some heritage sites have generated forms of economic development, it is generally perceived in Africa that most of the benefits do not trickle down to local communities. In this regard, it is telling that many of Africa’s famous heritage sites are surrounded by a sea of poverty. Here, the benefit of inscription as a World Heritage Site and the knock-on effects generated by global tourism seem to be limited, as local communities are yet to see significant improvements in their lives and livelihoods.


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The lack of meaningful economic benefits to the local communities from heritage resources in many ways militates against serious consideration of heritage issues by many governments in Africa. Like in many parts of the world, unless heritage management has a direct relevance to communities, communities find ways of coping without it. Despite these limitations, the role of heritage in acting as a catalyst to development has been acknowledged in other continents. Heritage can boost the local and national economy and create jobs by attracting tourists and investment, and providing leisure, recreation, and educational facilities (Tweed and Sutherland 2007; Nijkamp and Riganti 2008). The construction and service industries can benefit from the value added by heritage resources, and it can stimulate infrastructural development and create jobs. Therefore, ‘cultural heritage must be understood as part of the larger sphere of socio-cultural processes’ (Avrami et al. 2000: 7) and managed in such a way as to ‘be able to generate economic benefits and contribute to growth and development of the continent.’

Sustainable Development and Heritage Issues The practices of heritage management and conservation are geared toward safeguarding and ensuring that assets deemed to be of heritage significance are not damaged or lost by any means (Logan and Reeves 2009). The purpose of protection is to ensure that the authenticity, the integrity, the localness, and the uniqueness of heritage places in the face of modern infrastructural development are maintained (Winter and Daly 2012). The idea that developments must ensure the safeguarding of the common heritage of mankind is what triggered the international cooperation which lead to the campaign to save the Nubian monuments on the Nile River during the construction of the Aswan Dam in the 1960s (Ndoro and Wijesuriya 2015). The construction of this dam aimed to provide energy and irrigation for the communities along the river. The irony of the matter was that it was the availability of water along the Nile which itself had promoted the development of the ancient monuments, some of which were used to ensure adequate water for irrigation. However, this very noble 1960s dam project threatened to flood the temples of Abu

Heritage and/or Development—Which Way for Africa?


Simbel and other ancient monuments along the Nile Valley. UNESCO, together with the governments of Egypt and Sudan, appealed to the international community for assistance and cooperation to rescue the heritage that would be destroyed. Efforts were made to document, inventory, and rescue some of the monuments under threat. Similar international efforts were also seen in the ‘rescues’ and restorations of archaeological remains at Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistan, the Borobudur temple in Indonesia (Donnacie 2010), and the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka. However, these campaigns signaled the beginning of an uneasy relationship between heritage protection and what was considered to be the needs of development (Ndoro and Wijesuriya 2015). In Africa, it can also be argued that the construction of the Aswan Dam apart from galvanizing the international community to save the Nubian monuments also contributed to the development of modern Egypt (Hassan 2007). It was the construction of the Aswan Dam itself which propelled the modernization of Egypt though its provision of secure and low-cost energy and water. International organizations such as UNESCO, IUCN, ICCROM, and ICOMOS have become heritage champions charged with disseminating information to help protect the fragile and irreplaceable heritage of the world in the face of threats by development on the continent. These organizations often call for large-scale development projects to be stopped, particularly when they are in the vicinity of internationally recognized heritage sites and landscapes. For example, during 2017, UNESCO called for the Republic of Tanzania to halt the construction of the Stiegler’s Gorge Dam in the Selous Game Park World Heritage Site. The Ethiopian government’s proposal to construct a large dam on the Omo River opened debates on economic development which have at times been conflated with issues of human rights and governance (Abbink 2012). Ethiopia’s massive and ambitious investment in dams is regarded by the state as a vital step toward ensuring domestic economic growth, becoming energy-independent and even establishing itself as an exporter of hydropower (Ibid.). Environmentalists indicate that the construction of the dam will affect the livelihoods of many people downstream (in Ethiopia) because of the cessation of seasonal floods and the recession of the water upon which


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they are dependant (Turton 2010). A similar number of people in Kenya will also be affected, due to the expected drying out of Lake Turkana and its delta (Avery 2010). The Lower Omo Valley and Lake Turkana (a unique desert lake with natural and economic value) are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Valley is also home to hominid finds and evidence of ancient habitation. UNESCO has requested a postponement of the construction of the Gibe III Dam until all negative impacts of the development have been independently investigated and evaluated (UNESCO 2014). UNESCO ignored the impact assessment carried out by the Ethiopian consultants as they suspected that its findings were in part dictated by the Ethiopian authorities. It is important to point out that the ground-breaking ceremony signaling the construction of the Dam was attended by the Kenyan President indicating his government’s approval of the dam in 2011. The two governments also signed a memorandum of understanding on the Dam’s construction. This development clearly indicates that the two governments did not take into consideration heritage issues (which UNESCO later raised) when deciding on the design and construction of the dam. It is equally true that heritage practitioners were not engaged in the design of the countries’ development projects. In the case of Ethiopia, the proposed dams threaten the ecosystems not only of that country, but also of neighboring Kenya (UNESCO 2014). But it can be argued that the irrigation and electricity that these environmentally and culturally destructive projects facilitate simultaneously contribute to addressing some of the issues articulated in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (2015) and the AU Agenda 2063— specifically poverty reduction and economic sustainability. China faced a similar situation regarding the Three Gorges Dam, one of the largest hydroelectric projects in the world to date (Ndoro and Wijesuriya 2015). With China’s growing energy needs, it has been argued that this project will enable the country to move away from its dependence on coal (Qiang 2003). Hirsch and Warren (2002) have also pointed out the positive environmental effects of the dams in terms of non-fossil fuel energy production and carbon emission reduction. Many countries are thus faced with the contradictory needs of conserving their heritage and strengthening their infrastructure and economic development, as

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is exemplified by the proposals for dam construction along the Three Parallel Rivers in Yunnan, China, and the Farakka Dam on the Ganges River in India.

Resource Exploitation in Africa Africa is well known for its rich diversity of natural and cultural heritage which attracts many tourists to the continent; it also has large quantity of mineral resources. Africa’s minerals attract investment from all over the world. Chinese investment in African mining quadrupled from 2000 to 2009, from US$25.7 billion to US$103.4 billion per year (Janneh and Ping 2011). While Chinese investment is increasing, so too is investment from other parts of the world including Australia and Canada (Janneh and Ping 2011). More than 230 Australian mining companies are involved in over 600 projects in mining exploration, extraction, and processing across the continent (Broadman 2007). This mineral exploration often requires, and results in, major infrastructural projects, including roads and railways as well as shipping ports (to facilitate export), and dams (to meet operational energy and water requirements). The expansion of roads, railways, and ports is also seen as being key to the rapid economic development of the African continent (Agenda 2063) as indicated by the proposed Tripartite North-South road network which is supposed to connect Eastern and Southern Africa (Ernest and Young 2012). In 2009, the Tripartite Regional Economic Communities which consist of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) (RECs) the Tripartite launched a pilot transport corridor program, the North-South Corridor targeting the construction of 10,647 km of road (8746.3 km excluding South Africa). These developments will transform the spatial patterns of rural and urban development on the subcontinent. Africa hosts about 30% of the planet’s mineral reserves, including 40% of gold, 60% cobalt, and 90% of the world’s platinum group minerals (PGMs) reserves (Taylor et al. 2009; Edwards et al. 2013), which has led to the development of major extractive industry-based economies,


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for example, in South Africa, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The saleable minerals and metals include gold, platinum group elements (PGEs), diamonds, uranium, manganese, chromium, nickel, bauxite, and cobalt. In most African countries, the majority of direct foreign investment has been directed to the extractive industries (KPMG 2015: 3). Most countries have benefited from mineral extraction through tax revenues, job creation, technology transfer, foreign exchange acquisition, and other downstream industries ( Ibid.). Thus, many African countries are highly dependent on mineral exports in order to sustain their national economies. Mineral fuels (such as coal and petroleum) account for more than 90% of the export earnings for Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, and Nigeria, while countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Zambia, and Botswana rely heavily on the mining industry as a major source of foreign currency (KPMG 2015). In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sicomines, a Sino-Congolese joint venture, obtained a world-class copper reserve, the Dikulwe-Mashamba concession, and then invested US$9 billion in roads, railways, and other forms of infrastructure with Chinese financial backing (Putzel et al. 2011). Similarly, in Mozambique, the Brazilian mining company Vale is investing $4.4 billion in rebuilding the railway system from the northern coalmines to the city of Tete (Putzel et al. 2011). The exploitation of mining and infrastructural investment is creating a new optimism in Africa about economic development and poverty alleviation, as indicated in the Agenda 2063 programs. This is happening in a complex socioeconomic context. Africa’s population is growing and increasingly becoming urbanized but at the same time it is the poorest continent overall and lacks a skilled workforce (Putzel et al. 2011). However, as mining of Africa’s mineral resources maintains the structural violence of the colonial era, reaping more profits for foreign investors rather than local employees, some critics urge caution when describing the economic benefits that it provides (see, e.g., Butler 2015).

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World Heritage and Resource Exploitation The discovery of substantive deposits of minerals, petroleum, and natural gas resources in commercially viable quantities in various parts of Africa near World Heritage properties presents a growing challenge to effective heritage protection, conservation, and management. Yet, for most governments, these discoveries are seen as the cornerstone of Africa’s prosperity and modernity as indicated in Agenda 2063. The exploration and exploitation are often linked to major infrastructural projects as outlined above. Managing the impacts of development activities and resource extraction in and around heritage properties is a major challenge on the African continent given the dependence of most economies on this industry. This is in many ways reflected by the discussions and debates of the State of Conservation Reports from Africa at the World Heritage Committee meetings (see UNESCO 2014). An analysis of the State of Conservation Reports shows that since 1982, most World Heritage properties in Africa have increasingly being affected by illegal activities (such as poaching, illegal logging, illegal trade, illegal construction, looting), civil unrest, war, and deliberate destruction). Approximately 33 sites out of 129 (or 25%) been subjected to the illegal extraction of geological resources, occupation/settlement, excavations, and construction as well as non-sanctioned commercial use (Ibid.). These actions are more prevalent in natural properties than on cultural and mixed ones. Some of these threats might be a result of conditions of poverty prevailing in and around the World Heritage properties on the continent (Chevallier 2015). These figures indicate that underdevelopment and poverty may pose a more serious threat to heritage sites; for example, the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania is on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger due to unparalleled levels of poaching. Selous now has 90% fewer elephants than when it was nominated to World Heritage status in 1982 (Chevallier 2015). The communities around this property are some of the poorest in Tanzania (Kideghesho and Mtoni 2008). Poverty and unemployment also expose the communities to the dangers of illegal activities organized by unscrupulous outsiders—for example, the elaborate and well-funded illegal hunting of elephants and rhinos. The limited


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resources in such places also lead to conflicts which in turn threaten the heritage sites—for example, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central Africa Republic where the discovery of mineral resources has led to conflicts in and around World Heritage Sites (Edwards et al. 2013). Since 1993, as African countries scaled up their resource extraction, the ‘threat’ of mining and oil and gas extraction has increasingly become a concern on African World Heritage Sites. Natural properties have been significantly more affected by extractive industries than cultural or mixed properties (Chevallier 2015). Globally, World Heritage in the Asia-Pacific region is also heavily affected by mining, oil, and gas exploration/exploitation issues. UNESCO generally holds the view that mineral and oil/gas exploration and exploitation (and their associated infrastructural development) are not compatible with the protection of heritage and therefore cannot be permitted on World Heritage Sites. In 2014, mining, oil, gas, and quarrying exploration affected 27 natural World Heritage Sites globally (UNESCO 2014). At the time of writing, there are 13 natural World Heritage Sites ‘in danger’ in Africa, and more than 15 have ‘significant concern[s]’ about mineral exploration and exploitation. Recent examples include the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The vast Congo rainforest has more than a quarter of the world’s recorded mineral occurrences, and these are concentrated in three regions of biological endemism: the Cameroon-Gabon Lowlands, the Eastern DRC Lowlands, and the Albertine Rift Mountains; these landscapes are currently exposed to threats related to oil prospecting. As a result, the Virunga World Heritage Site has been on the UNESCO ‘danger list’ for more than 20 years. Similarly, the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania is also threatened by proposals for prospecting, the mining of uranium and dam construction (with the associated infrastructure development) inside the game reserve. Other sites threatened include the Comoé National Park (Côte d’Ivoire); Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea); Mapungubwe (South Africa); and Dja Faunal and Wildlife Reserve (Cameroon). Many more sites have reported the extraction of resources in their close vicinity.

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The presence of some of the poorest and most politically marginalized peoples within and around heritage resources creates difficult discussions as the extractive industry, despite its environmental impact, may be welcomed because it promises immediate jobs and financial rewards (Chevallier 2015). Generally, within the African context, the extractive industries are perceived to be of national or regional importance. They provide both employment in the mines and other spin-offs downstream. While it is agreed that World Heritage Sites are a ‘no go’ area in terms of resource extraction, many countries in Africa face a critical dilemma: to exploit mineral resources or to protect the heritage. The case of the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary site clearly indicates some of the dilemmas faced by governments all over the world. At times, it comes down to two options: either develop and destroy or protect and wallow in poverty. Oman, faced with this dilemma, had its Arabian Oryx Sanctuary delisted (2007) due to the wishes of the government to exploit the oil reserves at the heritage site. In 2009, the Federal Republic of Germany faced a similar conundrum with the construction of a four-lane bridge across the Dresden Elbe Valley which was deemed by UNESCO to be a threat to the historic city center. This led to the delisting of the site.

Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (MCL) is located in the ShasheLimpopo area of South Africa and was nominated to the World Heritage List in 2003. Its landscape contains evidence of significant cultural and social changes in the southern African region between AD 900 and 1300. The landscape has archaeological evidence attesting to the existence of a state society, which at the time was the largest in the region. This state had trading connections with Eastern Africa and Asia, demonstrating the exchange of human cultural values. Scientists have also documented evidence of climate change in the area, which archaeologists have used to model the growth and demise of the kingdom based at Mapungubwe hill. The kingdom thus attests to a culture that became vulnerable to irreversible change (Pikirayi 2011).


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The area around Mapungubwe is also rich in natural gas, coal, diamonds, and copper (Deacon and Norton 2003). The World Heritage Site is located in one of the richest mineral belts of South Africa and in an area which has the highest level of poverty of any South African province, with 78.9% of the population living below the national poverty line (Kwabena and Kwame 2011: 55). Mapungubwe itself is in a district called Vhembe whose employment rate in 2006 was 49% (Ibid.: 55). Over the years, mining has contributed to the establishment of the Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site (Deacon and Norton 2003). De Beers, which operates the Venetia Diamond Mine in the vicinity of the World Heritage Site, donated some of its lands to form part of the core of the World Heritage property. De Beers has supported conservation and archaeological research and scholarship in and around Mapungubwe, and this has increased our knowledge of this cultural landscape. Over the years, the work of Venetia Diamond Mine near the World Heritage Site of Mapungubwe has never been questioned. However, the arrival of another mining company, Coal of Africa Limited, to extract coal at the Vele Colliery attracted the attention of environmentalist and conservationists who questioned the impacts of allowing mining activities in such close proximity to a World Heritage Site. The acceptance of the operations of Venetia Diamond Mine by the heritage professionals and the concerted effort to reject the Vele Colliery in many ways exposed the duplicity of the conservationist movement (Chirikure 2014). The argument was no longer about mining and protecting heritage but about who was actually doing the extraction. Despite several impact assessments done by consultants, the conservation professional communities remained opposed to Coal of Africa Limited’s venture. In an area with high levels of poverty, the mining companies promised immediate jobs to poor families. Although tourism had been going on in the area, no meaningful contribution from this industry was trickling down to the community. While heritage experts were united in condemning the Vele Colliery, the government of South Africa faced a dilemma. The need for the cheap energy that the coal from the Vele Colliery could provide was immense. Given the limited economic benefit derived from the existing tourism ventures, it is hardly surprising that the

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local communities would favor the mining ventures which could in turn be detrimental to the heritage site. The Mapungubwe case showcases the debates and issues which surround the interplay between heritage and the extractive industry on the African continent. As indicated earlier, Africa requires the energy to fuel its development, yet this comes at a cost to its heritage. The Mapungubwe area is one of the least developed areas and yet it is rich in mineral wealth (Rampedi 2011). It can be argued that the proposed extractive projects can provide much needed infrastructure development, job creation, and community investment through corporate social responsibility programs (Komen 2010). As Chirikure (2014) points out, such proposals must be balanced with appropriate environmental and heritage stewardship. The question is whether development programs can take into consideration heritage issues and at the same time provide poverty alleviation.

Heritage and Planning Development Given its development trajectory, Africa’s exploitation of mineral resources and infrastructure development will undoubtedly result in the ongoing destruction of heritage resources—both those already designated and those not yet known, and this in turn will impact the social fabric of the continent. This development trajectory demands an effective resource governance paradigm shift which takes into account both heritage conservation needs and the social impacts of Africa’s development drive. The African Union through its Agenda 2063 positions Africa on the verge of a concerted development thrust which will transform the continent. This proposed development is attracting tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment (Janneh and Ping 2011) and will result in substantial economic growth and development. The desire for the majority of African countries to attain middle-income status in the next decades has made the continent experience substantial changes to its cultural landscape. However, unless the impacts on both natural and cultural heritage are taken into consideration at the planning stage, the continent may lose


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some of its priceless jewels. The threats associated with this scale of development center on habitat alteration, infrastructure expansion, human migration, and dam and mine construction. The impact is compounded by the fact that the heritage sector on the continent is generally weak in its governance and its voice is rarely present when the development agenda is discussed. It is important that heritage practitioners initiate research and studies to understand the synergies between heritage and sustainable development. It is equally important for heritage to initiate and be involved with some of the activities deemed to enhance the development agenda on the continent. This will lead to better planning, improved impact assessment, and mitigation and offsetting mechanisms. Without careful management and implementation of Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030, the envisioned development and its associated secondary effects will have serious impacts on African heritage and the environment. However, as Chevallier (2015) puts it, if heritage decisions and input to some of the programs earmarked for the continent are taken into consideration at the planning stage, there may be some positive impacts. Improvements in local community livelihoods would certainly curtail activities like poaching and illegal cultivation and grazing in heritage designated protected area.

Policy Suggestions In order to ensure a more fruitful relationship between Africa’s diverse heritage and development agendas, both national and continental wide policies and regulations must be developed which: 1. Ensure that heritage professionals and issues are taken into consideration in national and regional development agendas; 2. Do not separate nature and culture in governance structures; 3. Enable communities near and around heritage sites to have meaningful and sustainable livelihoods.

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References Abbink, J. 2012. Dam Controversies: Contested Governance and Developmental Discourse on the Ethiopian Omo River dam. Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale 20 (2): 125–144. Arezki, R., R. Cherif, and J. Piotrowski. 2009. Tourism Specialisation and Economic Development: Evidence from the UNESCO World Heritage List. IMF Working Paper WP/09/176. Washington: International Monetary Fund. Avery, S. 2010. Hydrological Impacts of Ethiopia’s Omo Basin on Kenya’s Lake Turkana Water Levels and Fisheries, Final Report. Tunis: African Development Bank. Avila, N., J. P. Carvallo, B. Shaw, and D. M. Kammen, 2017. The Energy Challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Guide for Advocates and Policy Makers. Part 1: Generating Energy for Sustainable and Equitable Development. Oxfam Research. Avrami, E., R. Mason, and M. Torre (eds.). 2000. Values and Heritage Conservation. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute. Backgrounder series. Available at: files/oxfam-RAEL-energySSA-pt1.pdf. Beegle, K., L. Christiaensen, A. Dabalen, and I. Gaddis. 2016. Poverty in a Rising Africa, Africa Poverty Report. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank Group New York. Biswas, K., and C. Totajada. 2001. Development and Large Dams: A Global Perspective. Water Resources Development 17 (1): 9–21. Blake, J. 2014. Cultural Heritage Law and Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Broadman, H. 2007. Africa’s Silk Road: China and India’s New Economics Frontier. Washington: World Bank. Butler, P. 2015. Colonial Extractions: Race and Canadian Mining in Contemporary Africa. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Chevallier, R. 2015. Safeguarding Africa’s Natural Heritage: The Case of Mining in Protected Areas: Policy in Sights 15 Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme. 1–12. Chirikure, S. 2014. Where Angels Fear to Tread: Ethics, Commercial Archaeology, and Extractive Industries in Southern Africa. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 49: 218–231.


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Deacon, J., and P. Norton. 2003. Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, South Africa. Site Management Plan. Pretoria: Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Donnacie, I. 2010. World Heritage. In Understanding the Politics of Heritage, ed. R. Harrison, 115–153. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Edwards, D., S. Sloan, L. Weng, P. Dirks, J. Jeffrey Sayer, and F. William, W. Laurance. 2013. Mining and the African Environment. Conservation Letters 7: 1–10. Ernest & Young. 2012. Africa Attractiveness Survey Report. South Africa: Johannesburg. Galla, A. (ed.). 2012. World Heritage: Benefits Beyond Borders. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hampton, M. 2005. Heritage, Local Communities and Economic Development. Annals of Tourism Research 32 (3): 735–759. Hassan, F.A. 2007. The Aswan High Dam and the International Rescue Nubia Campaign. African Archaeological Review 24: 73–94. Hirsch, P., and C. Warren 2002. The Politics of Environment in Southeast Asia: Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Janneh, A., and J. Ping. 2011. Minerals and Africa’s Development: The International Study Group Report on Africa’s Mineral Regime. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Karekezi, S., and W. Kithyoma. 2003. Renewable Energy Development. Paper presented at the Workshop for African Energy Experts on Operationalizing the NEPAD Energy Initiative Operationalizing the NEPAD Energy Initiative. Dakar. Kideghesho, J., and P. Mtoni. 2008. Who Compensates for Wildlife Conservation in Serengeti? International Journal of Biodiversity Science & Management 4 (2): 112–125. Komen, H. 2010. Objection to Coal Mine Near Mapungubwe World Heritage Site. Available at: ion-to-coal-mine-near-mapungubwe-world-heritage-site-a-media-releasefrom-the-ewt/. Accessed 10 August 2016. KPMG. 2015. Mining in Africa Towards 2020. London: KPMG. Kwabena, A., and B. Kwame. 2011. Determinants of Unemployment in Limpopo Province in South Africa: Exploratory Studies. Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences 2 (1): 54–61. Logan, W., and K. Reeves. 2009. Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing with Difficult Heritage. London: Routledge.

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Mazrui, A. 1986. The Triple Heritage of the state in Africa. In The State in Global Perspective, 112. Paris: UNESCO. McKinsey & Company. 2015. Electric Power and Natural Gas: Brighter Africa: The Growth Potential of Sub-Saharan Electricity Sector. London: McKinsey & Coompany. Ndoro, W. 2015. World Heritage Sites in Africa: What Are the Benefits of Nomination and Inscription? In A Companion to Heritage Studies, ed. William Logan, Máiréad Nic Craith, and Ullrich Kockel, 392–409. Hoboken: Wiley. Ndoro, W., and G. Wijesuriya. 2015. Heritage Management and Conservation: From Colonization to Globalization. In Global Heritage, ed. L. Meskell, 131–149. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. Nijkamp, P., and P. Riganti. 2008. Assessing Cultural Heritage Benefits for Urban Sustainable Development. International Journal of Services, Technology and Management 10 (1): 29–38. Pikirayi, I. 2011. Tradition, Archaeological Heritage Protection and Communities in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Addis Ababa: Organisation for Social Science research in Eastern and Southern Africa. Putzel, L., S. Assembe-Mvondo, B. Bilogo, B. Ndong, R. Banioguila, P. Cerutti, J. Tieguhong, R. Djeukam, N. Kabuyaya, G. Lescuyer, and W. Mala. 2011. Chinese Trade and Investment and the Forests of Congo Basin: Synthesis of Scoping Studies in Cameroon. Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon. Working Paper 67. Bogor, Indonesia: CIFOR. Qiang, C. 2003. Archaeology, Cultural Heritage Protection, and Capital Construction in China. In Of the Past, for the Future: Integrating Archaeology and Conservation, ed. N. Agnew and J. Bridgland, 286–290. GCI: Los Angeles, CA. Rampedi, P. 2011. Anglo Eyes Mapungubwe’s Sacred Land. Available at: Selfslagh, B. 2002. Naturopa no. 97. Council of Europe. 12–13. Siyathembana Trading. 2011. Heritage Impact Assessment Report Relating to the Establishment of the Vele Colliery near Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site, Musina, Limpopo Province: South Africa (Unpublished Report for Coal of Africa). Taylor, C.D., K.J. Schulz, and J.L. Doebrich. 2009. Geology and Nonfuel Mineral Deposits of Africa and the Middle East. U.S. Geological Survey, CA. Timothy, D., and S. Boyd. 2003. Heritage Tourism. Harlow: Pearson.


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Trademark Southern Africa project closure report 2014. Infrastructure NorthSouth Corridor Roads. TMSA Pretoria. Turton, D. 2010. The Downstream Impact. Text of talk given at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 11 October 2010. Available at: www. Tweed, C., and M. Sutherland. 2007. Built Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Urban Development. Landscape and Urban Planning 83 (1): 62–69. UNESCO. 2014. World Heritage Committee Reports of the 38th Session. Available at: UNCTAD. 2014. Economic Development in Africa: Catalysing Investment for Transformative Growth. UNCTAD Report. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, 2015. United Nations, New York. Winter, T., and P. Daly. 2012. Heritage in Asia: Converging Forces, Conflicting Values. In Routledge Handbook of Heritage in Asia, ed. P. Daly and T. Winter, 1–35. Oxford: Routledge.

Communities and the Quotidian

Mega Developments in Africa: Lessons from the Meroe Dam Shadia Taha

Heritage and Mega Development This chapter concentrates on the challenges and complexities of heritage in the context of contested Mega Development Projects (henceforth MDPs) focusing on projects located in areas with indigenous1 and/or local communities.2 Gellert and Lynch define MDPs as ‘projects which transform landscapes rapidly, intentionally, and profoundly in very visible ways, and require coordinated applications of capital and state power’ (2003: 15–16). The US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines MDPs as ‘projects of a significant cost that attract a high level of public attention or political interest because of substantial direct and indirect impacts on the community, environment, and State budgets’ (Capka 2004). MDPs are a double-edged sword, offering both opportunities and challenges; their benefits can be revolutionary S. Taha (B) Wolfson College, Cambridge, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



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to a region’s economy, but they also have wide-ranging damaging effects (Nüsser 2003; World Commission on Dams 2000). It is these damaging effects, and the need to develop novel ways of solving the diverse needs of, on the one hand, development and, on the other hand, local cultures, people, and nature, that is the concern here. This task has become especially urgent due to the complex interactions created through globalization in which the financiers may be on one continent but their actions affecting people on another. Politicians and developers promote MDPs as a means of securing economic progress and as a vehicle to lift countries out of poverty. In addition to their wider environmental, social, and cultural impacts, thousands of people worldwide are forcibly displaced every year as a result of MDPs (Penz et al. 2011). The social and cultural costs of involuntary relocation posed by MDPs can be as destructive as the ecological damage that they cause (El Moghraby 2013; World Commission on Dams 2000). In the overwhelming majority of cases when MDPs cause community displacement, the communities which have been relocated are left socially disrupted and economically worse-off (Gellert and Lynch 2003; Ronayne 2006). MDPs anywhere in the world come with moral and ethical costs. Despite these obvious and well-known costs, projects are rarely designed with clearly articulated concerns for the well-being of local communities, their culture, history or way of life (De Wet 2006; Oliver-Smith 2006; Penz et al. 2011), or their proposed responses tend to be shallow and do not involve local communities in meaningful ways. Hathaway describes sub-Saharan Africa’s power infrastructure as the ‘least developed, least accessible, least reliable, most costly to operate, and, on average, highest priced of any region in the world’ (2010: 1). Nearly 630 million people live without reliable access to electricity and 790 million people are forced to rely on solid biomass for heat and cooking (Morrissey 2017; Outlook Africa Energy 2014). Undoubtedly, dam construction addresses some of these concerns and brings about several benefits such as water control, enhanced food security, economic growth, and poverty reduction. Nonetheless, MDPs have numerous negative effects, and owing to international unease over their impacts, they became unpopular among key funders in the 1990s. However, during recent decades the World Bank decided to resume its support for

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big dam projects as new funders from China and Brazil started financing such projects (Bosshard 2013, 2010). As a result, in the late twentieth century, demands for new dam constructions were met in many developing countries. It has been estimated that the construction of large dams during this period has led to the relocation of 40–80 million people worldwide (World Commission on Dams 2000: 16–17). Wet states that between 1963 and 1981 over 400,000 were resettled in Africa alone as a direct result of dam construction (2000: 5). Africa’s new dams are most commonly supported by Chinese funding and engineering, as China has expanded its interests in funding a variety of new African infrastructure projects (Foster 2008; Rotberg 2009). Between 2001 and 2007, China committed billions of dollars to African hydropower projects. In this exchange, African countries get the financial assistance they desperately need, and in return, China gets access to Africa’s natural resources, which support China’s own industries (Hathaway 2010). Moreover, China’s support of brutal and dictatorial African political regimes generally leads to contracts being granted without involving the public in a democratic decision-making process. Middlehurst (2015) argues that Africa’s Chinese debt will ‘contribute toward another debt crisis’ as it lowers prices for African exports such as raw materials making it in turn harder to pay off existing loans. Moreover, Chinese companies bring in cheap Chinese labor to work on their construction projects rather than employing a local workforce. Thus, Chinese MDPs have negligible effect on unemployment. Tiffen (2014) emphasis that ‘The lack of sustainability in this trading partnership creates an inevitable African dependence upon Chinese largess for future maintenance and rehabilitation of this infrastructure.’ Many people in the ‘recipient’ African countries still live in poverty and do not feel that they have benefited from trade with China.3 The heritage sector frequently views development and those involved with it with apprehension and unease. In many cases, such a standpoint is perfectly justified. Numerous projects publicized and promoted in the name of modernization and rejuvenation have paid little or no attention to the cultural and environmental devastation that they have caused (Adams 2000; Al-Hakem 1993; McCully 1996). As mentioned above,


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Fig. 1 Meroe Dam location, Sudan (Source GNU Free Documentation License. Dam location added by S. Taha)

the twenty-first century has already witnessed a large number of dambuilding projects in Africa, in which heritage related conflicts and disputes have become common. The Meroe Dam Project in Sudan (Fig. 1) provides a revealing example of the tensions between local, national, and international visions of heritage and the relationships between the landscape, people, memory, heritage, and identity that are at stake in such projects.

Meroe Dam: An Overview The Meroe Dam in Northern Sudan is one of the most disputed and discussed MDPs in Africa today (Fig. 2). It is located in Nubia, an area which, due to its comparative remoteness, has a distinctive and unique culture. Nubians’ adapted to the dry climate of the region which experiences a scarcity of rainfall rendering the Nile the only source of water for irrigation. For millennia, they developed skills and expertise to

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Fig. 2 The River Nile showing the location of Meroe Dam (Source International Rivers, People, Water, Life. Major Dam Projects in Sudan [P:1]. Date accessed 17 January 2017)

cope with and mitigate the floods and droughts which affect the area (Bell 2009; Dafalla 1975). Within this fragile area, the Meroe Dam is, according to International Rivers,4 ‘one of the world’s most destructive hydropower projects’ (2009) in terms of its devastating impact on indigenous groups and the environment. The Meroe Dam was the first dam to be built on the Nile in Sudan. At the time of its construction, it was the largest hydropower project undertaken in Africa. In 2009, the Dam created a 174-km-long lake, submerged 900 villages, and displaced three indigenous groups, including over 60,000 Manasir5 inhabitants and 10– 15,000 inhabitants from the Amri and Hamdab communities (Askouri 2008, 2004; Lawler 2006). Not only their ancestral lands, but also their


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homes, date groves, economic assets, distinctive way of life, and unique architecture were lost under the Dam reservoir. Their riverine culture and way of life were changed forever as these communities were forcibly relocated away from the Nile. In order to fully understand these impacts, it is necessary to first comprehend the political context, the economic reasons, and the particular ways in which the project was carried out.

Dam Building in a Dictatorship Since Sudan’s former President Omar al-Bashir came to power in 1989, the country has suffered numerous economic, security and political obstacles, and domestic discontent. The country endured high inflation, soaring unemployment, economic adversity, recession, deterioration in all public services, and a spiraling international debt. To stimulate the economy, the state stopped all subsidies on essential products, resulting in public uprisings that were ruthlessly suppressed (Verhoeven 2011). The ongoing conflicts in Darfur, Kordofan, the Blue Nile, and Eastern Sudan and the continuing war in South Sudan added further challenges to the presidency which redirected resources into warfare. The UN sanctions imposed in 1998 have taken their toll on the citizenry. In 2009, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the president for suspected crimes in Darfur (Country Report 2003). All the above have resulted in Sudan’s international isolation, particularly from ‘Western’ countries.’ The government imposed Martial Law in 1999. Under Bashir the media was heavily suppressed, the Supreme Court and Parliament had limited independence, and unions were banned. Internally, under such an authoritarian regime, a citizen had no voice in decision making. This State repression was visible in various ways throughout the Meroe Dam Project. On 11 April 2019, Bashir was ousted in a military coup d’etat and subsequently convicted of corruption. Dams are often very expensive to build for developing countries. Although the Dam Implementation Unit (DIU) reported costs of around $3 billion USD, a study by Verhoeven (2012) indicates that this underestimated the actual figure which was closer to $5 billion. Sudan could have chosen to invest in solar power which would have been both greener and less destructive. Moreover, and very importantly, the Nile

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runs through one of the hottest and driest areas on earth, and it has been calculated that a substantial loss of water through evaporation from the reservoir of up to 1,500,000,000 m3 per year can be expected (El Moghraby 2013). This amounts to about 8% of the total quantity of water allocated to Sudan in the Nile Waters Treaty (El Moghraby 2013). When a journalist asked the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation ‘why do we need dams’? He replied: ‘because dams are development’ (Verhoeven 2015: 116) and stressed that the ‘Meroe Dam contribution is the greatest developmental project in Sudan’s modern history’ (Ibid.: 148). The government portrayed the dam as the best solution for securing Sudan’s modernization and development (Dirar et al. 2015). Consequently, the Dam was well promoted by the Sudanese media and social media. The government provided free coaches to take people to see its ‘great achievements.’ The Dam was promoted as a national project that would solve the country’s energy problems, promote agricultural development, and eradicate poverty. The state was portrayed as being concerned about the well-being of its citizens and committed to their technological and economic advancement (El Moghraby 2013; Dirar et al. 2015). Thus, local resistance to the project was perceived to be hindering the country’s future economic development. Government officials stressed that the project would improve living conditions in the resettlement areas as the displaced people would be provided with modern homes, infrastructure, schools, hospitals, access to electricity, and a better life (informal discussions between the author and a variety of citizens in Sudan in 2008 and 2009). Owing to the censorship of local concerns and persistent advertisements on national media showing images of idealized villages in the resettlement area, the population at large generally had a good impression of the project. People genuinely believed that the displaced people had been offered better opportunities (informal discussions between the author and a variety of citizens in Sudan in 2008 and 2009). The decision to build the dam was made by a presidential decree without the exploration of other alternatives. In 1999, the responsibility for the building of the dam was removed from the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources and a new authority was established known as the DIU. The DIU was given exceptional powers and was


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made accountable only to the president. The presidential decree (2007 decree No. 217) exempted the DIU from civil service laws that other institutions are obliged to follow, including the service retirement law, national social insurance fund law, civil servant’s accountability law, and fiscal and accounting law. Special legal status excused the DIU from public accountability and gave it immunity from legal action and auditing (Article 13 of the presidential decree) (Dirar et al. 2015; Hashim, 2009). Subsequently, the DIU’s authority was extended into other infrastructure projects. The DIU was responsible for the provision, preparation, and execution of the Dam’s funding activities and had full control over its multi-billion dollar budgets. The operational activities of the DIU did not follow standard parliamentary or administrative procedures, and its activities were not open for discussion by parliament. This institutional arrangement caused tension with other ministries which had overlapping remits with the DIU. Hashim states that the DIU was given a free hand to act as an ‘authority above the law of the state’ (2009: 32). Within this setup, the concerns of local communities and their cultures were overlooked.

Funding the Dam: Economic Motivations The main global players supporting Sudanese development and dambuilding efforts are the Gulf States, Egypt, and China. China’s policy of non-interference combined with its urgent need for natural resources means that it is willing to work with fragile states to which the West has denied financial assistance because of a lack of stability, good governance, and concerns regarding human rights. In addition, Africa provides a vast market for China’s merchandise (Hathaway 2010; Poplack 2014). A number of political analysts consider the role of China in Africa as a new type of colonialism (e.g., Esposito et al. 2014; The Economist 2013). In the twenty-first century, China is by far the largest financier and investor in Africa taking over from European funders who dominated the continent through colonial rule and later neocolonial manipulation. Egypt has various motives for supporting Sudan’s hydropower development since Sudanese dams help to reduce the sediment reaching Lake

Mega Developments in Africa: Lessons from the Meroe Dam


Nasser (the lake created by the Aswan High Dam) while not having a negative impact on the water flow (Swain 2011). Most decisively, in light of the emergence of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI),6 which poses a serious threat to the downstream state’s control over use of the flows, Egypt recognizes the importance of Sudan as an ally in negotiations. Furthermore, population pressures within Egypt and limitations on food production have been driving forces behind cooperation with Sudan to facilitate migration, labor, and agriculture (Ali 2010). Middle Eastern countries including Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Gulf States have also fostered economic relationships with Kenya, Sudan, and Ethiopia as the latter’s alliances formed by their former colonial relationships have weakened (Bruke 2016). The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry states that sub-Saharan Africa is a lucrative area for Gulf capital and that Gulf States can capitalize from its potential as a secure food source (Fatah Al Rahman 2014). As a consequence of the 2008 global economic crises, the Gulf States have become determined to ensure their food security and self-sufficiency. Given their lack of arable land and adequate freshwater resources for agriculture, Gulf countries have encouraged public and private companies to invest in agriculture abroad, mostly in Africa and Asia (Shiferaw 2016). Gulf investments in agriculture have been termed ‘land grabbing’ and have been criticized by many analysts, human rights activists, and environmentalists (Odhiambo 2011). They indicate the negative cost of these massive land deals: from restrictions on locals’ access to water and grazing land to the forced displacement of local communities without appropriate compensation (Shiferaw 2016). In Sudan, by a presidential decree, land in the River Nile State and the Northern States in North Sudan was confiscated from the relevant state authorities and handed over to the authority of the DIU, which eventually leased it to Arab investors for agricultural purposes (Hashim 2009; Elhadary and Abdelatti 2016). Such land grabs in Sudan amounted to 4.0 million hectares of land by 2016 (Elhadary and Abdelatti 2016: 28). This practice is continuing to escalate; for instance, in 2016 Sudan leased another 420,000 hectares in the eastern part of Sudan to Saudi Arabia for 99 years. These complex national and international economic interests and deals demonstrate how removed from the local the decisive interests were, and also that the


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central concerns were being played out at a geopolitical scale of some complexity.

Cultural Impact and the Rescue Campaign The Meroe Dam threatened Nubia’s heritage which has regional, national, and global significance. The region has been densely populated since 3500 B.C.E, yet remains underexplored and understudied (Askouri 2004; Al-Hakem 1993). In response, in 2003, the Sudanese National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM) made an international appeal for help to rescue Nubian antiquities threatened by the dam. Their appeal did not garner the same level of response as the Aswan Dam appeal did in 1959 (see Hassan 2007). In response to the Meroe appeal, only a dozen foreign expeditions participated in the rescue operation which followed.7 The project, which began in 2003, was led by the Sudan Archaeological Society and the British Museum, and aimed to salvage as much archaeological material as possible before the Dam’s inauguration in 2009. Archaeologists had very limited time and funding to carry out their work. Sudan did not receive any help or financial aid from UNESCO. Additionally, the DIU paid merely $587,000 toward the whole rescue operation, a fraction of the total budget for the Dam (Ali et al. 2010: 34). As Sudan does not have any laws in place requiring developers to contribute to survey and/or excavation costs, the international teams involved were self-financed by their institutions with some funding provided by the American Packard Humanities Institute (Kleinitz and Näser 2011). Usually, the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM) offers foreign expeditions the possibility of keeping 10% of their finds (1999 Ordinance). To encourage international Institutions to assist with the salvage operation, the Director General offered an incentive for the participating institutions of the right to keep 50% of the finds (Lawler 2006: 40). It is estimated that over 2500 new sites were discovered during the survey including settlements, ceramic deposits, cemeteries, rock art, sites

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dated to the first Nubian Kingdom of Kush, New Kingdom Egyptian sites, Nubian tower houses, pyramids, medieval churches, Christian frescos, stone tools, human remains, Islamic sites, and Stone Age sites (Lawler 2006; The University of Chicago News Office 2007). The actual number of newly discovered sites hugely exceeds the figure quoted above. According to the British Museum’s Derek Welsby, the Sudan Archaeological Research Society (SARS) concession alone recorded 2000 sites (Pers. Comm. 14th August 2017). The grand total discovered by all participating teams will quite possibly exceed 5000 newly discovered sites (ibid.). Unfortunately, the vast majority of these newly recorded sites were submerged under the new lake before any major excavations or recording of the artifacts could be undertaken. There was a race against time by the various archaeological expeditions to excavate and save the heritage, but given the number of newly discovered sites they were only able to scratch the surface (Lawler 2006; The University of Chicago News Office 2007). Out of their concession’s 2000 new sites, SARS excavated twenty-two sites (Pers. Comm. Welsby 15 August 2017). While the total number of sites partially excavated in the affected area did not exceed two hundred, several factors contributed to the small number of sites excavated. One major cause was that excavations were brought to a sudden and unexpected halt (a point that I will return to later).

Impact of the Dam on Indigenous Groups The Nile valley is a very unique place, not just because of its rich archaeological record but due to the close and unique connection between people and their environment. Both Crowfoot (1919) and Dafalla (1975) describe how the Nile and the date palm groves, which it nourished, were the most distinctive features of Nubian life. The palm groves were the Nubian’s most valuable possession and main source of income. Individual trees could be mortgaged, sold, and inherited. Every part of the tree was used and nothing was wasted. The date palms were the symbol of Nubian identity and rootedness in the land. Moreover, the trees had a symbolic value and featured in all local ceremonies


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(Fig. 3). The River Nile itself was the mainstay of the Nubian culture and economy; it was the center of life. All Nubian ceremonies involved visiting the Nile and drinking its water (Figs. 4 and 5). Place was thus a central aspect of the local communities’ sense of identity and culture. Overall, the Dam construction affected the traditional inhabitants of the area in very detrimental ways, including the loss of their heritage and land. The indigenous communities living along this stretch of the Nile were poorly informed about the scale and extent of the damage the Dam would impose, as well as details of the arrangements made for their relocation or compensation. They strongly resisted the government and many refused to be moved away from the Nile. They requested resettlement along the banks of the new reservoir (Dirar et al. 2015; El Moghraby 2013). In 2008, the DIU opened the floodgates unexpectedly and without any prior notice, forcing local communities to flee for their lives, deserting their homes and their belongings (Askouri 2008). The unanticipated sudden flooding caused a severe humanitarian disaster

Fig. 3 Lush palm groves along the riverbanks (Photo credit: McMorrow May 2017)

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Fig. 4 Lost cultural and social landscapes (Photo credit: McMorrow May 2017)

Fig. 5 Lost familiar surroundings (Photo credit: McMorrow May 2017)

which was exacerbated when the authorities denied relief and support agencies, as well as reporters and journalists, access to the region (Sudan Tribune 2008). The severity of the incidents attracted widespread international condemnation (Sudan Tribune 2008). Peaceful protests were met with brutal confrontation by the DUI’s security forces (Bosshard


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2008; International Rivers Network 2008). Several representative DamAffected Committee members (Lagnat Al Moutadrereen Bl Khazan) were arrested by DIU forces, some protesters were killed, and voices of disapproval were suppressed (Dirar et al. 2015). The arrangements for compensation, the resettlement plans, and their implementation were conducted by the DUI. People were very poorly compensated and those who refused to move were not compensated at all. Displaced farmers were given new plots, but these were in infertile, sandy, desert areas. Harvests were so poor that they had nothing to sell (Figs. 6 and 7). A survey conducted in early 2005 shows that poverty among the displaced people spread rapidly (Bosshard and Hildyard 2005). The poverty rate has continued to spiral, and by 2007, families began to abandon the resettlement areas for the slums of Khartoum (Dirar et al. 2015). Moreover, as Nomadic groups did not possess title deeds for their lands, they were not offered any form of compensation and were therefore particularly adversely affected by the construction

Fig. 6 Failed agriculture in the new resettlement areas (Source Dirar et al. 2015. Photo credit: Mark Zeitoun April 2017)

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Fig. 7 Re-settlement areas, showing their distance from the Nile. Water from a drinking tank can be seen from the distance (Source Dirar et al. 2015. Photo credit: Mark Zeitoun April 2017)

of the Dam as their customary land rights disappeared (Elhadary and Abdelatti 2016).

Clashes Between Archaeologists and Indigenous Groups Sudanese heritage legislation was not designed to cope with challenges of this scale and complexity. It is predominantly concerned with the protection of ‘relics,’ with heritage understood solely as archaeological heritage. This understanding was adopted by the salvage project (Kleinitz and Näser 2011; Taha 2009). The focus of the salvage operation was accordingly the physical archaeological remains with less attention paid to contemporary people and their notions of heritage. A clash erupted between the Manasir (the main group affected) and NCAM regarding the ownership of excavated artifacts. Sudanese Antiquities Law states that ‘All relics or objects of archaeological interest, whether buried deep in the earth or found on the surface, are considered property of the state’ (Article 4:4.1 Ordinance 1999: 2). Yet, the Manasir wanted the artifacts to remain in ‘their’ area. In a similar vein, the location of the museum proposed for the region gave rise to further disputes between NCAM and Manasir. Initially, NCAM offered to build a museum in the resettlement area, but it did not honor this and decided to build the museum at the Dam site instead (Hafsaas-Tsakos 2011; Leturcq 2009). Community representatives strongly opposed the building of the museum outside the region inhabited by the affected people, especially at the site of the Dam, which is not only a symbol of the destruction of their land and their displacement, but also located in the territory of the neighboring tribe. Community leaders lamented ‘our history has been given to


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another community’ (Lawler 2006). An expert in cultural heritage at the UNESCO Cairo Office supported the ownership claims of the Manasir directly by stating that ‘the excavated artifacts are the people’s cultural property’ (De Simone 2008: 229). The DIU nonetheless funded a new museum and a tourist resort in the Dam area, inaugurated in 2009. In 2006, the desperate communities appealed to archaeologists to use their influence to delay the flooding of the reservoir, to raise international awareness of their ordeal, and to ensure that the museum would be built in their tribal territory echoing their appeals to the companies involved in the Dam’s construction (Hildyard 2008). The Manasir attempted to mobilize archaeology as a political instrument to negotiate better outcomes for their community. Archaeologists responded to the appeal by arguing that as a neutral party they had ‘little power or influence’ (ibid.: 8). As a result, the Manasir leadership asked archaeologists to leave their territory (Welsby 2008). Archaeologists working in Sudan at the time had not engaged with the community, or acknowledged their oppression by the State and the DIU. In response to this passivity, locals believed that the archaeologists worked for (or at least with) the government, and hence, were implicated in their resettlement and mistreatment. The first archaeologists to be expelled from the Manasir territory were the team from the University of Delaware (in 2006). They worked on the fortress of El Kab for one day. The next mission expelled was the team from Humboldt University who was forced to leave six days after their arrival; most other teams working in the area were subsequently forced to leave (Kleinitz 2008; Welsby 2008). The teams that returned to the Manasir region for the 2007 and 2008 seasons were denied entrance to the area (Welsby 2008). In response, foreign teams were given other areas to work in by the NCAM, these areas were outside the 4th Cataract. Some teams volunteered to stay outside the region. The teams from the Gdansk Archaeological Museum and the Oriental Institute in Chicago, for example, accepted the decision of the Manasir and decided to work in the Shaigiya tribal area instead. The efforts of teams from Cologne and Hungary to discuss the conflict with the local Manasir leaders were, however, futile (Lawler 2006).

Mega Developments in Africa: Lessons from the Meroe Dam


The Manasir’s action took archaeologists by surprise. Some archaeologists were unaware of the extent of the suffering and hardships endured by the community. As a result, some expeditions managed to conduct short-term side projects led by anthropologists, social geographers, and architects with the aim of documenting the cultural and economic life of the Manasir. For example, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs enabled HUNE to conduct a social-geographical survey in their 2005 season in the 4th Cataract region. However, when the DIU in 2006 announced plans to construct a further ten dams in Sudan with at least seven in Northern Sudan (Fig. 8), indigenous groups decided to prohibit archaeological work in these territories (Dirar et al. 2015).

Fig. 8 Proposed dams on the River Nile–Sudan (Source African Energy 2012)


S. Taha

Discussion: Embracing the Cultural Landscape in Sustainable Development As the example of the Meroe Dam illustrates vividly, MDPs in Sudan and other African contexts threaten cultural heritage in its various forms and often entail large-scale community displacement. In recent years, community consultation and participation has become a common practice in heritage management (Hafsaas-Tsakos 2011). Several UNESCO conventions, for example, the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2003, 2005; 2010; UN 2007) have sought to outline policies which intend to empower local communities. Yet, in the Meroe Dam case, heritage professionals failed to involve the local communities whose heritage they were ‘saving’ (Naser and Kleintiz 2011). It is important, therefore, to appreciate why this was the case, what factors influenced the situation, and how it developed. The professional imperative to engage with local, and indigenous communities, as well as their intangible heritage, raises new challenges. The complexity of the political and economic situation in Sudan at the time moved attention away from the local, as decisions were being formed by national and even international interests. In addition, various factors affected the ways in which decisions were being made and carried out, these involved time constraints, limited funds, a shortage of trained staff in the antiquities service, the enormous number of sites to be rescued, the discovery of large numbers of unknown and unexpected sites, and the lack of coherent plans for the ‘rescue’ of the intangible heritage. In addition, the Sudanese Antiquities Law did not provide guidance for rescue at this scale and the archaeological profession took a rather passive role. These factors combined marginalized the living culture and the everyday way of life of the local communities. As stressed by Kleinitz and Naser, ‘the modern people of the region were effectively relegated to being mere bystanders of history, not much more than an afterthought to a long and interesting sequence of human settlement in this remote part of the Middle Nile Valley’ (2012: 1).

Mega Developments in Africa: Lessons from the Meroe Dam


In response to the possible lessons from the Meroe Dam Project, I suggest it is necessary to include provisions for the protection of intangible heritage in all salvage projects. This will necessitate involvement of local communities who are the caretakers of such heritage—without them, the intangible heritage can neither be recognized nor continue. This point, and the need for establishing procedures and standards, has become more widely recognized. The codes of ethics for both the World Archaeological Congress (WAC) and the Australian Archaeological Association (AAA) explicitly endorse an obligation to indigenous people. WAC requests their members to ‘acknowledge the importance of indigenous cultural heritage, including sites, places, objects, artefacts, human remains, to the survival of indigenous cultures’ (the World Archaeological Congress 1990). Likewise, the AAA calls for their members to ‘acknowledge the importance of cultural heritage to Indigenous communities’ (Australian Archaeological Association 1991). In principle, these ethical guidelines apply anywhere in the world, but in practice they have yet to take root in many regions. On the basis of the Meroe Dam case, it is clear that these principles ought to be exercised as guidelines, and the necessary change of praxis excercised at all levels. One way of doing this would be to encourage the national antiquities services to embrace ethical codes that ensure this awareness and attention toward local and indigenous communities. The Meroe Dam Salvage Project took a top-down approach. Archaeologists took the role of the experts who have the knowledge and the authority to decide what is significant, and what is to be rescued, without consulting the community. And by doing so, they reinforced national and universal values, but ignored local ones. Their selection supported official and universal heritage values over bottom-up unofficial ones. While it is true that professionals were pressed for time and resources, they neglected the importance of contemporary living culture and did not engage with local community understandings of heritage. No wonder the local people came to regard archaeologists as prioritizing dead remains above the needs of the living communities. They frequently asked archaeologists ‘why they put so much effort into studying the “dead stones” rather than giving attention to the living people’ (Kleinitz and Näser 2011: 260).


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Archaeologists have also been criticized for not supporting the idea of a local museum for the people of the 4th Cataract. The community lost everything; a museum would have offered something to hold on to, a place of memory and identity for them and their children (Taha 2014a; 2014b). Manasir indigenous heritage is a living heritage,8 which will soon be a dead one or at least radically transformed. As highlighted by Ruggles and Silverman (2009: 8), ‘The meaning of heritage to living people, their memory and identity should not be underestimated.’ It is insensitive to tell communities whose lives have been threatened, whose lives have been turned upside down, as they face an insecure future, that archaeologists are saving their heritage as it is ‘significant to mankind.’ As noted by Williams, ‘Culture can never be reduced to artefacts while it is being lived’ (1961: 310). These complex interconnections between people, places, and heritage strongly suggest that heritage impact assessments need to be fully integrated in the planning and construction of MDPs, and not merely superficially addressed as part of environmental assessments.9 Communities must be involved in meaningful ways throughout the planning process. The Meroe Dam Project rendered Nubian indigenous groups the victims of development. They lost not only their homeland, but also their heritage. They were removed from their past and present. Local communities have been stripped of their homes, land, and culture in a series of heavy-handed evictions. Most importantly, what happened in the 4th Cataract is now happening in the wake of MDPs all over Africa; local communities have been brutally displaced in the name of development. Is this development for the benefit of all or merely the exploitation of marginalized groups and their land in the interests of oppressive political regimes and foreign interests? The Meroe Dam Salvage Project was immensely successful in uncovering new evidence and enriching our knowledge of the past in the 4th Cataract region. But its work also raised a series of ethical questions related to the role of archaeology in the context of disputed MDPs. The case study suggests that we urgently need to give more attention to values that relate to attachments, traditional practices, and the wealth of knowledge and skills that are transmitted through generations. Professionals need to learn how to recognize value and protect such

Mega Developments in Africa: Lessons from the Meroe Dam


cultural forms. Certainly, in this specific case there were limitations and constraints regarding funding and political circumstances, which presented a number of challenges and complexities. However, it is worth asking whether in fact the outcome of the salvage project and displacement would have been different if it took place in a democratic country? And would professional attention in such contexts similarly be focused on the salvage of as many sites as possible, while overlooking community values, participation, and consultation? Traditional practices provide communities with a sense of identity, belonging, history, and continuity. They rely on the transmission of skills and practices that have been gained over generations. These processes are central to the continuation of skills and heritage which are used, lived, experienced, and increasingly seen as valuable in a globalized world. The question of how to ‘rescue’, or help the continuation of, intangible heritage rooted in everyday social life does, however, pose a substantial challenge. There is probably no universally applicable solution as different circumstances require different responses. It is, therefore, necessary that enough time is given within the development timetable to allow the best solution for a given context to emerge. Approaches need to be tailor-made to fit specific political, economic, historical, and social contexts. Most importantly, rescuing knowledge and skills necessitates community involvement and participation to understand what a community values and wants to save and pass on to their children. Furthermore, the discussion and exchange of ideas with affected communities on how to maintain knowledge and experiences after the development, is vital. The handling of the Meroe Dam case has triggered questions and debates regarding the professional neutrality of archaeologists who were associated with a contested development project that involved human rights violations on the part of the developer. The salvage project ignored the impacts of the project on local communities, even at the cost of the communities’ lives and livelihoods (Hildyard 2008). The case highlights the importance of consulting and engaging with stakeholder communities, and involving all of the relevant professionals in these processes.


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Policy Suggestions What mechanisms are needed to improve future MDPs projects in Africa? This question is complex. I am not offering an answer, but suggest the following points for consideration in future MDPs: 1. Heritage assessments must be included in the project planning stages to guarantee sufficient time for preparation and execution. 2. Legislation in most African countries is still firmly fixed on protecting physical heritage. It is necessary for African countries to update their legislation to incorporate a broader definition of heritage (including the ‘living’ aspects of heritage) so as to achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions. 3. The majority of African countries lack the financial resources to fund rescue projects. It should therefore be compulsory for developers to pay a percentage of the development budget directly to the relevant heritage management agencies to enable them to undertake the necessary work.

Notes 1. In 1997, the United Nations Working Group concluded that a definition of indigenous peoples at the global level was not achievable at that time, and not essential for the adoption of the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Article 8 of the Draft Declaration states that:‘Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them. They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system’. The three tribes displaced by the Meroe Dam are groups who lived along the river banks in the 4th Cataract area for centuries.

Mega Developments in Africa: Lessons from the Meroe Dam


2. The concept of community is fluid and complex as there are multiple communities and a range of definitions of what community is. The Oxford Dictionary defines community as ‘A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common’. Waterton and Smith argue that heritage practitioners often adopt a notion of community that is ‘too simplistic and romantic’ (2013: 10). I therefore encourage the reader at this point to recognize that these tribe’s ‘communities’ have deep roots but also that they have changed radically over the last century due to the influence of transcultural ideas and practices. Today, these tribes are comprised of individuals who hold different attitudes towards the past and aspirations for the future. Within each ‘group’, which are often erroneously depicted as internally homogenous, there are conflicts and power struggles coupled with battles related to pervasive poverty and a general lack of education. 3. This example is one of numerous cases from Sudan. A Chinese businessman started his own construction company, and because of corrupt officials, he bought a Sudanese Passport. He employs only Chinese staff and labor. In addition, he bought land and not only accommodates all his staff, but also, they grow their own vegetables and keep animals for food. Unemployment is high and there is resentment by ordinary Sudanese. They commented ‘What is left of Sudan? The government sold everything’ (informal discussions between the author and a variety of citizens in Sudan in 2008 and 2009). 4. International Rivers is an environmental and human rights NGO, based in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1985. Their aim is stated on their web site ‘We seek a world where healthy rivers and the rights of local communities are valued and protected. We envision a world where water and energy needs are met without degrading nature or increasing poverty, and where people have the right to participate in decisions that affect their lives’. 5. Dar Al Manasir (Al Manasir Home land) is in the region of the 4th Cataract of the Nile. The Manasir have lived in the area for centuries. They practice limited agriculture on the banks of the River Nile—dates are their primary source of income. Some of the Manasir live as nomads who move seasonally to the riverbanks. 6. The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is an intergovernmental partnership of 10 Nile Basin countries, namely Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya,


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Rwanda, South Sudan, the Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Eritrea participates as an observer. Established in 1999, it seeks to provide a forum for consultation and coordination among the Basin States. 7. Several foreign institutions were involved in the salvage archaeology program including: ACACIA project University of Cologne, Gdarisk Archaeological Museum Expeditions (GAME), Polish Academy of Sciences; Humboldt University of Berlin, Italian Institute for Africa and the Orient (ISIAO), University College London, Sudan Archaeological Research Society, Hungarian Meroe Foundation, University of California at Santa Barbara, Arizona State University consortium, and the Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago. 8. ICCROM defines living heritage as the attachments, practices, experiences, traditions, and skills that are passed down through generations and continue to be practiced and are relevant in the present (Wijesuriya 2016). 9. For instance, the South Africa National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998) deals with cultural heritage as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process.

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Askouri, A., 2008. Sudanese Government Forcibly Displaces More Than 6000 Families Affected by Merowe Dam. Statement by the Leadership Office of Hamadab Affected People LOHAP (London). International Rivers. Bell, H. 2009. Paradise Lost: Nubia before the 1964 Hijra. Khartoum: Dal Group. Bosshard, P. 2008. Thousands Flooded Out by Merowe Dam in Sudan. International Rivers Network. Bosshard, P. 2010. China’s Influence on Global Dam Standards: A Race to the Bottom? World Rivers Review: Focus on Dam Standards, Edited by Lori Pottinger, 25 (2): 7. Bosshard, P. 2013. World Bank Returns to Big Dams. International Rivers. Available at: Bosshard, P., and Hildyard, N., 2005. A Critical Juncture for Peace, Democracy, and the Environment: Sudan and the Merowe/Hamadab Dam Project. A Report Published by the International Rivers Network and The Coroner House, USA. Bruke, J. 2016. Middle East’s Leaders Cross the Red Sea to Woo East Africa. The Guardian. 12 September. Available at: World/Middle_East_and_North_Africa. Capka, J.R. 2004. Megaprojects-They Are a Different Breed. Public Roads 68 (1). Available at: 01.cfm. Country Report: Sudan. 2003. Bertelsmann Transformation Index. Transformation: Sudan—(BTI) 2003. Available at: en/downloads/reports/country_report_2003_SDN.pdf. Crowfoot, J.W. 1919. Angels of the Nile. Sudan Notes and Records 2 (3): 183– 197. Dafalla, H. 1975. The Nubian Exodus. Nordiska Africa Institute and C. Hurst & Co. De Simone, C. 2008. The Nubia Salvage Campaign and the 4th Cataract Rescue: Two Experiences in Comparison, 225–230. De Wet, C.J. 2006. Development-Induced Displacement: Problems, Policies, and People, vol. 18. New York: Berghahn Books. Dirar, A., El Moghraby, M.J. Hashim, and M. Zeitoun. 2015. Displacement and Resistance Induced by the Merowe Dam: The Influence of International Norms and Justice. DEV Reports and Policy Paper Series, The School of International Development, University of East Anglia, UK. El Moghraby, A.I. 2013. Some Reflections on the Management of the River Nile and the Merowe Dam. Khartoum: Khartoum University Press.


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Heritage and Sustainability: Challenging the Archaic Approaches to Heritage Management in the South African Context Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu

Communities and the Fortress Conservation Paradigm While cultural heritage managers, mirroring the practice of nature conservators, now use the language of ‘cooperation’ with local communities, such a relationship is still defined by legislation that is very Eurocentric and thus does not consider traditional management systems (see Ndlovu 2009a, 2011 for a detailed discussion). As a result, the involvement of local communities in heritage management is, in my view, simply employed to enhance the ‘feel good’ factor and to satisfy bureaucratic expectations. I will strongly argue that the apartheid era approach to nature conservation still underpins much contemporary heritage management in the sense that sites are heritagised by excising N. Ndlovu (B) Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



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them from everyday life. I shall illustrate this point through the discussion of the eMakhosini Valley case study (located in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa), showing how the view that residential use and heritage preservation are not compatible, continues to reverberate. This position explains why, for example, a portion of uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park was not recognized as part of the World Heritage Site in 2001, and how as a result there is a communally owned nondesignated exclave within the World Heritage Site. In the context of this paper, local community is defined geographically, thus meaning people living in close proximity to a given heritage site. Despite the connections between communities and these spaces, clear boundaries have been forged between heritage sites which can be visited by tourists and other areas classified as being for residential and everyday purposes. Given the pervasiveness of this ‘Fortress Conservation’ paradigm (Peluso 1993; Brockington 2002; Meskell 2011), I argue that there is tension between heritage management and local communities, and that this is often further exasperated by business interests. As a contribution to discussions of the tension within heritage management as it is practiced in South Africa (see further discussion below; Ndlovu 2009a, 2011) and in recognition of the need to develop heritage sites for tourism and other benefits, I review the case of aMakhosini Valley in KwaZulu-Natal. I shall focus on the relocations decided upon by what was then known as the Amafa aKwaZulu-Natali (now renamed the KwaZulu-Natal Amafa and Research Institute) when they bought land identified for the project. They have not succeeded in implementing the full scope of their project. The KwaZulu-Natal Amafa and Research Institute is the Provincial Heritage Resources Agency established by the KwaZulu-Natal Amafa and Heritage Institute Act (no. 5 of 2018)—a second-tier management level in South Africa. The institute replaced the Amafa aKwaZulu-Natali which had been established in 1997 under the KwaZulu-Natal Heritage Act. The other two tiers are: national level (South African Heritage Resources Agency) and local level (local municipalities). In the following section, I shall set the scene by providing a brief review of the historical significance of the eMakhosini Valley which serves as a case study to highlight the tension between heritage managers and local communities. I further focus on

Heritage and Sustainability: Challenging the Archaic Approaches …


what led to the tensions between the provincial heritage authority (the KwaZulu-Natal Amafa and Research Institute) and the local communities. The final section shall address whether sustainability and heritage management can ever be comfortable neighbors.

eMakhosini Valley in KwaZulu-Natal eMakhosini Valley, or the ‘Valley of the Kings,’ is an area located on the banks of the White Umfolozi River, about 10 km from uLundi, the former capital city of the KwaZulu ‘homeland’ (an area set aside for the African population to ‘self-govern’ during the apartheid era) and the province of KwaZulu-Natal between 1994 and 2004 (Fig. 1). The area is defined by a long archaeological history, known to date back to the Stone Age. It is also home to places marking more recent history. The founder of the Zulu nation, 200 years old in 2016, was born in this valley. Not far from the eMakhosini Valley is uMgungundlovu, the Royal Palace of King Dingane kaSenzangakhona. This area became a battleground in the late 1800s between amaZulu and the Dutch settlers known as the

Fig. 1 Location of eMakhosini Valley, or the ‘Valley of the Kings’, in KwaZuluNatal Province (Map courtesy of Tim Forssman, 2019)


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Voortrekkers, led by Piet Retief who had come to seek land in the area. Retief and his military personnel were subsequently killed and buried in the valley, in an area known as KwaMatiwane where a memorial was erected in 1922 in their honor. He was an important political figure for the Voortrekkers and one of the leading figures during the ‘Great Trek’ (the migration by Voortrekkers in search of greener pastures into the interior of what later became South Africa). Within a few kilometers of the Valley are other significant historic battlefields including the site of the last battle of the so-called Anglo-Zulu War at Ondini. It was during this war that King Cetshwayo was defeated by the army led by Lord Chelmsford in 1879. Further significance arises from the name eMakhosini which denotes it as royal and spiritual land that is the resting place for seven of the Zulu Kings, namely King Nkosinkulu, King Zulu (after whom the Zulu nation is named), King Phunga, King Mageba, King Ndaba, King Jama, and King Senzangakhona kaJama (father to the three Zulu Kings, Shaka, Dingane, and Mpande). While born in the eMakhosini landscape, the founder of the Zulu nation as we understand it today, King Shaka kaSenzangakhona, is buried in KwaDukuza near his KwaBulawayo Palace. This abbreviated history highlights eMakhosini’s deep historical meaning and sacred significance to the Zulu nation. Over time, this area became home not only to the Zulu Royal family but also to many commoners and white settlers. The latter owned farms that were purchased by the KwaZulu-Natal Amafa and Research Institute (hereafter Amafa) in the late 1990s. Motivated by the historical significance of the eMakhosini Valley, Amafa began purchasing farms in the area in 1999. At the time, Amafa was a two-year old heritage resources authority established following the amalgamation of the KwaZulu Monuments Council and the National Monuments Council. According to Amafa, this area did not just have regional or national significance, its uniqueness positioned it for consideration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. People already lived on this land when Amafa expressed and acted on its ambitions; this is not disputed by Amafa. The question is, why has it been so difficult for heritage managers to consider conserving a landscape rich in heritage whilst maintaining

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its quotidian use by its inhabitants? It could be argued that the difficulty with considering such a scenario is rooted in the impression that the presence of local communities can be a threat to the integrity of the heritage resources concerned. According to Ndoro (2001), there is a perception within the heritage management fraternity that local indigenous communities are not interested in managing heritage resources. Yet, had this been the case, a number of these heritage resources would not be in existence as they would have been destroyed by these ‘uncaring’ communities. This tension is well known and has been discussed at length (see Pwiti 1996; Taruvinga and Ndoro 2003; Ndoro 2005; Pwiti and Ndoro 1999; Ndoro and Pwiti 2001). These authors consistently point to the problematic nature of a Eurocentric legislative framework that is unwelcoming of traditional approaches to heritage management. These traditional approaches are seen as destructive and must therefore be prevented to safeguard the integrity of these heritage sites (see also Ndlovu 2009a, 2011). What these confrontations illustrate is that authoritative and academic power is still oppressive in terms of how heritage is defined. Moreover, it now appears that these elements can only be transformed through implementation of programmes that specifically aim to bring about meaningful change (see Shepherd 2002, 2003; Ndlovu 2009b, c). In the same way that nature conservationists could not see a direct link between people, animals, and biodiversity during apartheid (and one could argue that there are even problems to this day, see Luckett et al. 2003), Amafa never considered the possibility that the continued significance of the landscape could be better conserved and enhanced if the same indigenous communities that define its importance remained living in their households. Because of this short-sightedness, a number of homesteads were relocated to another farm owned by Amafa. Amafa offered the relocated occupants of eMakhosini minimal compensation. The idea was that the householders had to be relocated for the successful management of heritage in the area. It was not conceivable for them that people could co-exist with appropriately managed heritage. The intention to relocate identified households began hitting a deadend when they refused to move to Vaalbank Farm which had been purchased, without consultation, as the destination for the relocated


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families. Amongst the reasons given, according to the Amafa files, community members argued that at Vaalbank they would be far from schools and would not have access to adequate grazing land. I argue that this large-scale and highly ambitious project of purchasing land was an initiative informed by archaic approaches to heritage management, which we sadly still see being employed to this day. I have no doubt that this approach is deeply defined by the apartheid approach to conservation, where, as stated earlier, people and conservation are deemed incompatible. It is worth highlighting here that as part of the larger project, Amafa and Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, the provincial authority for nature conservation, came together to establish eMakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park to ‘recreate the ancient cultural and natural landscape, first settled in the 17th century by Zulu people’ (Sibiya 2009: 2). Introducing wildlife was considered integral to the development of the park as the animals would increase the potential of tourism. As I shall discuss below, one of the most substantial complaints was that the introduction of wildlife brought ticks to the valley which negatively impacted the health of local livestock. A python was also introduced into the park, 7 km away from the land occupied by communities. Although it was explained that this snake was not dangerous and was introduced into its natural habitat (and at a fair distance from the households), community members complained vehemently about this. The stated ambition of Amafa was to purchase the farms (with financial assistance from the provincial government) to establish a heritage park in order to manage these landscapes in perpetuity. The provincial government, at the time led by the then Premier Sibusiso Ndebele, approved substantial funds (R20 million) for this project in order to purchase the land identified as historically significant, to construct a multimedia interpretive center, and to erect the Spirit of eMakhosini memorial. This strategy was informed by the view established from independent studies which convincingly indicated that tourism was an important developmental factor within the Zululand Municipal District. Describing the proposed project, the then CEO of Amafa informed the media that:

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The centre has been designed and is being built by the KwaZulu-Natal consortium, Vusilela. It will house audio-visual and historical displays, a restaurant, viewing tower, open amphitheatre and craft market. It is intended to be the major tourist and educational draw card to the eMakhosini Valley where most of the early Zulu Kings are buried. The region is rich in Zulu, British and Boer history and has outstanding natural beauty. (Amafa 2008)

The film in the audio-visual arena will, it was said, ‘introduce visitors to Zulu history and how it later became interwoven with that of the British and Boers who came in the 19th century seeking land out of which so much conflict arose’ (Amafa 2009). As part of the long-term project to ‘restore’ the historical significance of the area, Amafa constructed the Spirit of the eMakhosini Memorial which was unveiled in 2003 by His Majesty King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. The memorial is surrounded by seven horns for the seven Kings buried in the valley, and its aim was to elevate the history of the Zulu which had been suppressed during apartheid.

Implementing the Project Plan: Community Protests When Amafa purchased this land, the organization asked the Department of Land Affairs to fully explain to the affected communities what rights they had. However, this offer was refused by the community members, and they did not want to attend meetings organized by Amafa because they were not happy with the poor consultation when the project was conceptualized. Eventually, transport was provided to take the affected communities to uLundi for a meeting which they did then attend. Following this briefing, Amafa began engaging with the occupants of eMakhosini with a view that they had to relocate. As alluded to earlier, this approach by the Council of Amafa was deeply influenced by the apartheid approach to conservation, and it therefore necessitated the removal of people as they were considered an impediment to conservation. While some families seemed willing to take the compensation that


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was being offered, the majority refused to cooperate with the heritage authority and thus did not move. The simmering tensions from when Amafa began approaching the affected families eventually led to protests by community members. For community leaders, the demand was for Amafa to negotiate with the approved community structure, the Qangqatho Committee, rather than to approach individual households. This revealed an attitude of ‘united we stand, divided we fall.’ Some of the families had been living in the area for generations and had different living arrangements with the previous farm owners. For instance, some had lifetime agreements to remain on the land, meaning their families would have to relocate following the death of the family leader. Other families were considered by Amafa to be living near the outskirts of the project area. By 2000, a year after the purchase of the land, one thing was clear: Amafa was failing to constructively engage with the Qangqatho Committee. This was largely because Amafa thought that having the support of the Nobamba Traditional Authority (a traditional structure under the leadership of the local Chief managing the affairs of the community living within its boundaries) would guarantee them success in their endeavors to relocate the identified households. The strategy to negotiate with individual households was dealt a significant blow when community members insisted that negotiations must be handled through the Qangqatho Committee. Amafa and its Council had no meaningful alternative strategy. This angered the community, leading to a number of protests. The first protest was on December 2, 2000, culminating in the march by the community to hand over notification of their grievances to Captain K. Z. Majola of the uLundi South African Police Service (SAPS). A seven-day ultimatum was given to Amafa by the community members. In response to the demands from the community, Amafa argued on December 11, 2000, in a letter addressed to SAPS that the proposed project, which in their view was of national significance, would create both permanent and temporary employment thus benefiting the community through the Community Trust that was to be set up by the Nobamba Traditional Authority. In addition, Amafa indicated that community members would be invited to participate in Nguni

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cattle farming (a special breed of cattle indigenous to the KwaZuluNatal province), and to establish small businesses which would provide opportunities for tour guides, the sale of crafts, staging of cultural performances, dance groups, etc. Amafa further argued that to show their kindness, the organization had offered a portion of its land to serve as a communal cemetery. This gesture to provide a final resting place for those departed, a significant ritual for the affected communities, was not enough to begin to reconcile the two ‘warring’ parties. In its further attempts to bring about an agreement, Amafa informed the community that as part of the bigger project, it had decided to allocate 600 ha from one of its neighboring farms for relocation purposes. This land was about 20 km away. A number of conditions were attached to relocation: (i) each family would be compensated to the initial value of R10 000 for their household, (ii) each family would only be able to keep two to three head of cattle because of the need to prevent overgrazing (echoing apartheid laws), and (iii) the Dingane school was to be relocated. Based on living expenses at the time, the initial compensation of R10 000 seems low. In their 14-year study of relocations undertaken for mining purposes, the Bench Marks Foundation (van Wyk 2016) established that property evaluators use standard urban and suburban criteria in the evaluation of the affected communal property. As a result, these evaluations do not take into consideration the newly derived value of the land based on the resources underground and therefore companies do not pay market-related compensation when relocating families. Considering the significance of livestock in rural settings, stipulating that families could only retain a small number of livestock, was an illinformed decision that could never have been accepted by the affected communities. Cattle have a cultural significance to the amaZulu. They are used to supplement food during funerals (the skin would have been used in the past to wrap the body of the deceased prior to the funeral) and as a payment of the dowry by the groom to the bride’s family before marriage. Cattle also serve as a status symbol for the head of the family. The decision to limit the number of cattle each family could own was never going to offer a practical solution as it would have meant that a number of families must sell their livestock. This did not, as a result, lead to a meaningful engagement between Amafa and the


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Qangqatho Community. The resulting hostilities continued for many years. Nonetheless, Amafa reported that four families independently approached the organization requesting relocation. To illustrate just how convoluted and fraught the conflict between Amafa and farm tenants became, I will use the relocation of Mrs. X as an example. There are conflicting stories within Amafa regarding her relocation. In the first instance, it is reported that following the death of her husband, she voluntarily offered to be relocated to her area of origin. The second interpretation given is that following her husband’s demise, she wanted to be relocated to the farm Amafa had set aside for relocations. It is further stated that Mrs. X had signed a binding tenant agreement with the previous landowner, which prescribed that she and her late husband would be recognized labor tenants for the duration of their lifetimes. Prior to vacating her home, Mrs. X was compensated with what was reported to be an initial payment of R10,000 (Sosibo 2014). On hearing that her mother had agreed to relocate, conflict ensued between Amafa and Mrs. X’s daughter. She was not her biological child, she was the daughter of Mrs. X’s husband by his late wife. Some reports indicate that at the time of the relocation, the daughter was not living with Mrs. X. Other reports state that she had returned prior to the relocation of her mother. Her return led to the suspension of the relocation process of Mrs. X. However, a further report contradicts both of these accounts. Here it is claimed that the daughter returned after her mother’s relocation in order to lay claim to what she believed were her property rights. She was thus regarded by Amafa to have been illegally occupying her mother’s former home. Amafa applied for an eviction order—as she was considered to have no rights following the binding agreement between her parents and the previous farm owner. This conflict remained unresolved for many years because of the standoff between Amafa and other tenants. The arrest of Mrs. X’s daughter, in a separate incidence, for the alleged theft of unspecified Amafa property further heightened the tension. The case study shows how convoluted and toxic the relationship between Amafa and the tenants became. In 2002, two years after the protests and with tension becoming ever more fraught, Amafa asked the SAPS provincial commissioner to conduct an independent investigation into several illegal activities on the

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land they owned at eMakhosini. Among the complaints listed was the continued illegal hunting in the western part of eMakhosini (allegedly conducted by, among others, senior police officers) and the threats that Amafa staff members would be necklaced (the act of forcing petrol-filled tyres around an individual’s neck before setting it alight). Since necklacing had occurred during the apartheid era, these allegations had to be taken seriously. Necklacing was an activity that had been predominantly used against those who were seen to be working against the liberation efforts during the apartheid era. The fact that the threat of necklacing against Amafa staff had been made indicated that in the eyes of the local residents, these government officials continued to be perceived as agents of suppression. However, besides the seriousness of this alleged intimidation, the recourse to legal battles did not improve Amafa’s position in the eyes of the local community. Instead, it set the CEO of the organization and selected staff members against the Qangqatho Committee. As a result, the committee argued that they no longer wished to negotiate with the CEO and the Community Liaison Officer. Rather than dealing with these middlemen, they wanted to talk directly to the Council of Amafa. Ten years after the initial phase of purchasing the Valley’s farms, and following many protests and tensions between the two ‘warring’ parties, Amafa began to change its approach. At its Council meeting held on 19 February 2008, the following was decided: all households were to be provided with: (i) title deeds (which they did not have), (ii) solar panels or electricity supply, (iii) access to a new communal crèche, (iv) improvements in housing conditions, (v) assistance with relocation, (vi) three head of cattle for each relocated family, (vii) water and services, (viii) school transport for a given period after relocation, and (ix) access to commercial opportunities within the proposed park. In addition, families who could potentially be fenced off from the park and would be allowed to stay in their current residences on condition that they enter into an agreement with Amafa in which they would not be landowners but tenants without title deeds. It is interesting to note that the Council Chairperson was absent from the meeting held on 19 February 2008. Whether this was informed by complaints from some community members that the


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Council Chairperson ran a business entity that was to benefit directly from the success of the project he led under the Amafa entity, is not clear. But it was later discovered that this was at the heart of the subsequent resignation of Council Chairperson, when he was appointed to serve on a new Council consolidated by the then Premier, Dr Mkhize. I further note that among the three Council members tasked with negotiating with the community, two were senior Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) members, one of whom served as the Mayor of the Zululand District Municipality under which the area in question fell (see further discussion below). After these negotiations, ten families were permitted to remain inside the perimeters of the park. Even after this supposedly improved February 2008 offer from Amafa, the standoff between the organization and the affected community members did not end. It seems that the intervention by the provincial government in 2012 was to halt relocations. Yet, this did not prevent Amafa from sending an official letter to the Director General in the Office of the Premier on 15 August 2012, stipulating yet another proposal for settling the dispute. This time, Amafa offered to sell the proposed relocation property that had been refused by the labor tenants because it was too far away. From the proceeds of this sale, Amafa proposed that the funds accumulated would be spent on the relocation expenses, i.e., the provision of houses. This begs a question: since the offer to provide houses had been made long before the decision to sell this farm, where were the funds supposed to have come from? My understanding of this is that the purchase of the Vaalbank Farm by Amafa had no cultural significance, but was land identified for relocation purposes, prior to any consultation with the affected communities. When the then Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize, inaugurated a new Amafa Council in early 2013, following a period during which the Council had effectively become dysfunctional and meetings no longer took place, a significant transformation in attempts to resolve the standoff happened. The new Council unanimously agreed that the approach applied by Amafa was not successful because of the forced relocation strategies which echoed apartheid policies. In fact, we (I was one of the Council members appointed for a three-year term of office until the end of 2015) were shocked at the approach previously applied by the

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organization. To move forward, it was decided that the affected communities had to be engaged with in a more meaningful way that respected their views and needs. Our view, as the newly appointed Council, was that there was no other way to resolve this predicament. We thus had to respectfully engage with the affected families and bring an awareness of the apartheid laws that had suppressed these citizens into any future proposed actions. It is telling to note that in almost every communication Amafa wrote about its conflict with the affected community, they clearly stipulated their ownership of the land and the rights they had as the title deed owner. This seems to me a problematic approach, informed by the view that ‘whatever you want, remember it must be on our terms since we own the land in question.’ No wonder Amafa failed dismally in finding a lasting solution for over ten years. Once we accepted this fundamental shift in approach, we appointed an eMakhosini Task Team to lead the negotiations. To assist us, we involved Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (as biodiversity managers of the park in question) and government representatives particularly from the Office of the Premier. In my view, the failure of our Council was not based on the lack of cooperation from communities, rather there were three things that prevented us from resolving this crisis: (i) we lacked the authority to coordinate the implementation of the strategy as a sub-committee of Council, (ii) involving government officials delayed us because of the many protocols they had to consider and this made us untrustworthy in the ‘eyes’ of the community, and (iii) we were influenced by the briefing we had received from senior executives at Amafa leading us to develop negative perspectives of the leaders of the Qangqatho Committee. These three issues had such an impact that we lacked a good strategic direction for how we were to move from one stage to the next. We simply did not dedicate enough strategic input and we thus failed when our term ended. Due to my own involvement in this phase, I shall not discuss this period further. Its analysis must await input from others.


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Sustainability and Heritage Management: Comfortable Neighbors? Having provided an overview of the tensions that have been ongoing for over ten years resulting from the disagreement over how and whether there was a need for communities to relocate to make way for the ambitious eMakhosini Valley project by Amafa, I now wish to address the issue of sustainability in heritage management. According to Brundtland (1987), sustainability means actions undertaken must serve the present while also benefiting future generations. This ideology has informed dominant approaches to heritage management. I, however, find it problematic to premise heritage management on the need to maintain resources as they are for the benefit of future generations. This view is informed by what I perceive to be the fossilization of heritage thus not allowing living generations to engage with that heritage in ways they deem appropriate today. Furthermore, and as I have argued elsewhere (Ndlovu 2011), I consider it equally problematic that we premise heritage management on the idea of benefiting those yet to live in this world. My view is that the concept of managing heritage for future generations is Eurocentric, material-centric, and highly problematic. My argument is that the interests of the living generation must be considered first, before thinking of those who will live in the future. The Eurocentric approach which underpins contemporary heritage management is material-centric, as reflected in the application of terms such as integrity and authenticity. South African practitioners are starting to approach heritage management differently. Through interacting with heritage resources, emphasis is placed on the spiritual significance of the place and the heritage resources in question. Thus, even if contemporary use required the physical exhaustion of the given heritage resource this would not be regarded as ‘destruction’ although that is how such use would be understood within a Eurocentric framework of thinking. The tension between these two approaches is echoed by several other researchers (see Pwiti 1996; Ndoro 2001; Ndoro and Pwiti 2001; Ndlovu 2009a). With this in mind, how appropriate is it to fossilize heritage and think of these resources primarily in terms of their benefit for future generations? I am of the view that heritage sites should be

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managed principally to ensure their current value(s) and to serve their contemporary uses as defined by indigenous communities. This means that for those sites that still have spiritual significance, their management should be deeply informed by the approach and concerns of the communities who relate to the site. With this in mind, there are two ways in which the current generation can benefit from heritage: (i) through commercial exploitation of heritage resources and (ii) through continued use for the purposes deemed appropriate for the relevant community (i.e., using heritage for ritual ceremonies). The former is, in my view, always seen from the ‘eyes of the past’ and with ‘eyes of the future’ dictating management aims. In this context, the ‘eyes of the present’ are often ignored based on the dominant ideology of sustainability that guides us to look to the future. For example, the interests of the Duma clan in using Game Pass Shelter, in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, for spiritual reasons are grounded in contemporary needs, i.e., how can the ritual performances help the living? Thus, the approach to the management of the site by the Duma clan is grounded in the ‘eyes of the present,’ which conflicts with the confines within which legislation promotes heritage management. Heritage management in South Africa has, besides being rooted in the globally dominant Eurocentric and material-centric approach, also been informed by apartheid thinking. The apartheid government’s drive for segregation involved removing people from localities that were deemed to be of significance for either cultural or natural heritage. People were not allowed to reside within locations protected for their biodiversity. Thus, to ensure sustainability of natural heritage, people had to be ‘taken out of the equation.’ As a result, this fortress approach has created a situation whereby heritage managers consider it appropriate to manage heritage ‘away’ from the people. It is considered problematic to have people living within localities of what is defined as an important heritage landscape because of their interference with compliance measures. This is the main reason why well-known heritage sites in South Africa have no people living within them—and by living within them I do not mean as employees (i.e., Robben Island), but as residents in their own right. Important heritage sites in South Africa are managed within designated parks that are declared protected areas. It is further telling that


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all South African World Heritage Sites are under the authority of the Department of Environmental Affairs that still operates within a similarly outdated framework of thinking. The view that people and heritage sites are not compatible—the sentiment at the heart of the decision by Amafa to relocate the affected communities away from the heritagerich landscapes of the eMakhosini valley—continues to drive heritage management across the country today. Noting the paradigm that dominates heritage management in South Africa, politics is another factor to consider.

The IFP, the ANC, and the ‘Heritage Pawn’ Amafa and the political system of the province cannot be separated. When the KwaZulu Monuments Council and the National Monuments Council amalgamated, the strongest of the two (the KwaZulu Monuments Council), ‘emerged victorious’—it dominated the new authority that was formed in 1997. At that time, the province was still under the leadership of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), a party that had historically been closely aligned to Amafa. IFP is a South African political party with roots in the KwaZulu homeland. Its political foundations were closely aligned with Zulu identity politics. As a result, the party has been dominant in the former KwaZulu homeland and the KwaZuluNatal province post-1994. Considering that the KwaZulu Monuments Council worked closely with the KwaZulu government, the strong links between Amafa and the IFP are thus not surprising. In the early 2000s, Amafa was engaged in discussions to move the institution from the then Department of Education and Culture to the Office of the Premier. These discussions were, in my view, informed by the alignment between Amafa and the IFP. This would have enabled the organization to report to the highest office of the party in the province. It is noteworthy that the Amafa Council was dominated for many years by a leadership which supported the IFP. Interestingly, the former (and longest-serving) leader of the IFP, Inkosi uMangosuthu Buthelezi, is a son of a Zulu Princess, Princess Magogo. The Prince has been well known for his support of the Zulu heritage since the time when he was the Prime Minister for the

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KwaZulu homeland, during which the KwaZulu Monuments Council was established. It is clear, therefore, that the IFP was instrumental in shaping the then KwaZulu Monuments Council and later, the activities of Amafa. Besides IFP members dominating the Amafa Council, other links which had a significant role in the history of the organization can be identified. Prince Buthelezi served for many years as the Chair of the Traditional Leaders in the province. While South Africa has democratically elected government representatives since 1994, the role of Traditional Leaders is still prominent within the sphere of governance. Furthermore, the late Prince Gideon Zulu, one of the former provincial government Ministers, and also previously a senior member of IFP, was once in charge of the Department of Welfare and Pensions (1994– 2004). On one occasion, Amafa wrote to both these IFP leaders in their various capacities regarding their challenges around the relocation of the affected eMakhosini Valley community. While Prince Buthelezi may have been approached because of his position in the traditional leadership of the province, I fail to understand why Prince Gideon Zulu would have been consulted in his government capacity considering the nature of the department he was heading at the time, and it seems most likely that Amafa hoped to have access to the influence he commanded in the traditional leadership of the province, as a member of the Royal family. It is thus clear that Amafa had the ear of the traditional leadership as well as the senior leadership of the then ruling party in the province. What one can also infer from the official letters sent to various stakeholders is that Amafa had a good relationship with the Nobamba Traditional Authority (NTA). Considering the political history of the province, where traditional leaders historically favored an alignment with the IFP, this is not surprising. I have already highlighted the close links between Amafa and the IFP; but what is less clear is why the NTA, which is meant to represent the interests of the local community, never seemed to have any way of representing the views of their subjects. I have no record of the NTA ever engaging with the local community to resolve the conflict over the planned relocations. The intervention of the NTA would not have had to oppose the proposed project spearheaded by Amafa, rather, it could have worked to reduce the hostilities


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that threatened the success of the Amafa project. Interestingly, one of the Amafa Council members (a former senior member of the IFP but now a leader of the National Freedom Party) is from the community that was to be relocated by Amafa. She was identified by Amafa as one of the three leaders who was to negotiate with the affected community. Considering the dominant fortress conservation paradigm, which only engages in ‘box-ticking negotiations,’ it is no surprise that her intervention did not lead to a positive outcome. Further highlighting the politicized environment within which the project was being implemented, it is stated in one of the letters written by Amafa that the eMakhosini project represents ‘the second such installation in South Africa’ (Papayya 2009). The letter further states that the project was initiated by the then KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sibusiso Ndebele, a representative of the African National Congress (ANC), to serve as a ‘tourist drawcard to this remote, but historically-significant region’ (Papayya 2009). Since 1994, the province had been politically led by the IFP which had a close relationship with Amafa. This is evident in the nature of the support that Amafa received for its projects, particularly those that were focused on Zulu history. For instance, Amafa annually commemorated the Isandlwana (where the British troops suffered a significant and previously unknown defeat) and the Rorkes Drift AngloZulu (1879) battles. Could it be possible that when Premier Ndebele took over political leadership of the province in 2004 one of his goals was to use heritage as a political carrot to increase support of the ANC in uLundi (where the eMakhosini project is geographically located), a traditional stronghold and power base of the IFP? The political instrumentalization of heritage by both the IFP and the ANC has fueled tensions in KZN. Once the ANC became the majority political party in the KwaZulu-Natal province in 2004, Amafa stopped commemorating the Anglo-Zulu War as they had done since the days of their predecessor, the KwaZulu Monuments Council. This ‘step back’ from Zulu heritage could have been informed by the tensions that later defined the relationship between Amafa and the Office of the Premier, now under the ANC, which the organization started reporting to in 2004. I will briefly discuss the roots behind the tension below.

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Prior to 2009, the relationship between the Office of the Premier and Amafa had been on a tightrope. First, the Premier instituted an amendment to the provincial heritage legislation of 1997, leading to a complaint by Amafa that their views on the draft Heritage Bill which was promulgated into law 2008 were not adequately considered. Second, Premier Ndebele suspended the Amafa Council (which was in part populated by senior IFP members) as well as the CEO in 2009 over allegations about financial mismanagement in the organization (Maistry 2009; Mdletshe 2009). The IFP responded with dismay at the decision (Mtshali 2009). However, the then Council Chairperson legally engaged the Premier, advising him that the Council’s suspension was illegal according to the KwaZulu-Natal Heritage Act of 2008. The Premier was soon forced to re-instate all those who had been suspended (Maistry 2009; Savides and Moolla 2009). Third, and deeply informed by the stand-off between the two parties, Premier Ndebele established a Heritage Unit within his office in 2008. This, in my view, was intended to enable the Premier to have greater control of heritage matters in the province. As a direct result of the creation of this unit and the amended provincial heritage legislation, a lot of Amafa’s responsibilities overlapped with those of the new unit, thus creating the stand-off, with Amafa being of the view that they reported directly to the Premier, not to a unit within his office. Considering the amount of overlap in the responsibilities and the role played by this unit in the appointment of Amafa Council members, the establishment of the Heritage Unit was in my view a direct challenge to the organization. In recognition of such overlaps, Senzo Mchunu, KZN Premier from 2013–2016, invited us, as the Amafa Council, to a meeting during which he presented his intentions to amalgamate the two governance structures under the umbrella of a single Research Institute. This idea led to the legal establishment of the KwaZulu-Natal Amafa and Research Institute following the promulgation of the KwaZulu-Natal Amafa and Research Institute Act in 2018. The Heritage Unit that was previously in the Office of the Premier has now been formally amalgamated with Amafa and the new structure was thus moved into the remit of the Department of Arts and Culture in the province.


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Having analyzed the political relationship of Amafa with the IFP, and the stand-off between the former Premier and the Council of Amafa, I now return to the eMakhosini project. It is clear that Amafa had no convincing Resettlement Plan, informed by a thorough Social Impact Assessment. If these studies had been conducted, it might have been clear to the organization that relocating the affected communities might not be ‘best practice’ in post-apartheid South Africa, where things have to happen differently, sensitive to the fraught political past that we all share. As mentioned earlier, the provincial government provided funding for the purchase of land for the eMakhosini project to be realized. They could have done this for political reasons—to increase political support for the ANC in the province to topple the IFP. I thus argue that with their increasing political dominance in the province, it could be that by the late 2000s the ANC no longer viewed heritage as a significant tool (in contrast to how they considered it in the late 1990s) to use to widen its political support in the province. This could be a possible interpretation of the lack of decisive action taken by the provincial government in resolving the tension between Amafa and the labor tenants. It is further possible that a series of rapid successive changes in the provincial leadership is responsible for this delayed intervention. Premier Ndebele was replaced by Dr Mkhize after the 2009 elections (10 years after the land had been purchased by Amafa). The latter resigned from his position in 2013 when he took over a top administrative position within the ANC, soon after appointing the new Council of Amafa. He was replaced by Premier Senzo Mchunu who himself was removed by the new Provincial Executive Council of the ANC in 2016. His replacement was Willies Mchunu. Premier Willies Mchunu continued, at a rather slow pace, with the proposal to amalgamate Amafa and the Heritage Unit. As already indicated earlier, his efforts culminated in the formal approval of the heritage bill by the Provincial Legislature, a decision that has since led to the establishment of the KwaZulu-Natal Amafa and Research Institute.

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Conclusion: Resolving the Conundrum Balancing between the country’s needs for heritage management and infrastructural development to create employment has proved to be difficult. On the one hand, heritage managers want sustainable development which I argue they often seek to achieve through a fossilization of heritage. On the other hand, government and developers want to play a role in the provision of employment opportunities and the longterm management of our rich heritage resources (Ndlovu 2016). The two have to meet each other halfway. Heritage managers need to realize that not every form of heritage is equally important nor does all heritage need to be preserved for ‘perpetuity.’ Developers need to also appreciate that some of their proposed intentions may need to be amended due to their negative impact on heritage resources. The eMakhosini case study used in this chapter clearly highlights the tensions and challenges regarding the rights of current residents of heritage sites. However, what is more concerning is that the case study also reveals the effects of heritage authorities continuing to apply an archaic approach to heritage management, an approach that does not recognize the compatibility between people and heritage resources. These archaic approaches are deeply embedded in the heritage legislation still applied in South Africa. While colonialism and apartheid may have ended, the heritage legislation passed during the democratic transition has been ‘copy and paste’ in terms of the underlying paradigmatic thinking that informs it. The politics that guided government decisions previously, particularly during apartheid, were echoed in the decisions taken by Amafa and its Council before 2009. Had Amafa and its Council appreciated the history of forced removals in the country and the need for new approaches to heritage management, they could have been more successful in their implementation of the project. True sustainable development cannot be achieved with forced removals; that can only fail. Their plan, among other things, introduced ticks which arrived when buffalo were released onto the land. Even though Amafa refused to accept this to be the case for many years, it later proved to be true following the large-scale death of livestock in the area. Therefore, one can conclude that the whole idea of the heritage park was not well conceptualized in the name of so-called sustainable heritage development. The price has been too high.


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Policy Suggestions 1. People need to be integrated into heritage landscapes. There is a need to shift from the current approach that sees people as a direct threat to heritage resources. New policies should promote a framework in which people can reside and thrive in the same space as heritage resources. The notion that people should benefit from heritage landscapes from ‘outside’ of these spaces must be done away with. 2. Heritage sites of spiritual significance should be managed differently from heritage sites that no longer carry spiritual potency. This will ensure that the current dominant material-centric approaches to heritage management will be complemented by legislation that respects local practices. Living heritage must not only be a concept but must also be realized in practice. 3. While the commercial exploitation of heritage resources cannot be avoided, such use should be sensitive to local needs. The voices of ‘experts’ should not overshadow local views. Such projects will not be durable or successful if they are not supported by local people.

References Amafa. 2008. R20 Million Heritage Multimedia Centre in the eMakhosini. Available at: Amafa. 2009. High Definition Movie for Emakhosini Multimedia Centre. Available at: Brockington, D. 2002. Fortress Conservation: The Preservation of the Mkomazi Game Reserve. Tanzania: Indiana University Press. Brundtland, G.H. 1987. Our Common Future—Call for Action. Environmental Conservation 14 (4): 291–294.

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Luckett, S., Mkhize, K., and Potter, D. 2003. The experience of local boards in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Conservation Partnerships in Africa 13 (1): 6–18. Maistry, L. 2009. S Ndebele on Suspension of Amafa aKwaZulu-Natali Chief Executive Officer? Available at: sion-amafa-akwazulu-natali-chief-executive-officer-0. Mdletshe, C. 2009. IFP, Premier in Row over Heritage Body. Available at: mier-in-row-over-heritage-body. Meskell, L. 2011. The Nature of Heritage: The New South Africa. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell. Mtshali, L. 2009. KwaZulu-Natal Premier Breaks Law by Dissolving Amafa Council. Available at: Ndlovu, N. 2009a. Access to Rock Art Sites: A Right or Qualification? South African Archaeological Bulletin 64 (189): 61–68. Ndlovu, N. 2009b. Transformation Challenges in South African Archaeology. South African Archaeological Bulletin 64 (189): 91–93. Ndlovu, N. 2009c. Decolonising the Mindset: South African Archaeology in a Postcolonial, Post-Apartheid Era. In Postcolonial Archaeologies in Africa, ed. Peter Schmidt, 177–192. Florida: School for Advanced Research Press. Ndlovu, N. 2011. Legislation as an Instrument in South African Heritage Management: Is It Effective? Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 13 (1): 31–57. Ndlovu, N. 2016. Old Archaeology Camouflaged as New and Inclusive? South African community Archaeology in the Twenty-First Century. In Community Archaeology and Heritage in Africa: Decolonizing Practice, ed. P. Schmidt and I. Pikirayi, 136–152. New York: Routledge. Ndoro, W. 2001. Your Monument our Shrine: The Preservation of Great Zimbabwe (Vol. 19). Uppsala: Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University. Ndoro, W. 2005. The Preservation of Great Zimbabwe: Your Monument, Our Shrine. Rome: ICCROM. Ndoro, W., and G. Pwiti. 2001. Heritage Management in Southern Africa: Local, National, and International Discourse. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 2: 21–34. Papayya, M. 2009. Stirring Zulu History on Film. Available at: http://www.sow Peluso, N. 1993. Coercing Conservation? The Politics of State Resource Control. Global Environmental Change 3: 199–217.


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Pwiti, G. 1996. Let the Ancestors Rest in Peace? New Challenges for Cultural Heritage Management in Zimbabwe. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 1: 151–160. Pwiti, G., and W. Ndoro. 1999. The Legacy of Colonialism: Perceptions of the Cultural Heritage in Southern Africa, with Special Reference to Zimbabwe. African Archaeological Review 16 (3): 143–153. Savides, M., and Y. Moolla. 2009. Ndebele Does U-Turn on Amafa. Available at: 281535106906641. Sibiya, N. 2009. The Province of KwaZulu-Natal Showcasing Diversity of Cultures During Heritage Month. Available at: Shepherd, N. 2002. The Politics of Archaeology in Africa. Annual Review of Anthropology 31: 189–209. Shepherd, N. 2003. ‘When the Hand that Holds the Trowel Is Black’; Disciplinary Practices of Self-Representation and the Issue of ‘Native’ Labour in Archaeology. Journal of Social Archaeology 3 (3): 334–352. Sosibo, K. 2014. Locals Face Eviction as State Turns Paradise into a Heritage Park. Mail and Guardian. iction-as-state-turns-paradise-into-a-heritage-park/ (accessed 04 September 2020). Taruvinga, P., and W. Ndoro. 2003. The Vandalism of the Domboshava Rock Painting Site, Zimbabwe: Some Reflections on the Approaches to Heritage Management. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 6: 3–10. van Wyk, D. 2016. Life Before and During Mining: The Relocation and Struggles of the Magobading Community, Limpopo. Unpublished Report of the Bench Marks Foundation.

The Antimonies of Heritage: Tradition and the Work of Weaving in a Ghanaian Workshop Niamh Jane Clifford Collard

Weaving and the Complex Entanglements of Craft, Heritage, and Livelihoods Drawn from an ethnography of work and learning among kente weavers in a village workshop in the Ghanaian town of Kpetoe, this chapter explores the tensions between weaving as a form of work that crucially underpins the livelihoods of craftspeople and craftwork as a form of heritage practice. Ghana is famous for its narrow-strip kente weaving, and the often brightly colored cloths are widely worn at funerals or to celebrate births, marriages, festivals, as well as being an important part of chiefly regalia. Among the Ghanaian diaspora and African Americans who trace their origins back to this part of West Africa, kente has also become a powerful and enduring symbol of heritage and cultural N. J. Clifford Collard (B) Department of Anthropology and Sociology, SOAS University of London, London, UK © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



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patrimony, even if international and tourist buyers constitute only a tiny fraction of the market for kente cloths. Kpetoe is a rural town that functions as the capital of the Agotime traditional area in Ghana’s Volta Region, some five hours drive from the national capital Accra and 100 km inland from the coast. However, it is best known locally and further afield for its woven kente cloths. This research is based upon two periods of fieldwork in the village, one conducted between September 2012 and November 2013, the other being a shorter visit during May and June 2015. As an apprentice in the workshop during my initial fieldwork, this space was the focus of the project and my contacts with local elders, heritage NGOs, and other members of the local crafting community were negotiated from this position. In a context where weaving is ambivalently framed as both the esteemed ‘work of the community’ and a deadweight of tradition that offers limited opportunities for young weavers, the values attached to local heritage and craftwork have become highly contested. Taking the practices and traditions of weaving as a nexus around which different social actors, notably young weavers and community elders, negotiate ideas of heritage and development, this chapter argues that the value of neither heritage nor tradition is immutable, but rather both are socially situated, structured, and patterned. In this regard, young weavers contending with precarious economic conditions, high levels of youth unemployment and informalized economies have quite different ideas of heritage than village elders, whose economic positions are often more secure and whose ties to local and national elites are stronger. The ethnography looks at the different ways in which heritage and tradition are configured, highlighting two parallel perspectives. The first is exemplified by the local annual Agbamevoza festival, a celebration ostensibly focusing on the narrow-strip kente cloth which the town’s weavers are renowned for producing, in which local ideas of heritage and tradition are performed. The second centers upon the everyday practices which weavers use to negotiate the opportunities and limitations of their working lives. Analysis of Kpetoe’s annual festival suggests some of the ways in which heritage has been constructed in the intersections between local

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politics and the history of the Ghanaian nation-state, with local experiences of modernity and governmentality underpinning the construction of certain ideas of tradition in Agotime. Attention to the routines of work, on the other hand, shows how the quotidian and practical demands of making a living often produce quite different ideas of heritage. The notion of intangible heritage, and the according of value not only to crafted products but also to the livelihoods and life-ways of craftspeople, is important here (see Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 2004) and UNESCO has furthered this agenda, in various guises, since the early 1990s. The Proclamation of the Masterpieces of Intangible Heritage, instituted in 1997, was an important moment in shifting focus from objects of heritage to processes of cultural production. However, as this chapter shows, this paradigm shift has been neither straightforward nor complete (see Bartolotto 2006). The ethnography put forth here looks at the limitations of such an approach, arguing that the sustainability of Agotime’s crafting heritage is crucially bound up with the fostering of livelihoods and equality of educational and working opportunities for often marginalized makers. When weavers are unable to live through their work, the heritage of their craft is put in jeopardy. Fundamental here is a conception of craft as a process not only of making cloths but also of forging livelihoods. When looking at Agotime’s weaving festival and the working cultures of weavers in Kpetoe, two distinct pictures of heritage emerge, one based on spectacle and thus much more amenable to heritage discourses, the other more routine and unremarked upon but nonetheless essential to the crafting of local cloths. It is with both of these perspectives in mind that those engaged with heritage matters in African contexts must ensure that policies effecting craftworkers take account of the challenges that makers face forging livelihoods, and work to actively support them in seeking out dignified and meaningful lives. Bringing together these strands, the chapter seeks to further a view of heritage and development that prioritizes the positive contribution crafting can make to local livelihoods and lifeworlds, rather than viewing heritage and tradition solely in terms dictated by elite actors. Failure to balance the spectacle of tradition with intangible heritage and the everyday needs of weavers, risks turning heritage into a weighty burden upon those already contending with precarity.


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Heritage, Development, and the Elite in a Ghanaian Festival Instituted in 1995 at the behest of current paramount chief Nene Nuer Keteku III and marked annually in September, the Agbamevoza is a week-long festival celebrating traditions of cloth production in Agotime, a community of thirty-seven towns and villages on either side of the southern reaches of the Ghana-Togo border. The festival is comprised of historical re-enactment, a kente weaving competition, firing of musketry and a ‘Women and Children’s Durbar’ that seeks to reframe female initiation rites from a heritage perspective. Celebrations culminate on the last Saturday of the festival, in a Grand Durbar held at the Ghanaian Customs and Excise Preventive Service parade ground in Kpetoe. The Durbar is an elaborate spectacle, commonly composed of a public procession of local leaders that concludes with a formal reception where high profile guests are entertained, and the political power of local elites is enacted and legitimized (see Umar-Buratai 2012). Enmeshed with the historic encounter between extant traditions and British colonial incursions across the region, the Durbar as a form of heritage practice is most closely associated with the Emirates of Northern Nigeria, but continues to form an integral part of festivals across Anglophone West Africa (Apter 2005: 167–199). Considering the crucial importance of claims to tradition in festivals across Ghana (Lentz 2001: 54), the Agbamevoza authenticates itself through displays of weaving. The craftsmen with whom I worked described weaving as the ‘traditional work of the community,’ despite it being just one form of labor that they had to balance against driving, farming, and professional work in their attempts to forge sustainable livelihoods. Historical re-enactment and rowdy displays of musketry fire from local Asafo 1 groups also played a part in forging an authentic sense of local heritage, linking contemporary festival practices with the public performance of Agotime history. The festival’s success in forging a spectacular and performative kind of local heritage was evident in its popularity among young weavers in Kpetoe and its capacity to draw the Agotime diaspora back home, bringing families together in celebration.

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Nonetheless, the picture of heritage put forth in the festival is crucially bound up with the perspective of select elite actors. Proud of his title as ‘guardian of Ewe kente’2 the Agotime paramount, like traditional leaders and chiefs across Ghana, positions himself as an important intermediary through which ‘true’ knowledge of Agotime heritage can be accessed (see Yarrow 2011). These claims are bolstered by the fact that he has written several lengthy accounts of Agotime history and has collaborated with UNESCO on projects documenting the history and practice of kente weaving in Agotime. It can be argued that the paramount’s position as a gatekeeper of local knowledge works to fulfill his aspirations to recognition as both a skilled craftsman and chief. In this way, the form that the festival has taken has emerged from astute political calculations on the part of the paramount and his entourage as to how local practices can most convincingly be put to work not only in performing cultural heritage, but also in accruing elite prestige. One particularly telling instance of these negotiations is the way in which, having originated in the 1980s as a triumphalist celebration of Agotime’s military endeavors against the Asante, the festival has come to focus instead on weaving and the history of craftwork in Agotime. In the run-up to the celebrations, demand for kente produced by local weavers increases and participants in the festivities routinely don their finest cloths when attending events. However, alongside other more established festival practices, recent innovations in the festival’s form include a weavers’ palanquin 3 procession through the Grand Durbar and a youth weaving competition. These shifts are important when considering that local leaders have legitimated not only their power, but also their particular view of heritage through aligning themselves with the dominant cultural forms of ‘outsiders’ who have greater access to resources (Mosse 2005: 218). In the case of Agotime’s festival, this has meant eschewing militarized history in order to garner the support of the Regional House of Chiefs, who provide financial resources and much sought-after recognition to celebrations that ‘…promote interethnic exchange and development’ (Lentz 2001: 54). Thus, local elders and festival organizers have tactically deployed craftwork, rather than military history, as the focus of the celebration, with weaving becoming a legitimate fulcrum around which both, local pride can be expressed, and outside support garnered.


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This work of cultural negotiation has been executed by the paramount and his chiefly colleagues with great diplomacy and skill, and their profound knowledge of local history and craft practices is undoubted. Nonetheless, Nene Keteku’s position as a gatekeeper can be seen to undermine other views of local heritage, particularly those of workshop members who spoke with guarded bitterness of their marginalization in the process of organizing the festival, and their distrust of local leaders. Although the event was eagerly anticipated by young workshop weavers as a chance to market their wares and socialize with friends and family, many of their views on the festival were not actively sought by the organizing committee. Even those elements of the festival, like the weaving competition and loom-palanquin (see Fig. 1) that were meant to represent the local crafting community were organized in conjunction with a local NGO rather than the weaving workshop members themselves.

Fig. 1 Kente weaving competition winner being carried through the durbar ground on the loom palanquin, Agbamevoza festival, Kpetoe, September 2013 (Photo credit: Niamh Clifford Collard 2013)

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Rather, dismissed by certain local elders as ‘thieves,’ oriented toward money rather than tradition, many young craftsmen are judged by their elders to fall short in terms of both their technical skill in the loom and their knowledge of the craft’s history and lore. Despite emerging from experiences of modernity, when ideas of tradition and heritage functioned as impracticably high standards against which young craftsmen often fell short, these discourses worked to powerfully exclude some craftspeople from the everyday advantages of a ‘modern’ life (Herzfeld 2004: 20). Those struggling to make a living in the craft came to occupy precarious social spaces of ‘waithood.’ For these young men, difficulties accessing education and decently recompensed work have meant that allimportant social markers of adulthood, including the resources to marry and support a family, are becoming ever-harder to attain (see Honwana 2012). As such, attitudes toward heritage very much depended upon one’s position within local hierarchies, and contestation was particularly centered upon the tension between weaving’s intrinsic value as a cultural practice and the everyday demands made of weavers trying to market a product. This process is bound up with both modernity, where the integration of mobile technologies and media into the everyday lives of young people around the world has broadened their horizons (see Honwana 2012: see also Jua 2010), and the ever-quickening pace of globalization, which increasingly imperils artisans’ livelihoods as crafted products have been largely overtaken by mass-produced goods (Scrase 2003: 449; see also Herzfeld 2004). As has been persuasively argued elsewhere, ideas about heritage are crucially tied to experiences of (and indeed against) globalization (see Herzfeld 2004). What is more, the intersection between globalization and heritage issues fundamentally alters ‘…how people understand their culture and themselves’ (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 2004: 58). In one sense, this is evinced by the integration of media and technology into how the festival is celebrated. Social media and messaging services, including Facebook and WhatsApp, play an increasingly important part in the dissemination of information about and images of the festivities through social networks of kin and friends. Local radio and print media also play a role in the promotion of the festival. However, on another level this relationship was evident in the dissonance between the


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lavish presentation of local heritage put forth during the celebrations and the challenging reality of young weavers contending with deep-rooted social inequalities and economic precarity. For them, a festival focused on the technicolor spectacle of chiefly processions rather than the viability of craftwork and livelihoods was failing to address the everyday needs of weavers. This is not to say that heritage in Agotime was divorced from broader political and social currents. Indeed, with coverage from local and national media, as well as an increasing social media presence, the festival formed part of widely circulated images of Ghanaian and West African culture. However, to the extent that the festival functioned as an arena within which the local elite could forge and strengthen their ties both to politicians and NGOs, these exchanges could be exclusive and exclusionary. An organizing committee composed of the paramount chief, local business owners, and other local ‘big men’ is tasked each year with inviting guests of honor, and the presence of MPs, government ministers, and NGO officials forms an important part of the celebrations. However, the workshop weavers whose craft sits at the heart of the celebration, were notably absent and effectively excluded from this committee. Thus, the festival constitutes a nexus between local and national elites, offering politicians an opportunity to connect with their constituents and giving the local elite a legitimate forum within which demands for resources and support for development projects can be made, while simultaneously reinforcing social hierarchies which marginalize young craftspeople (see Lentz 2001). The performative offering of cash donations during the course of the Grand Durbar, along with the ritualized displays of respect through chiefly processions and greetings, sees prestige accrue on both sides. In this way, the political and material aspirations of both chiefly and political leaders become wedded to the exclusive forms of heritage on display in the festival. However, these displays and their efficacy in forging relationships between local and national leaders do little to allay a fundamental lack of trust weavers have in their representatives, both elected and traditional. In conversation with workshop colleagues, it was not uncommon for talk to turn to local development projects that remained incomplete. During the summer of 2013, a long-promised road linking the Kpetoe’s

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main thoroughfare to the town’s market and the villages in the hinterland beyond remained unfinished. With the festival on the horizon, one weaver complained that although the local MP and district assembly had pledged the community this road several years before, work had ground to a stand-still. He wondered what might be said by officials about the matter during the upcoming celebrations and lamented what he viewed as the corruption of community leaders. These exchanges were a frank expression of the fundamental divorce between the aspirations of craftspeople and those of elites, with ideas of heritage doing little to bridge this gap.

History, Policy, and the Creation of Local Heritage in Agotime As a nexus around which the relations between various elite actors are negotiated, the forms of culture on display at the festival, along with the heritage discourses at work in Agotime more broadly, are underpinned by the Ghanaian state’s cultural policy. These in turn are linked to a series of longstanding international debates across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond about the social, economic, and cultural value of patrimony and the precarious status of heritage in post-colonial contexts (UNESCO 1972; Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 2004; Senah 2013). In a crucial sense, from the colonial period, through the liberation struggles headed by Nkrumah in the 1940s and 50s and up until the present moment, ideas of the ‘nation’ in Ghana have been constructed in relation to the political and social authority embedded in localized forms of heritage. During the colonial era, the powerful symbolism of chieftainship, kente cloths, and the cultural festivals enacted through Durbar displays, along with other emblems of supposedly ‘local’ traditions were put to work in shoring up the power of chiefly elites reconfigured by the colonial authorities. Across the African continent, invented traditions introduced by European colonizers in African colonies tended to focus on governance and subordination, rather than production (Ranger 1983: 228; see also Umar-Buratai 2012). As such, throughout much of the


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Britain’s colonial history in the former Gold Coast,4 when their involvement was largely limited to coastal enclaves, a policy of indirect rule was fundamental to governance in the colony. These policies worked to ‘traditionalise’ chiefs and cement along monarchical lines a hitherto heterogeneous array of disparate political formations and practices (Ranger 1983: 211–212). The policy, which was instituted in all of Britain’s West African colonies, put traditions of chieftaincy to work supporting the political and economic exigencies of the colonial administration. Thus, the institution of chieftaincy, so central to contemporary notions of tradition across Africa, was to a considerable degree born from a colonial history of subordination and control. From this perspective, the loose association drawn in the Agotime workshop between heritage issues and the often conservative concerns of a local chiefly elite can be seen as fundamentally rooted in the political history of the region. Andrew Apter’s work interestingly examines the intertwining of localized forms of culture and processes of state formation in cultural festivals (Apter 2005: 167–169). As an invented tradition that has its origins in the British colonial administration of India, and was introduced to West Africa by General Lugard,5 Apter (ibid.) highlights the role that the Durbar played in Anglophone colonial West Africa, including the former Gold Coast. Just as colonial authorities across West Africa worked to reconfigure local power-structures into chiefly elites who would be more amenable to their governance (Wilson 1987: 494), so too they instituted cultural practices that consecrated these new chiefs. Thus, it is little surprise that in Agotime, as elsewhere across southern Ghana, the paramount chief and his entourage are often at the heart of festival celebrations. The Durbar is a ubiquitous feature of Ghanaian festivals and these performances, rooted as they are in the exercise of colonial power, continue to play a role in defining the relations between state power and local culture. In the period since independence these forms of culture have been repurposed and, not without awkwardness, married to a vision of national unity. The state-sponsored notion of ‘Unity in Diversity’—a slogan commonly broadcast through the radio and plastered on hoardings across Ghana—espouses values of democracy, tolerance, and equality, while highlighting the tensions inherent to a nationalism that rests upon

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diffuse, and often conflicting, local identities. A short excerpt from the policy document of the National Commission on Culture quite clearly lays out the issues at stake: Ghana has over 50 ethnic groups whose common values and institutions represent our collective national heritage. Each of these ethnic groups brought together by accident of history, has unique cultural features and traditions that give identity, self-respect and pride to the people. Since independence, the emerging civil society of Ghana has recognised the need to promote unity within this cultural diversity, and Ghana has since enjoyed relative unity, stability and peace…The Fourth Republican Constitution (1992) recognises culture as a necessary tool for national integration and development… (National Commission on Culture 2004: 7–8)

Although this cultural work has not been restricted to Ghana alone, having historically found its echoes across sub-Saharan Africa in Leopold Senghor’s Senegalese negritude and Mobutu’s Congolese ‘African authenticity,’ these sister movements have similarly struggled in their attempts to forge national sentiment from disparate local traditions. The very idea then of ‘local’ heritage, was arguably born out of the internecine struggles of modernity for power and identity in a region riven by colonial and post-colonial fault-lines. While not totally discredited, for pride in local heritage in a place like Agotime remains and is evinced in events such as the Agbamevoza, ideas of local heritage have not emerged from these struggles unscathed. Rather, the politics of heritage and nationalism carries with it the heavy baggage of a project which, due to its internal contradictions, was not, and may never be, fully realized. ‘Local’ heritage, the Ghanaian nation and the power of chiefly and political elites make the sorts of cultural practice on display in events like the Agbamevoza hegemonic ones, representing largely elite concerns rather than the everyday issues faced by many weavers. Nonetheless, this is not to say that heritage and powerful ideas of community and identity did not play a key role in the lives of Agotime weavers. Rather, the importance of cultural practices for young craftspeople lay more in the routines of their work, sociality and other elements of what might be termed intangible heritage, rather than in the spectacle of the festival.


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Arguably, it is in these practices of sociality, and the lifeworlds that they sustained within the crafting community, that a great deal of Agotime’s crafting heritage is vested (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 2004: 61).

Community and the Social Grounding of Weaving Heritage The everyday practices of sociality that patterned life in the workshop and the experience of weaving in Agotime were the unremarked upon basis of workshop weavers’ festival celebrations. Weavers valued the festival not only as a spectacular display of local power, but also as an opportunity to market their cloths and a chance to join together in strengthening and broadening the social networks of family, friends, and customers that underpinned their livelihoods. In the run-up to the Agbamevoza in September 2013, a group of workshop colleagues came together to set up a stall at the Grand Durbar selling their cloths. Weaving was a skill that was most often learnt in the context of the work of the household, with fathers, uncles, older brothers, and neighbors teaching younger family and friends how to work at the loom. Thus, the cloth stall at the festival had been organized by male cousins who teamed up with neighbors and friends to sell their wares. Beautiful cloths in rainbow hues were carefully displayed under a canopy the weavers had rented together, and each man took the chance to show off their skillfully made pieces. Potential customers were courted with smiles and welcoming handshakes and the weavers themselves modeled carefully woven and stitched batakari (smocks made up of stitched together cotton strips that are widely worn across Ghana but are nonetheless considered typical of the north of the country) like those they had on sale. The men shared responsibility for looking after the stall, taking turns as they alternated between selling cloth and exploring the Durbar grounds. Photos of the jubilant crowds and the palanquin processions were snapped on mobile phones, and the families and friends of the weavers stopped by the stall to chat and share snacks of fruit, maize, and ice cream.

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For Francis, an accomplished workshop weaver and one of my friends and mentors in the crafting community, the Agbamevoza was a chance to sell cloths and develop relationships with new customers, while also participating in the life of the village, learning about Agotime’s heritage and sharing this knowledge with his child. Describing the festival, Francis said: For me, myself, I like to see those things so I will know how to tell a story about it to my son or somebody [else, and] I have been planning to take [my son] to go and watch everything, see everything! (2016)

Much like weaving knowledge itself, which was socially situated and crafted between family and friends in community spaces like the Kpetoe workshop (see Lave and Wenger 1991), heritage was articulated as much in the relationships that weavers had with one another, their families and the broader community, as in the spectacle of the Durbar.

Craft Learning and Intangible Heritage Looking at craft learning and the shared knowledge of festival practices as instances of intangible heritage in the weaving community it is clear that both were structured around exchange. Both at the festival and in the workshop, weavers shared stories, food and social contacts as they navigated the routine demands of their work and its place within the broader context of Agotime’s crafting heritage. Just as my colleagues’ stall at the Agbamevoza had been characterized by the pleasures of weavers sharing food, meeting friends and taking part in the festivities, so too was the weaving workshop a place where weavers worked together to share ideas, develop their craft practice, and showcase their skills. The steady rhythm of work at the loom was punctuated by discussions about how best to use materials or which combinations of shape and color would be most aesthetically pleasing. Trusted colleagues shared work with one another and established workshop members would offer guidance to younger weavers. As an apprentice myself, I often benefitted from the input of experienced craftsmen sharing their expertise and tools with me, as we


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spoke over some food or a drink. These exchanges occasionally became quite raucous, participants putting forth and defending strong opinions about how best to approach the making of a cloth. Apart from the practical problem-solving part of these conversations, they also served as a focus for the negotiation of social norms in the workshop. Certain kinds of behavior were often reinforced in these exchanges, particularly those surrounding cleanliness and order. I was often reminded of the importance of sweeping my loom before the start of work, and there were tacit links drawn between the maintenance of a clean loom and control of the spiritual hazards of weaving work. One friend went as far as to admonish me for repeatedly forgetting to clean my loom, saying that by ensuring that the space where I worked was swept, I would be ridding it of possibly malignant spirits. While rites associated with weaving in Agotime were not an obviously commonplace part of the everyday routines of craftwork, habits such as these were nonetheless embedded within the wider cosmological and cultural ideas that constitute intangible heritage (for further discussion of the intersection between the routine and ritual practices of work, see Dilley’s 1987 account of Senegalese Tukolor weavers). The offering of libations and the sharing of food to mark the beginning and end of apprenticeship was another practice which similarly brought together sociality, work and ‘intangible’ cultural ideas. Small celebrations, during which weavers, their families and friends came together to mark and legitimate the training and skill of new members of the crafting community, these gatherings were low-key affairs that lacked the pomp and ceremony of the festival. Nonetheless, the part they played in the socialization of weavers was significant, importantly underpinning how craft learning and practice was transmitted and sustained in Agotime.

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Conclusion: Imperiled Livelihoods and the Role of Heritage In the summer of 2015, I returned to the Kpetoe workshop to visit friends and see how things had changed since completing my initial fieldwork at the end of 2013. Despite maintaining contact with two of my former mentors, I was saddened to find the workshop, which had once been home to nearly thirty weavers, a much quieter place. A core of about ten weavers remained in the workshop. However, a number of others had abandoned the loom for work elsewhere, focusing instead on cultivating their family farms, finding work as drivers or on furthering their education in the hope of maybe securing an elusive government job. Those who remained spoke dispiritedly of the challenges they faced in making ends meet. The ongoing Ebola crisis, which began in 2014, was widely felt to have had a negative impact on the viability of workshop livelihoods. Although no cases of the disease had been reported in Ghana, several workshop members were sure that the humanitarian crisis ongoing in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea had dented the local tourist trade, with visitors postponing travel to the region, causing a knock-on effect to their trade-in cloth. They spoke eloquently about the ways that media coverage of events had stoked fears that travel to Ghana was a risk many tourists were not prepared to take. As someone who had followed reporting of the epidemic from London, I could only agree with them that news of the disease had indeed created palpable, if not also very problematic, fear of contagion. Furthermore, the Ghanaian government had called in the IMF toward the end of 2014, and agreement on a package of loans and austerity measures at the start of 2015 heralded a worsening domestic economy. Taken together, these crises were felt to have chipped away at the sustainability of life in the workshop, whose membership had more than halved in the three years since I first arrived in Kpetoe. Reflecting upon these changes, and the daily challenges weavers faced supporting themselves and their families from the craft, it was clear that macro-economic, political, and social factors far beyond the control of Agotime’s weavers have long challenged their livelihoods. In moments of crisis, the viability of crafting livelihoods was acutely affected, pushing


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many weavers from the loom into other types of work which they hoped would offer a modicum of security, but which were also often just as insecure. Driving Okado, which involved offering pillion rides on the back of rented motorcycles, was just one example of the precarious work that some young craftsmen took part in when weaving jobs were in short supply. Plying potholed roads for passengers was not only dangerous, but also far from lucrative, with drivers having to cover both the price of fuel and the rent of the bike from their limited earnings. Those remaining in the workshop were left to negotiate these challenges with the limited social and material resources available. Social ties with kin and customers were carefully cultivated and maintained, while resourceful and inventive use of materials played a part in producing desirable and marketable cloths (see Clifford Collard 2016). However, while the material and social fabric of weavers working lives was under constant strain, the spectacle of heritage on display in the festival achieved little in securing sustainable livelihoods for craftspeople. The gap between hegemonic, elite forms of festival heritage and the cultural routines that constitute craft-working is not necessarily, in and of itself, a negative thing. In one sense, it is evidence of the ways that culture is socially patterned and structured. What is, however, undeniable, is that the disjuncture between festival heritage and the routine practices of weaving as a form of heritage work that underpins crafting livelihoods, highlights the differing values attached to heritage by members of various elites and kente weavers themselves. For weavers, craftwork was approached pragmatically as an everyday means of making a living, while for elite actors the festival was an occasion to accrue prestige and bolster their position within social hierarchies. Although these prerogatives might not always be in direct opposition, they seemed to rarely intersect, with resultant tensions and disagreements between different actors about what constituted heritage in the crafting community. In a situation where young weavers are struggling to sustain their livelihoods in the face of deep-seated systemic and globalized inequalities, their voices about what heritage should be, and the pressing priorities of getting by through craftwork, were often marginalized in favor of a view of heritage that favored spectacle over the pressing, quotidian needs of craftspeople for dignified and rewarding work.

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Policy Suggestions The kind of elision highlighted above is not primarily a question of academic debate, but rather has very real ramifications for people whose work is bound up with important ideas of culture and tradition and who are also living with precarity. It is arguably the work of heritage officials to try and reconcile the appeal of festival heritage with alternate views of crafting heritage that foreground the aspirations of weavers to dignified, sustainable, and meaningful forms of work. To these ends, it is hoped that this ethnography will encourage those engaged with matters of heritage, sustainability, and policy to: 1. Pay attention to how issues of heritage, tradition, and culture are socially stratified and structured, both locally and in wider, more global terms; 2. Consider how amenable heritage discourses and practices are to the everyday challenges of making a living; 3. Remember that heritage must be valued not only in terms of ‘tangible’ displays of culture, but also for the positive contribution it makes to livelihoods and communities. In this sense, heritage should be seen as crucially embedded in the shifting, mutable routines of the everyday rather than just as a form of cultural spectacle.

Notes 1. During periods of Akwamu and Asante expansionism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Asafo companies played an important role in military resistance east of the Volta and their inclusion in contemporary festivals makes important claims to local history. 2. Although Agotime history is distinct from that of their more populous Ewe neighbors, and older members of the community speak Agotime Dangbe, rather than Ewe as their mother tongue, Ewe is the most widely spoken language in the area and Agotime is widely seen as ‘…a kind of proxy Ewe [culture]’ (Nugent 2008: 948). 3. Palanquins are decorated chairs, borne aloft by several carriers that are generally used for the ceremonial transport of chiefs at durbar celebrations in


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southern Ghana. A weavers’ palanquin featuring a weaver working at a loom is a novel interpretation of this tradition. 4. The Gold Coast was formed in 1867 by the British government seizure of private lands along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. As a British colony, it continued to be known as the Gold Coast, the British claiming further territory through the Anglo-Ashanti wars that ended in 1902. Following independence in 1957, the territory was renamed Ghana after the ancient empire that lay to the north-west of the current Ghanaian state. 5. General Lugard was a British colonial officer to Nigeria at the time of the 1900 surrender of the Royal Niger Company to the British crown (Apter 2005: 179–180).

References Apter, A. 2005. The Pan-African Nation: Oil and the Spectacle of Culture in Nigeria. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Bartolotto, C. 2006. From Objects to Processes: UNESCO’s ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’. Journal of Museum Ethnography 19: 21–33. Clifford Collard, N.J. 2016. Social Strategies and Material Fixes in Agotime Weaving. In Craftwork as Problem Solving- Ethnographic Studies of Design and Making, ed. T. Marchand, 153–168. Farnham: Ashgate. Dilley, R. 1987. Myth and Meaning and the Tukolor Loom. Man 22 (2): 256–266. Herzfeld, M. 2004. The Body Impolitic—Artisans and Artifice in the Global Hierarchy of Value. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Honwana, A. 2012. Waithood: Youth Transitions and Social Changes, a Response to Syed Mansoob Murshed. Available at: min/ASSETS/iss/Documents/Academic_publications/2_honwana.pdf. Jua, N. 2010. Body and Soul; Economic Space, Public Morality and Social Integration of Youth in Cameroon. In How Africa Works- Occupational Change, Identity and Morality, ed. D. Fahy Bryceson, 129–143. Rugby: Practical Action Publishing Ltd. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, B. 2004. Intangible Heritage as Metacultural Production. Museum International 56 (1): 52–65.

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Lave, J., and E. Wenger. 1991. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lentz, C. 2001. Local Culture in the National Arena: The Politics of Cultural Festivals in Ghana. African Studies Review 44 (3): 47–72. Mosse, D. 2005. Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice. London: Pluto Press. National Commission on Culture. 2004. The Cultural Policy of Ghana. Accra: National Commission on Culture. Nugent, P. 2008. Putting the History Back into Ethnicity: Enslavement, Religion and Cultural Brokerage in the Construction of Mandinka/Jola and Ewe/Agotime Identities in West Africa, c. 1650–1930. Comparative Studies in Society and History 50 (4): 920–948. Ranger, T. 1983. The Invention of Tradition in Colonial Africa. In The Invention of Tradition, ed. E. Hobsbawm and T. Ranger, 211–262. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Scrase, T.J. 2003. Precarious Production: Globalisation and Artisan Labour in the Third World. Third World Quarterly 24 (3): 449–461. Senah, K. 2013. Sacred Objects into State Symbols: The Material Culture of Chieftaincy in the Making of a National Political Heritage in Ghana. Material Religion 9 (3): 350–369. Umar-Buratai, M.I. 2012. Public Spectacle and Political Undertones in Durbar- The Emirate Court Art of Northern Nigeria as Instrument of Governance. Matatu 40: 373–399. UNESCO. 1972. Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Paris: UNESCO. Wilson, L.E. 1987. The Rise of Paramount Chiefs among the Krobo (Ghana). The International Journal of African Historical Studies 20 (3): 471–495. Yarrow, T. 2011. Development Beyond Politics: Aid Activism and NGOs in Ghana. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Transformation as Development: Southern Africa Perspectives on Capacity Building and Heritage Rachel King, Charles Arthur, and Sam Challis

#HeritageMustFall Development, capacity building, and heritage have become familiar bedfellows over the last few decades, particularly in post-colonial contexts. Together, they invoke myriad definitions, institutional arenas, actors, and practical permutations grounded in the central tenet that heritage can become a workhorse for positive social and economic change. In South Africa after democratization in 1994, the initial view We dedicate this chapter to Rethabile ‘Captain’ Mokhachane, first and most experienced of the Field Technicians who went from Moshebi’s in 2009, to Field Director on the Sehlabathebe UNESCO project in 2015 and Foreman at PGS Heritage in 2018. Departed before his time, in 2020. Re ea o leboha ka ho sebetsa ka thata le rona, re bohloko ka linako tsohle tseo obileng le tsona tse thata bophelong.

R. King (B) Institute of Archaeology, University College London, London, UK e-mail: [email protected] C. Arthur Hereford, UK © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



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of heritage as a platform for multicultural reconciliation swiftly gave way to neoliberal, government-led empowerment projects delivered by an array of parastatal, non-governmental, and civil society agencies (Weiss 2014b: 124). Concurrently, development (in its various interventionist and immanent incarnations) became increasingly distributed among state, private, voluntary, and NGO spheres, and yoked to heritage on the basis that cultural rights and self-determination are development concerns (Coombe and Weiss 2015). Consequently, both South Africa and Lesotho have witnessed increasing promises of social and economic capacitation, and demands for popular participation in heritage management. These have come via networks of heritage practitioners and institutions in each nation—Lesotho being independent but highly sensitive to its neighbor’s economic and intellectual trends. We say ‘demands’ because within many recent forms of public archaeology participatory development is prescribed in such a way that it becomes an obligation rather than a choice, with responsibility for the ‘failures’ of such projects placed in whole or in part on community partners (Henry 2004: 140; Dawdy 2009; cf. Pogge 2002; Englund 2008). In addition to the obvious tension between neoliberal empowerment agendas and the pitfalls (even ‘tyranny,’ Cooke and Kothari 2001) of participatory development (Žižek 2004: 178–179; González-Ruibal 2009: 114–115), the picture of capacity building and heritage management in southern Africa is further complicated by long-standing calls from heritage managers that their practice reform itself to become more relevant, inclusive, and sensitive to the needs of its contemporary political contexts (Shepherd 2002b; Ndlovu 2009; Pikirayi 2015). Over the past decade, the southern African archaeological community has called for parity in access to archaeology as a discipline and profession, which should be undertaken at the academic and commercial institutional level. This movement, dubbed ‘transformation’ in contemporary political S. Challis Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa e-mail: [email protected]

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rhetoric and adopted by the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA) in 2008 to cover the Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc (ASAPA 2008), has emphasized equal access and representation as a quantitative measure (i.e., increasing the numbers of non-white and non-male archaeologists). This is in line with the recent (as of 2015) national trend holding transformation synonymous with numbers-based affirmative action projects (Reddy 2008: 219). In contrast to reformative projects elsewhere in African archaeology (e.g., Stump 2010, 2013; Lane 2011, 2015; Davies 2012), transformation treats the imperative for inclusivity primarily as a socioeconomic argument rather than an epistemological one: the concern is that ‘archaeology should provide practical benefits for society in general’ (Stump 2013: 269), with an emphasis on ‘practical’ and ‘practice’ that implicates institutions such as universities, museums, and the commercial sector as potential sites of economic empowerment. Transformation in archaeology, then, is aligned with a particular facet of development in southern Africa: the long-standing struggle—enshrined in South Africa’s constitution—for redistributive socioeconomic rights delivered through non-governmental and parastatal programs specifically geared toward capacity building and, ultimately, job creation (Weiss 2014a). Following comments by Innocent Pikirayi (response in Stump 2013), archaeology as a discipline has more at stake in this struggle than the emphasis on numerical and financial equality suggests. At issue is the degree to which transformation of African archaeology into a more socially representative discipline is about achieving relevance (intellectually and socioeconomically) or, going further, restitution for archaeology’s often violent and racist past in Africa (e.g., Shepherd 2002a; Hall 2005). For Pikirayi in southern Africa, archaeology will become indigenous and representative only when the discipline and its methods (not merely its trowels, Shepherd 2003b) are accessible to non-white archaeologists. These calls for redress of colonial or apartheid-era wrongs embedded in the transformation conversation suggest that at least in southern Africa, increasing participation in archaeology alone may be insufficient to address the social imperatives placed on the discipline (cf. Ndlovu and Smith 2019). The pervasive sentiment that the colonial past and its material evocations must work to redeem themselves or be declared moribund


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is nowhere more evident than in South Africa’s Rhodes Must Fall movement: this campaign’s assertions that legacies of colonial monumentality embody alienation from state and educational institutions have garnered national and international attention. Conversations concerning transformation address how themes of rights and neoliberalism articulate with networks of expertise, institutions, and publics active on multiple scales. As such they constitute fertile ground for investigating how different social, practical, and epistemological resources are called upon to address the insistence that heritage is, in itself, a resource for socioeconomic change (Coombe and Weiss 2015: 43). Here we focus on the experiences of heritage practitioners navigating the imperatives, demands, and potentials of capacity building agendas in southern Africa. In particular, we are interested in how struggles for socioeconomic rights, under the twinned projects of transformation and development, are being expressed in the practice of heritage management. Taking these linkages between capacity building, rights, and restitution as its point of departure, this chapter examines what happens when archaeological practice engages with the demands of transformation, with attention to how these engagements play out in the field. The significance of the trowel’s edge as a site of knowledge production is well-established (e.g., Lucas 2001; Berggren and Hodder 2003), as is the educational potential of the archaeological process (e.g., Holtorf 2009). Here we focus on the intersection of knowledge production and skills transfer with concerns over livelihoods and the role of heritage in development. We write from the perspective of two projects (Fig. 1): the Metolong Cultural Resource Management (MCRM) Project, a four-year heritage mitigation program associated with western Lesotho’s Metolong Dam and funded by the World Bank and the British Government (Arthur and Mitchell 2010; Mitchell and Arthur 2010); and the Matatiele Archaeology and Rock Art (MARA) Programme, a nine-year South African National Research Foundation-funded scheme combining a training agenda with rock art survey and excavation in the Matatiele region of the Eastern Cape Province (once largely within the apartheid-era Transkei

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Fig. 1 Map showing the locations of the MCRM Project and the MARA Programme (Figure created using ArcGIS® software by Esri. ArcGIS® and ArcMap™ are the intellectual property of Esri and are used herein under license [Copyright © Esri. All rights reserved])

Homeland, e.g., Challis 2018). Looking to Lesotho and a former Homeland or ‘Bantustan’1 one is confronted by the demand for an archaeology that acknowledges the imperative of both job creation and engaged overseeing of heritage management (King and Arthur 2014). Here, we probe where archaeological capacity building projects—with their potentials for failure and disillusionment—intersect with broader ideas about social transformation.


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We argue that conceiving of heritage as an economic workhorse regularly does more harm than good for the project of transformation. Expectations of heritage as a socioeconomic driver—and particularly as a platform for capacity building—generally work against the creation of local authority. We submit that this is a consequence of a broadly superficial coupling of transformation and heritage that neglects implications for systemic change, as well as the expectations of heritage that capacity building projects create. The projects discussed here (and several others throughout the sub-continent) were designed to mitigate or avoid processes that reproduce (and thereby underscore) divisions between experts and capacitated technicians. Despite notable successes, these were ultimately stymied by limitations within the infrastructure of heritage management at the state, academic, and commercial levels. In this regard, our work resonates with James Ferguson’s (1994) seminal observations that development discourse obfuscates or obstructs local political processes. In his groundbreaking analysis of ‘development discourse’ related to dams and rural livelihoods in Lesotho, Ferguson demonstrates how ‘development’ as both a problematic and an apparatus performs two seemingly contradictory yet devastating functions. Where it defines poverty as a technical problem with a technical solution, ‘development’ explicitly de-politicizes poverty. Masked by this political neutrality, the apparatus of development—and the array of state and non-state actors implicated therein—can facilitate the expansion of state power under the banner of a ‘technical mission’ addressing rural economic capacitation (Ferguson 1994: 256). To this invocation we add Sarah Radcliffe’s (2006: 233) argument that where development thinking appropriates heritage as market-oriented, this implicates a mosaic of arenas, actors, and expectations that influence how people use heritage to position themselves relative to modernity and its socioeconomic entailments (cf. Ferguson 1999: 13–14). We disarticulate received narratives of transformation, community engagement, and development, and identify tensions and concerns that emerge from the practical corollaries of these narratives. Specifically, we highlight issues surrounding credentialing of trainees, knowledge production and the creation of expert/technician divisions, and recommend policies for the southern African heritage sector to address these.

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Changing Spaces ASAPA adopted its Transformation Charter in 2008, drawing heavily on South Africa’s constitution in its attempt to address institutionally entrenched disparities between white and non-white archaeologists. The Charter advocates for actively recruiting students from diverse racial and economic backgrounds, and promoting equal access to employment and participation in all archaeological sectors (ASAPA 2008). It is these last two points regarding employment and participation (Section 4.2 and 4.3, respectively, of the Charter) that concern us here. While ASAPA’s Charter is addressed to the entire SADC bloc, aspects reflect uniquely South African concerns, many of which pre-date democratization in 1994. These include archaeology’s role in education (Smith 1983; Mazel and Stewart 1987), popular culture (Hall 1995), university attendance (Maggs 1998), and the problems of an African past written by non-Africans (Hall 1984). Post-1994, South African archaeologists advocated for incorporating archaeology into primary and secondary school curricula (Esterhuysen 2000), revised university curricula to eliminate discussions of race and foreground public history (Shepherd 2003a: 841), and launched public outreach initiatives to encourage previously disenfranchised communities to participate in archaeological practice and study (e.g., Parkington 1999; Esterhuysen 2000). Archaeologists such as Nick Shepherd (2002a: 76–77) argued for a post-colonial South African archaeology that took an active role in projects of restitution, social justice, and memory. This resonated with long-standing calls for African post-colonial archaeologies accounting for subaltern perspectives and redressing the wrongs of colonialism (e.g., Schmidt 1995; Stahl 2001). Encouraged by the advent of a national educational system premised in experiential and multi-disciplinary learning, archaeologists led public and participatory projects that engaged previously disenfranchised communities in the process of writing history ‘from below.’ This encouraged students to explore the discipline at secondary and tertiary levels (King 2012). Academic empowerment of under-represented constituencies in archaeology was eventually codified in the Transformation Charter (Smith 2009) but within the past decade this project has been heavily influenced by ‘market-based imperatives,’


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meaning that students are increasingly equipped to function in a sector where heritage significance is ‘measured against economic and political priorities’ (Esterhuysen 2012: 10). Alongside and occasionally intersecting with these developments, throughout the 1990s and 2000s, South Africa saw a profusion of projects run through both non-governmental and government-sponsored agencies aimed at coupling archaeological skills transfer (including excavation, site management, and tour guiding) with revenue creation, often through tourism ventures. The underlying principle in the majority of these projects was either to capitalize upon an existing sense of cultural ownership or to instill such a sense in certain communities, thus illustrating the financial and symbolic value of their heritage. Within most of these projects, capacity building was a local solution for a local problem (pace Lafrenz Samuels 2009). Custodianship was devolved to program participants in the expectations that both heritage and its stakeholders would become self-sustaining and profit-making (cf. Coombe 2009: 397). Unfortunately, the disappointments or ‘unfulfilled promises’ (Chirikure et al. 2010) derived from such programs outnumber the sustainable success stories (Duval and Smith 2013). Tourism-based projects in southern Africa have rarely become self-sustaining and where they have, it is on the strength of natural rather than cultural assets (Meskell 2009). Attrition of trained personnel has been high when the programs to which trainees were affiliated cannot pay salaries. Where training was site- or project-specific, these individuals were forced to seek work outside the heritage sector. Where heritage and its custodians fail to deliver on the promises of development, the relevance of this heritage and its connection to ‘good citizenship’ implied at the project’s outset is often called into question (Meskell 2011). For our purposes, it is useful to consider the situation of archaeology in Lesotho and how this differs from its neighbor. Since the early twentieth century, archaeological projects in Lesotho have been carried out almost exclusively by foreigners from foreign institutions (Mitchell 1992). Development of domestic heritage capacity was not a major priority as it was in South Africa. With the exception of the two-year Analysis Rock Art Lesotho Project run by Lucas Smits (1983) through the National University of Lesotho, which trained Taole Tesele as one

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of the first Basotho archaeologists, and despite the best efforts of the few individuals at the Government of Lesotho’s Preservation and Protection Commission (superseded by the Department of Culture in the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, and Culture), there was no effective heritage management infrastructure—including sufficient personnel and regulatory bodies to enforce existing legislation. In the interim, archaeology in Lesotho was carried out largely through contracts connected to natural resource extraction projects. In 1986, the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) began construction of the first of five dams designed to generate revenue for Lesotho. The project was marked by severe underinvestment in archaeological mitigation (Mitchell 2005). Several surveys and excavations were commissioned by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority as part of the LHWP scheme (Lewis-Williams and Thorp 1989; Mitchell and Parkington 1990) and by the Lesotho Ministry of Works ahead of the construction of the Southern Perimeter Road (Parkington et al. 1987; Mitchell et al. 1994), but archaeological investment has largely been restricted by contract limits and expectations. While LHWP supported the creation of the heritage center at Liphofung Cave (associated with Katse Dam) as a cultural tourism initiative to support local communities, the emphasis here was on revenue creation through tour guiding using a prescribed textual description of the site rather than archaeological skills transfer (Scudder 2005: 116). We argue that more sustained, far-reaching changes are necessary to transform Lesotho’s heritage management infrastructure. The MCRM Project was the first instance in Lesotho where capacity building for heritage management was specifically built into a mitigation program. Despite the promising adoption of heritage legislation in Lesotho (the National Heritage Resources Act of 2011), the lax enforcement of this law has meant that a job market has yet to develop. This is especially worrying given the impact that extractive resource projects have on cultural resources and the imperative for involvement of local heritage specialists. LHWP faced heavy media and academic criticism for its failure to adequately mitigate the loss of tangible and intangible heritage accompanying the construction of the Katse and Mohale Dams, as well as the trauma that dam-affected communities felt when they were resettled (Thabane 2000; Mwangi 2007; Hitchcock 2015).


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While the MCRM Project was an effort to remedy this state of affairs (see below and Arthur et al. 2011), and the provision of four years of further employment for MCRM trainees at Polihali Dam by the CRM consultancy PGS Heritage ( is an extremely positive sign, the extent to which specific capacity building programs or intangible heritage mitigation measures have been implemented in the current Phase II of the LHWP is, as yet, unclear (Arthur et al. 2011; King and Arthur 2014: 171).

Of Experts and Empowerment Rather than rehearsing these struggles and disappointments (for this, see Arthur et al. 2011 and King and Arthur 2014), our aim is to draw attention to facets of capacity building that bear further scrutiny. The drive to incorporate participatory perspectives in archaeological knowledge production is a familiar one in Africa (e.g., Schmidt 2005, 2011; Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Jopela 2011), but here we are concerned with where this intersects with the imperatives of livelihoods that transformation and capacitation-as-development position themselves to address. The question of how to build capacity demands that we engage with the question of what work we want heritage to do, to the extent that this devolves to the choices made by individual actors or clusters of actors. This then prompts a further question: Is capacity building in these contexts aimed at equipping individuals with a widely applicable skillset, producing archaeologists, or training heritage managers? Put another way, what are the ramifications of creating situations where individuals are deliberately enmeshed in heritage regimes with a mandate to make heritage pay? The immediate and perhaps obvious answer to this last question is a loss of faith in heritage where it fails to live up to expectations of its ability to deliver progress and modernization. If we take seriously Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu’s (2012) position that South African archaeology is not ‘citizen friendly’ in its inability to sustain modern livelihoods, then the aporia engendered through the disappointments of heritage as an economic driver becomes dangerous. In Ndlovu’s formulation, the

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failure of heritage to address socioeconomic redistribution has diminished its effectiveness as a development instrument, to the point where extractive development such as mines that actually damage heritage landscapes are preferable. Indeed, two days prior to this chapter’s (initial) completion it was announced that the South African Department of Mineral Resources overruled the heritage preservation laws protecting the National Monument site of Canteen Kopje in favor of allowing diamond mining, the argument being that the mine better serves the cause of economic empowerment than the archaeological site (see www.canteenko While Ndlovu’s focus is largely on the shortcomings of heritage as a discipline and marketable product, our own work is concerned primarily with heritage as process in a capacity building context. Both the MCRM Project and MARA Programme were designed such that their research components and training for heritage management were mutually reinforcing. The MCRM Project’s efforts toward developing skills and promoting jobs have been described in detail elsewhere, as has the Project’s organization and implementation (Arthur et al. 2011: 240–241; King and Arthur 2014). Briefly, beginning in October 2009 and lasting 14 months, five professional archaeologists mentored an initial team of four trainees from the Metolong area who had expressed interest in participating in the Project. Employing a modified version of the Museum of London Archaeology Service’s (MoLAS 1994) singlecontext recording system, trainees and professional archaeologists shared responsibility for the consistent, easily accessible formula of excavation procedures (extending to sorting and sieving stations) and interpretation. Over the course of six months, trainees were given increasing responsibilities until they could conduct test excavations unsupervised and mentor a new group of trainees. Trainees were also given responsibility for coordinating community engagement efforts, including organizing and attending school visits and community meetings in the surrounding area (Sesotho, pl., lipitso). Primary and secondary schools within the Metolong Catchment were invited to visit the excavation, where they were given tours and participated in mock excavations. Combined with an open-site policy whereby visitors were encouraged to observe the excavations, local trainees were able to assert themselves as authorities on


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the archaeological process (Arthur and Mitchell 2012). Following the completion of the MCRM Project, four trainees have found employment on archaeological and cultural resource management (CRM) projects elsewhere in Lesotho and South Africa (see below), and one has gone on to complete honors and master’s programs in archaeology at the University of the Witwatersrand (Mokoena 2015; Challis 2018). Trainees-turned-technicians have organized themselves into the Lesotho Heritage Network (LHN,, an independent co-operative advocacy group for Lesotho’s heritage and heritage professionals. Following the ethos of the MCRM Project, the MARA Programme implemented similar strategies on the South African side of the border, employing a mandate that explicitly coupled research and transformation (e.g., Challis 2018).2 In keeping with its central mission of redressing the lack of historical and archaeological attention given to the Matatiele region of the former ‘Transkei,’ it follows that archaeological practice should also redress the way communities are engaged in knowledge production and skills transfer. Since its inception in February 2011, MARA has been run in collaboration with the Mehloding Community Trust (, a local organization certified in Fair Trade tourism that operates hiking tours through the southern MalotiDrakensberg Mountains. This partnership is not with Mehloding as a tourism venture but rather as a community institution and resource base for field stations, potential personnel, and local Indigenous Knowledge. Mehloding recruits participants in MARA’s training program, which utilizes Mehloding’s payment structures in compliance with Fair Trade practice. The training program itself tracks closely with that developed at Metolong, largely because mentors and some trainees were previously part of the MCRM Project. Two of the more senior alumni of the MCRM Project joined MARA and took responsibility for instructing junior trainees, all under the supervision and instruction of professional CRM archaeologists whose contracts specified that their duties included excavation and training. Excavations are published with field technicians as co-authors (Pinto et al. 2018). At MARA the training program emphasized both excavation and rock art survey and recording, the latter being

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such a vast task that trainees are equipped to carry on surveying independently once the full MARA team returns to its base in Johannesburg (Challis 2018). A specific aim of both the MCRM Project and MARA training programs was to mitigate power relations within many field projects where often a single individual or small group is responsible for creative thought (Berggren and Hodder 2003), with a second tier of diggers afforded some limited decision-making responsibilities at the trowel’s edge, and below them a typically untrained group of ‘sorters.’ In Africa, these ‘unskilled’ jobs are typically undertaken by local community members. The adaptation of the MoLAS (1994) system to take in the sorting and sieving stations was designed to extend interpretative participation to these jobs. This is not to say that either project was free from conflict surrounding the implications of producing expertise and how this translates into livelihoods. While the MCRM Project and its training program enjoyed a broad remit and resource base, the limitations attached to virtually all developer-led archaeological endeavors constrained the sustainability and replicability of the program in several major ways. These included a fixed timeframe for the project, a budget in which training was only a small part, and the ultimate need for the client (the Government of Lesotho) to be amenable to making capacity building a priority in the development agenda. Further and more seriously, while the training program equipped a handful of Basotho heritage professionals with an adequate skillset, Lesotho’s heritage industry did not receive a similar boost and therefore a fully fledged employment sector for these trainees has yet to emerge. More specifically and turning to the inner workings of the projects themselves, MARA struggled to ensure steady and reliable cash flow from a university research system that is unaccustomed to paying salaries through research projects (though this improved once contract work began—see below). The short-term, seasonal element of research fieldwork rendered any employment opportunities that it generated temporary. This has, however, been mitigated to some degree by the contiguity of field seasons generated by projects within the LHN. One of the major struggles (and even fault lines) within the MCRM Project training


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program was devising and adhering to pay scales and a promotional structure. The responsibilities, hierarchical position, and reflective wage differences attached to trainees of different levels became of increasing concern during the course of the program and, owing to lack of guidelines or precedent, was something we had not fully appreciated (King and Arthur 2014: 172). Related to this was the question that trainees asked with greater regularity as the program progressed: At what point are people transformed from trainees to heritage managers? While this could refer to and be resolved by the arbitrary creation of titles and ranks, this question speaks to the larger preoccupation of the technician/expert divide that has dogged concerns over knowledge production and authority in archaeological field contexts worldwide (Lucas 2001). Relevant here is Laurajane Smith’s (2004: 2–3) observation that archaeological attention legitimizes or de-legitimizes views of culture, especially in CRM. That capacity building programs endow heritage management and managers with this legitimizing power is taken as a ‘Good Thing’ in transformation rhetoric. Yet here it is important to examine the structural limitations of empowerment and how these interact with the work that heritage is being asked to do in a mitigation context such as Metolong. Inasmuch as the goal of the training program at Metolong was to create both technical and interpretative capacity, the nature of contract archaeology (particularly in internationally funded development work) is that the agenda is necessarily set by a few senior investigators, officials, and developers (cf. Kankpeyeng and DeCorse 2004; Arazi 2009; MacEachern 2010). The terms of mitigation and salvage are therefore, and to varying degrees depending on the developer-archaeologist relationship, out of the hands of trainees and thus some sort of expert/trainee divide remains. That said, two highlights came with the awarding of contracts to members of the LHN: the baseline archaeological surveys at Polihali (Pinto 2014) and the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Sehlabathebe National Park (Challis et al. 2015). Working through the University of the Witwatersrand, under the aegis of the MARA Programme, the two most experienced technicians, Ntate Rethabile Mokhachane and Ntate Puseletso Lecheko, were made Field Directors for the UNESCO project—shouldering the burden of data acquisition and remunerated

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in accordance with responsibilities. The report writing and negotiation of survey parameters and recommendations, however, were negotiated between the MARA Principal Investigator and the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture. The legitimization conferred through capacity building programs is, therefore, perhaps not undermined but at least qualified: the authority for salvage, and for determining what is worth saving, rests with the professional archaeologists and developers who are amalgamated under the general heading of ‘authority.’ Nowhere is this illustrated more clearly than by graffiti drawn in the scar left by the rock art removal component of the MCRM Project’s mitigation program. This involved Basotho as community liaisons and rock art specialists but was nevertheless closely associated with the ‘makhooa ka Metolong,’ or ‘white people of Metolong’ (Fig. 2). Because MARA’s academic research focus means that the program is not tied to a developer agenda it has not experienced these divides as strongly. However, the short-term and somewhat sporadic nature of fieldwork discussed above illustrates the fragility of the authority conferred to trainees by MARA’s (and any) capacity building program, where capacitated heritage managers are dependent upon interventions by Principal Investigators to make their expertise pay. We offer policy suggestions for remedying this situation in this chapter’s conclusion. For the present, it is important to note that these authoritative tensions are not wholly the result of flaws within the training programs themselves: we have described our confusions and shortcomings elsewhere (King and Arthur 2014), but examining how these training programs fit into the larger transformation and development landscape leads us to conclude that a major restriction on any particular capacity building endeavor related to heritage management is that it inevitably confronts a lack of parallel systemic and institutional change. This means that once heritage managers complete training programs they find the path to educational and commercial opportunities blocked by a lack of measures for accrediting and assessing their skillset, and as a result, they cannot make their capacity pay outside of the specific local contexts in which they were trained. Following Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels (2009: 83),


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Fig. 2 Photograph of graffiti at the ARAL 254 rock art site (Photo credit: Luíseach Nic Eoin)

poverty and development failures become territorialized while authority and transformation rhetoric are the purview of cosmopolitan experts. This is a situation that has repeated itself in participatory development projects worldwide (e.g., Hickey and Mohan 2004; cf. Moore 2001; Englund 2006: 101–103), and so it is not surprising that the same dynamic appears in a heritage management context. It is, however, particularly pernicious in South Africa because of the overwhelming

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popular dissatisfaction with the inability of heritage to deliver on its post1994 promises of socioeconomic redistribution, political unification, and cultural healing (Meskell 2011). That transformation in heritage management has had more rhetorical than tangible impact thus far not only increases the potential for this dissatisfaction and an accompanying dis-enchantment with heritage, but also emphasizes the divide between heritage elites and those who remain ‘un-transformed.’ This schism is possibly even starker in Lesotho, where (with a handful of exceptions) archaeology and heritage management have been almost entirely tied to development and conducted by foreigners.

Heritage Works It would be a mistake, however, to assume that the strictures and structures of archaeological expertise and the development framework that it references have an unbreakable stranglehold on the authority of heritage managers. Recent literature (Coombe and Weiss 2015) on the globalization of heritage and development has illustrated that heritage regimes are not hegemonic, top-down affairs in which value is instituted by a paramount authority. They are, rather, shifting networks of actors whose desires, agency, and authority operate on varying spatial scales. Despite the institutional frustrations that capacity building in both the MCRM Project and MARA Programme have experienced, where these training programs have addressed themselves to trainees’ involvement in alternative or vernacular interpretations of heritage we see potential for changing the terms under which culture and development are coupled, at least at ground level. The incorporation of living heritage assessments in mitigation programs both at Metolong and elsewhere permits space for perspectives on heritage management and mitigation that are not necessarily based in the compensatory or loss-driven value of cultural assets (King and Nic Eoin 2014; Kleinitz and Merlo 2014). By ‘living heritage’, we mean intersections of practice, memory, and (crucially) material culture that express themselves in the quotidian present with reference to the past (Nic Eoin and King 2013; see also Harrison 2013: 18, 204–205).


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Through these assessments, Basotho and foreign heritage managers were able to draw out local preoccupations with, for instance, changes in plant resource procurement and use (including medicinal, ritual, and subsistence purposes), access to pasturage, and the symbiotic relationship between grazing and the maintenance of abandoned villages (Nic Eoin and King 2013; King and Arthur 2014: 174–177; cf. Siteleki 2014). These associations demonstrate not only that heritage is linked to livelihoods in ways that development-led mitigation schemes often do not account for, but also impacted how communities perceive, value, and mitigate the significance of these linkages through particular and often unexpected strategies. For example, plant availability is negotiated through household or village herbaria, grazing patterns are reconfigured along with a total re-imagining of the Metolong landscape (including the re-location of several supernatural snakes that had hitherto dwelt in large pools in the river, Snow 2011), and the significance of abandoned villages inheres in their continued use for building materials and grazing area rather than their preservation (King et al. 2014; King and Nic Eoin 2014; cf. Daly et al. 2016). As heritage is enacted and embodied in practice, it includes a range of economic, mnemonic, material, and obligatory relationships that do not fit neatly into development or market frameworks (King and Nic Eoin 2014; cf. Englund 2008). Capacitated heritage managers are crucial to identifying and contextualizing these perspectives, as long as ‘capacity’ involves engaging with the conceptual apparatuses of heritage as much as if not more than training to preserve and salvage its material components. In the case of the MARA Programme, given that this was the first systematic engagement with the archaeology of the Matatiele region, the training program was seen as a way to begin this engagement as a dialogue between community members and academics. Consequently, MARA’s participants (academics and trainees alike) were able to negotiate contradictions between various conceptions of heritage and how they should be experienced and managed. For instance, while MARA’s primary focus is rock art survey (resonating with the national emphasis on rock art as marketable heritage, e.g., Duval and Smith 2013), the overwhelming sentiment in Matatiele itself is that the area’s definitive heritage is represented by its pre-eminence as a hub for Nguni and Sotho

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initiation schools (Mokoena 2015, 2017; Zulu 2016). Referring to a heavily ritualized coming-of-age process, men’s and women’s initiation schools demand seclusion and often take place in painted rock shelters, where activities can damage rock paintings and archaeological deposits. This sort of conflict in heritage management is not new in southern Africa (e.g., Ndlovu 2011). The crucial point for MARA is that the training program in combination with the focus on living heritage and ethnography created a space to debate these issues and acknowledge the legitimacy of trainees’ authority. That said, recent ethnographic research (Mokoena 2015, 2017; Zulu 2016) directs attention to widespread sentiment that initiation schools are actually a locally driven and regionally specific form of marketable heritage, targeting a broad audience of Basotho and South African aspiring initiands wishing to avail themselves of expertise in Matatiele. This point and its potential comparison with more ‘top-down’ ideas of heritage tourism await further in-depth exploration. These observations refer us back to Sarah Radcliffe’s (2006: 233) thesis above that, in development contexts, culture is invoked in various facilities (from marketable product, to institution, to creative entity), which in turn generate expectations, obligations, and relationships among actors. We are not suggesting that the expertise of individuals trained through capacity building programs is necessarily founded upon their expertise in localized forms of living heritage. Rather, we draw attention to the examples just described in order to hint at the potential for participants in capacity building programs to change the terms, or at least the immediate context, of how heritage is conceived and constituted. Rock art can be changed from product to an aspect of cultural institutions such as initiation. Preservation can be redefined once associations between material culture, landscape, and livelihood are revised. These are possibilities that demand further exploration in future work but for the moment demonstrate the outcomes of capacity building that include explicit engagement with the values, forms, and force of heritage—that is, its politically and epistemically persuasive power (Lafrenz Samuels 2015). Engagements that, in other words, take seriously ‘non-expert’ agency in outlining a role for heritage in development.


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Transforming Topographies of Power The foregoing has illustrated how interrogating the bundling of capacity, development, and socioeconomic empowerment under the heading of transformation too often becomes dis-empowering. In seeking to address calls for transformation in heritage management, the MCRM Project and MARA Programme (representing CRM and academic projects, respectively) were confronted with the shallow or highly localized engagements of transformation as a development instrument. Despite aspirations of mobilizing heritage for socioeconomic empowerment (via skills transfer) and restitution (via a new multi-vocality), the absence of institutional means for acknowledging the authority thus created means that capacitated people (and their expertise) remain conditional and territorialized. This leads us to the first of our policy recommendations: the need for a credentialing system that acknowledges the outcomes of capacity building programs and the place of their alumni in professional heritage management structures (cf. Ndlovu 2014: 205). This is a measure to be undertaken by the heritage management community which, in southern Africa, is represented by ASAPA and the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) as national regulatory body. As mentioned above, ASAPA’s constitution contains a provision bringing ‘field technicians’—implying those heritage managers with a field-based skillset—under their aegis. The clearest established course of action for this is for technicians to avail themselves of the ‘archaeology management’ qualifications framework, which consists of a nationally standardized course and examination administered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). ASAPA is now recognized by SAQA, which requires that ASAPA and its affiliated institutions such as universities coordinate, administer, and assess the qualifying frameworks course being examined (C. Namono, personal communication). This is a daunting path upon which to embark, both because of the bureaucracy involved and the resources (human and infrastructural) that it necessitates. Moreover, introducing new credentialing pathways for field-trained individuals would re-shape the landscape of professional heritage management in southern Africa, prompting reconsideration

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of what constitutes adequate and necessary qualifications and introducing competition into an already crowded industry—outcomes that may trouble some members of ASAPA’s CRM wing. Whether or not SAHRA would take such qualifications seriously is a separate issue. At the moment, membership in a professional organization is not compulsory to practice CRM in South Africa, or submit official reports in compliance with heritage legislation to SAHRA, and thus there is little incentive from the regulatory (and by extension, the commercial) sector for individuals to enroll in a SAQA-type course. Ultimately, the issue of credentialing speaks to two overriding concerns about institutional recognition of field technicians: recognition within a community of heritage practitioners and colleagues, and the commitment of SAHRA to establishing and upholding standards for heritage management in line with professional best-practices and qualifications. Adopting a standardized evaluation system like SAQA would be a significant step toward actualizing the tenets of ASAPA’s Transformation Charter, although it would not resolve all of the most pervasive concerns about capacity building outcomes and may create others. Of particular concern for us is where achieving SAQA certification at the level of Principal Investigator necessitates a post-graduate degree, which not only retains the ceiling that forecloses career mobility for field technicians but makes it explicit and codified. We therefore support instituting a credentialing scheme that will enable heritage managers trained in capacity building programs to obtain recognition from their peers, apply for work and eventually contracts in heritage management, and—importantly—pursue educational opportunities rather than making educational shortcomings a barrier to career development. To be clear, we are not suggesting this approach specifically as a means of recruiting diversity within the discipline of archaeology, but rather directly addressing the relevance of archaeology and heritage management in the contexts in which they operate. The training programs described here are aimed at providing a skillset applicable across a range of fields. The sort of accreditation that we envisage would provide formal recognition of this skillset for the purposes of finding related employment. Our aim here is not to lay out a pathway to transforming heritage management as a profession, but for practically and directly engaging with the expectations that capacity building produces.


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This relates to our second policy suggestion, which is that where capacity building forms part of heritage management it includes a component that permits space for debating the value, aims, and context of the heritage in question. We have noted elsewhere that especially in CRM contexts it is necessary to explore alternative (and perhaps more workable) conceptions of heritage in order to create methodologies that best address the sociocultural and economic impacts of mitigation practices (King and Arthur 2014: 176–177). Here, we direct attention to the observations made above that where training programs include components in which trainees engage with underlying assumptions about what heritage is and does (especially its practical corollaries), this carries the potential for re-visiting and revising the terms under which culture is implicated in development projects. Living heritage, ethnographic, and oral historical enquiries are the most readily apparent avenues for such exploration. Excavation and survey programs can also be designed to encourage a critical engagement with the definition of heritage (e.g., Gavua and Apoh 2010; Kleinitz and Merlo 2014). Finally, and re-iterating points made elsewhere (Arthur et al. 2011: 241; Arthur and Mitchell 2012: 7; King and Arthur 2014: 179), we recommend the abolition of unskilled labor on archaeological excavations in southern Africa. It has been argued convincingly that the distinction between technicians and archaeologists is more imagined than it is real (Berggren and Hodder 2003), and the failure to rectify the expert/technician divide that emerges through encouraging unskilled or un-credentialed labor has a tremendous bearing on livelihoods in southern Africa, as these schemes limit opportunities for education and secure employment. At the outset of this chapter, we described the networks of expertise, government, and civil society mobilized by the linked concepts of development, heritage, and capacity building; in closing we emphasize the structure of this arrangement, namely that it should be conceived as a network rather than a hierarchy of authority (cf. Ferguson 2006: 91–93). Recent suggestions that archaeologists and heritage managers ‘put their house in order’ refer to the question of accountability when development agendas—which we take as including transformation—set the stakes for heritage (Chirikure 2014: 218; cf. Ndlovu 2012, 2014).

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Where heritage professionals position themselves between developers and local stakeholders in a hierarchical structure, conflicts of interest emerge and result in socioeconomic disenfranchisement. We argue that heritage managers (including trainees) should locate themselves and their expertise within a more horizontal topography of power (pace Ferguson 2006: 93), considering where their authority impacts on other nodes in this network and where they can set (or change) the terms under which heritage and development are coupled.

Policy Suggestions 1. The establishment (either within ASAPA or another body) of a vocational credentialing system for archaeological technicians whose skillset is the product of field-based capacity building programs as a pathway to employment and further education or credentialing within professional archaeology. 2. Where capacity building programs are deployed as part of a heritage management or development program, these should include avenues for participants to engage in the process of creating management strategies and communicating these to stakeholder publics. 3. The abolition of unskilled labor on archaeological excavations in southern Africa via measures adopted by ASAPA and other professional bodies. Acknowledgements We are grateful to the volume editors for the invitation to publish this paper. An earlier version of this chapter was presented at the conference ‘African Heritage Challenges’ at the University of Cambridge in May 2015; we thank the convenors and participants for their valuable comments. The projects described here were made possible through generous funding from the World Bank, the British Government, St Hugh’s College (University of Oxford), and the South African National Research Foundation’s African Origins Platform. We thank Mark McGranaghan, Peter Mitchell, and Luíseach Nic Eoin for their support and feedback on drafts of this paper. Finally, our greatest thanks go to those who participated in and led the MCRM Project and MARA Programme, especially Will Archer, Wesley Flear, Iris Guillemard, Kiah Johnson, Puseletso Lecheko, Tsepo Lesholu, Mduduzi


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Maseko, Rethabile Mokhachane, Lisedi Mokhantso Nthabiseng Mokoena, Sheriff Mothopeng, Alice Mullen, Nkosinathi Ndaba, Bongani Ndenge, Pulane Nthunya, Hugo Pinto, James Pugin, Rae Regensberg, Joseph Ralimpe, Brent Sinclair-Thomson, Mncedisi Siteleki, Nomsa Situ, Thabathane Tshaka, Stephen van den Heever, Len van Schalkwyk, David Witelson, and John Zulu. We thank also the traditional leaders with whose permission we work, most notably Paramount Chief, the late Jerry Dipuoa Moshoeshoe, Chief Kutloano Richard Letuka, Chief Tiisetso Lepheana and his son Jobo Lepheana, Chief John Nkau, the late Chief (Nkosazana) Nonkulileko Sphambo and Chief Sobantu Sphambo.

Notes 1. ‘Homeland’ or ‘Bantustan’ refers to a system of reserves for non-whites laid out by the Bantu Authorities Act in 1951 and in effect for most of the remaining tenure of the apartheid era. Primarily concerned with consolidating and controlling movement of non-white communities through carefully maintained and modified ‘traditional’ institutions, the multiple legacies of Bantustans can be mapped onto areas of rural poverty and underdeveloped infrastructure in today’s South Africa (see, e.g., Beinart 2001: 162–163, 218–227). 2. Details available at

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Hall, M. 2005. Situational Ethics and Engaged Practice: The Case of Archaeology in Africa. In Embedding Ethics, ed. L. Meskell and P. Pels, 169–194. New York: Berg. Harrison, R. 2013. Heritage: Critical Approaches. London: Routledge. Henry, L. 2004. Morality, Citizenship, and Participatory Development in an Indigenous Development Association: The Case of GPSDO and the Sebat Bet Gurage of Ethiopia. In Participation: From Tyranny to Transformation?, ed. S. Hickey and G. Mohan, 140–156. London: Zed Books. Hickey, S., and G. Mohan (eds.). 2004. Participation: From Tyranny to Transformation?. London: Zed Books. Hitchcock, R.K. 2015. The Lesotho Highlands Water Project: Dams, Development and the World Bank. Sociology and Anthropology 3 (10): 526–538. Holtorf, C. 2009. Archaeology. From Usefulness to Value. Archaeological Dialogues 16 (2): 182–186. Kankpeyeng, B., and C. DeCorse. 2004. Ghana’s Vanishing Past: Development, Antiquities, and the Destruction of the Archaeological Record. African Archaeological Review 21 (2): 89–128. King, R. 2012. Teaching Archaeological Pasts in South Africa: Historical and Contemporary Considerations of Archaeological Education. Archaeologies 8 (2): 85–115. King, R., and C. Arthur. 2014. Development-Led Archaeology and Ethics in Lesotho. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 49 (2): 166–183. King, R., C. Arthur, and P. Mitchell. 2014. Ha Makoanyane: The Archaeology and History of Colonial Transitions in Lesotho. Southern African Humanities 26: 57–81. King, R., and L. Nic Eoin. 2014. Before the Flood: Loss of Place, Mnemonics, and “Resources” Ahead of the Metolong Dam, Lesotho. Journal of Social Anthropology 14: 196–223. Kleinitz, C., and S. Merlo. 2014. Towards a Collaborative Exploration of Community Heritage in Archaeological Salvage Contexts: Participatory Mapping on Mograt Island, Sudan. Aus der Archäologie 25: 161–175. Lafrenz Samuels, K. 2009. Trajectories of Development: International Heritage Management of Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa. Archaeologies 5 (1): 68–91. Lafrenz Samuels, K. 2015. Introduction: Heritage as Persuasion. In Heritage Keywords: Rhetoric and Redescription in Cultural Heritage, ed. K. Lafrenz Samuels and T. Rico, 3–28. Boulder: University of Colorado Press. Lane, P.J. 2011. Possibilities for a Post-Colonial Archaeology in Sub-Saharan Africa: Indigenous and Usable Pasts. World Archaeology 43 (1): 7–25.


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Lane, P.J. 2015. Archaeology in the Age of the Anthropocene: A Critical Assessment of Its Scope and Societal Contributions. Journal of Field Archaeology 40 (5): 485–498. Lewis-Williams, J.D., and C.A. Thorp. 1989. Archaeology: Lesotho Highlands Water Project Environmental Study. E.R. Ltd., Lesotho Highlands Development Authority. Lucas, G. 2001. Critical Approaches to Fieldwork: Contemporary and Historical Archaeological Practice. London: Routledge. MacEachern, S. 2010. Seeing like an Oil Company’s CHM Programme: Exxon and Archaeology on the Chad Export Project. Journal of Social Archaeology 10 (3): 347–366. Maggs, T.M.O’C. 1998. Archaeology at South African Universities: The Future? South African Archaeological Bulletin 53: 55–56. Mazel, A.D., and P.M. Stewart. 1987. Meddling with the Mind: The Treatment of San Hunter-Gatherers and the Origins of South Africa’s Black Population in Recent South African School History Textbooks. South African Archaeological Bulletin 42 (146): 166–170. Meskell, L. 2009. The Nature of Culture in Kruger National Park. In Cosmopolitan Archaeologies, ed. L. Meskell, 89–112. Durham: Duke University Press. Meskell, L. 2011. The Nature of Heritage: The New South Africa. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. Mitchell, P. 1992. Archaeological Research in Lesotho: A Review of 120 Years. African Archaeological Review 10: 3–34. Mitchell, P. 2005. Managing on Scarce Resources: The Past Record, Present Situation, and Future Prospects of Archaeological Resource Management in Lesotho. In Safeguarding Africa’s Past: Selected Papers from a Workshop Held at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 2001, ed. N. Finneran, 37–46. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. Mitchell, P., and C. Arthur. 2010. Archaeological Fieldwork in the Metolong Dam Catchment, Lesotho, 2008–2010. Nyame Akuma 74: 51–62. Mitchell, P., and J. Parkington. 1990. The Archaeology of the Hololo Crossing Rockshelter. Cape Town: Archaeology Contracts Office. Mitchell, P., J. Parkington, and R. Yates. 1994. Recent Holocene Archaeology in Western and Southern Lesotho. South African Archaeological Bulletin 49 (159): 33–52. Mokoena, N. 2015. Community-Involved Heritage Management: The Case of Matatiele. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, University of the Witwatersrand.

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African States and the Transnational Development Agenda

The Culture Bank in West Africa: Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development Mathilde Leloup

A Socio-History of Culture Banks in West Africa The Culture Bank model, created in 1997 in a small Malian village called Fombori (in the Douentza administrative district), is composed of three structures: a museum which collects cultural heritage artifacts belonging to inhabitants of the related village, a micro-credit bank which provides grants to the owners of these artifacts, and a training center which trains the beneficiaries of the micro-credit grants on the development The paper relies on data collected through observation and interviews for my Master’s thesis which was later published as a book. See Les Banques Culturelles, Penser la redéfinition du développement par l’Art (Leloup 2016).

M. Leloup (B) Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR)/ Associated to the Center for International Studies (CERI), University of Oxford, Oxford, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



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of ‘income-generating activities.’ This model sought to create interdependence between local development and cultural heritage protection. It intended to protect cultural heritage from illicit trafficking, especially in rural areas—through the creation of a museum, which would exhibit cultural artifacts and ‘lend’ them to their owners for rituals. It also aimed at initiating a process of sustainable and local development—through micro-credit grants given in exchange for these items. The model intended to benefit the whole community—through the training center. Originally, this model was the result of the failure of two former models: a women’s cooperative and a community museum, coupled with a micro-credit bank. In 1993, Aissata Ongoiba, an inhabitant of Fombori, attended a craft fair in a neighboring village and decided to duplicate this model in her own village to attract tourists. Shortly after this first experience, a second group of women from Fombori tried to reproduce the idea. In the midst of these rival groups, members of the Peacecorps and the NGO Gestion Aménagement du Territoire created a community museum with a craft store. In 1996, this museum went bankrupt as the Fombori inhabitants were reluctant to deposit their artifacts and only a trickle of tourists visited (Keita 2007: 118). Learning from this double failure, another Peacecorps member, Todd Crosby, sought to bridge the gap between the craft cooperative and the community museum models and the needs in Fombori. By introducing the idea of compensation, the initiator of the Culture Bank model took advantage of the failures of two former projects to better respond to local expectations (Deubel 2003: 31). Recognized by the Development Marketplace of the World Bank in 2002 (World Bank 2002a) and funded by the discretionary fund of James Wolfensohn in 2003 (Jerry Dell former consultant WBI/CESI, personal communication, 18 April 2014), the Culture Bank model was labeled a success story in the ‘Fight against Poverty’ campaign of the 1990s. These two funds allowed the creation of two additional Culture Banks in Mali: one in Kola (Bougouni administrative district) and another in Degnekoro (Dioïla administrative district) in 2004 (Dell 2004). Thanks to the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the School of African Heritage (EPA) in Benin, the Culture Bank model has since been diffused from Mali to Koutammakou in Togo and

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Tanéka in Benin, to create a network of experts to further the ‘preventive conservation’ mission of ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property). The Culture Bank model is used today as an example of the articulation between culture and development in the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and between Cultural Heritage and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda (UNGA 2013) (Fig. 1). The aim of this chapter is to question the manner in which connections can be made between development—which refers to the future and to progress—and the protection of cultural heritage—which refers to the uses of the past in the present. This will be examined through an analysis of the Culture Banks in Togo and Benin. My goal is to query the articulation between local and international actors in the context of the ‘social multilateralism’ (Louis 2011: 17–18) that characterizes the development scene. According to Marieke Louis, ‘social multilateralism’ is situated on the common ground of two tendencies: the ‘new multilateralism’ of Robert Cox and the ‘complex multilateralism’ of Robert O’Brien. According to Cox, the aim of ‘new multilateralism’ is ‘to build up pressure from below towards a broadening of participation and a greater equalising of opportunities in multilateral processes’ (Cox 1997: xxi). O’Brien defines ‘complex multilateralism’ as a ‘broadening of the policy agenda to include more social issues’ (O’Brien et al. 2000: 210). The concept of ‘development’ in the 1950s referred to the notion of countries of the global South economically ‘catching up’ to countries of the global North. Rostow for instance, in his book The Stages of Economic Growth in 1960, identified five stages common to the development of societies from a traditional agrarian model to a contemporary mass consumption model with a major stage of ‘take off ’ in-between which entails growth in both investment and saving (Petiteville 2012: 115). More recently, the concept of ‘empowerment’ has entered into the development discourse (Sen 2000). This captures Amartya Sen’s holistic understanding of development, which shaped the contemporary notion of ‘human development.’ In the Human Development Report of 1990, ‘human development’ is defined as:


M. Leloup

The diffusion of the Culture Banks model in West Africa Fombori

MALI Bamako



Degnekoro Kola


BÉNIN Koutammakou






Porto Novo

Chronology of the establishment of Culture Banks Legend:

1993 1996

1997 2002

Foundation of a Culture Bank

other initiative




Craft fair (Fombori)

A. Ongoiba

USC Canada

Community museum (Fombori)

F. Cross and M. Oulogem (Peacecorps and Gestion Aménagement du Territoire [NGO])

USAID and USC Canada


T. Crosby (Peacecorps)

USAID Mali and West African Museums Program

Foundation of the NGO: The African Cultural Conservation Fund

World Bank Development Marketplace


Kola and Degnekoro

World Bank Institute's community empowerement and social inclusion team

Contingency fund of J. Wolfenson


Dimbal (Swiss NGO)

Geneva and other Swiss cities, Swiss society for ethnology and private donations



School of African Heritage, Musées au service du développement

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs





Source: compiled by Mathilde Leloup. © FNSP - Sciences Po, Atelier de cartographie, 2018

Fig. 1 The diffusion of the Culture Banks model in West Africa (Source Compiled by Mathilde Leloup. © FNSP—Sciences Po, Atelier de cartographie, 2018)

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… a process of enlarging people’s choices. In principle, these choices can be infinite and change over time. But at all levels of development, the three essential ones are for people to lead a long and healthy life, to acquire knowledge and to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living. If these essential choices are not available, many other opportunities remain inaccessible. (UNDP 1990: 10)

According to this notion, development must include human factors such as the improvement of living conditions as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI) and cannot be understood as being solely based on economic criteria. Emanating from the perspective of ‘capabilities’ as defined by Sen, this expansion of the definition of development has to be understood to increase the choices granted to development recipients regarding their way of life (ibid.). Sen distinguishes two kinds of capabilities: Human development has two sides: the formation of human capabilities - such as improved health, knowledge and skills - and the use people make of their acquired capabilities - for leisure, productive purposes or being active in cultural, social and political affairs. If the scales of human development do not finely balance the two sides, considerable human frustration may result. (ibid.: 10)

This definition has subsequently been complemented by the ‘comprehensive development framework’ of Stiglitz, as a system encompassing the economic, political, and cultural spheres (Stiglitz 2002: 163–182). Meanwhile, the Brundtland Report launched the concept of ‘sustainable development’, defined as a ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (UNGA 1987). This concept initially represented an attempt to combine economic progress with the management of finite environmental resources. In all of these definitions, ‘development’ seems to refer to the change of societies, toward better well-being. The term ‘culture’ is one of the most difficult words to define in the English language. It can encompass the conservation of cultural heritage and cultural industries in a narrow sense but also the way of life of a given population in a broader sense. In the case of the naming of the


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Culture Bank, the term ‘cultural heritage’ which is defined by Françoise Benhamou as all of the ‘heterogeneous tangible and intangible properties whose common values are aesthetic and historic’1 (Benhamou 2012: 3– 4, author’s translation) might have been more appropriate than ‘culture.’

Examining the Culture Bank Model There has been very little scholarly research on Culture Banks to date because they are a recent initiative. The existing literature is biased because it has only been written by scholars who participated in the development of extant Culture Banks. In total, one Master’s thesis, three contributions to edited volumes, and a book exist on this subject. Deubel’s (2003) thesis was written about the Culture Bank of Fombori. Two of the chapters in edited volumes were penned by Aldiouma Yattara (2007) and Daouda Keita (2007), experts selected by the World Bank to spread the model of Culture Bank in Mali. The former explained the genesis of the first Culture Bank in Fombori and the support of the World Bank of this model and the latter evaluated the concrete impact of both the Kola and Degnekoro banks. A third chapter was written by Frederic Wherry and Todd Crosby (2011), the initiator of the first Culture Bank, who presented the theoretical basis of the Culture Bank model in order to distinguish his model from the general model of micro-credit banks as set out by Mohammed Yunus. The existing Culture Bank publications have stemmed from the disciplines of anthropology and museology, but have not addressed the phenomenon from an International Relations perspective. Therefore, I decided in 2014, to write my Master’s thesis on this topic in order to demonstrate how international organizations like World Bank or ICCROM instrumentalize local initiatives like Culture Banks to give their global programs a ‘bottom-up’ appearance. This thesis was published as a book in 2016 by Harmattan (Leloup 2016). As an International Relations scholar, I applied an interdisciplinary empirical-analytical perspective to my research. I utilized anthropological and sociological methods during my fieldwork to analyze the (lack of ) appropriation of the Culture Bank model by local populations. By local population, I mean in this context, the inhabitants of the

The Culture Bank in West Africa: Cultural Heritage …


villages of Koutammakou in Togo and Taneka in Benin, who are directly affected by the Culture Banks. This chapter asks, whether the single structure of the Culture Bank can combine the aspirations of Togolese and Beninese local populations to preserve their community heritage, while enabling sustainable development. While the Culture Bank model seems to reveal a contradiction in goals between development and cultural heritage protection actors, it also demonstrates a contradiction in approach between the advocates of the ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ perspectives. Having this paradox in mind we can ask: How does the Culture Bank exemplify the paradox of ‘social multilateralism’ caught between the integration of new issues (like cultural heritage protection) in international agendas and the emergence of new actors as interlocutors for funding partners (local communities, at the expense of Southern States)? This study is based on fieldwork on the Culture Banks of Togo and Benin. I employed ‘grounded theory’ (Glaser and Strauss 2010) and ‘participant observation’ (Quivy and Van Campenhoudt 2011) which allowed me to more deeply understand the conditions under which the protection of cultural heritage can contribute to more sustainable and respectful forms of development. Initially, I hypothesized that the functioning of the Culture Bank of Koutammakou in Togo—which is located on the eponymous UNESCO World Heritage Site—would be more efficient than the one in Benin, which is not directly linked to a World Heritage Site. The field experience revealed a more complex reality: in Togo the Culture Bank confines itself to being a community museum dedicated to tourism, whereas in Benin the Culture Bank functions as the core financing structure for all the NGOs in the surrounding area. Therefore, I deduced that the success of the system of the Culture Bank was not due to the level of valorization of the cultural site on which the Bank is located, but rather to the appropriation of the system of the Culture Bank by the local population. The originality of the Culture Bank model is that it functions as a system as it creates a real interdependence between local development and the preservation of cultural heritage. Culture Banks combine three aims—cultural protection through the museum, economic growth through the micro-credit bank, and educational development through


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the training center. The model is rooted in two intertwined concepts: the involvement of the local population in the ‘heritageisation’ process (Vernières 2009: 11) and therefore their appropriation of the whole system.

The Impact of the ‘Heritageisation’ Process on the Dynamics of Local and Sustainable Development According to the principle of involvement that governs the Culture Bank model, the engagement of the local population in the ‘heritageisation’ process conditions their engagement in local sustainable development. Indeed, if the local population decides to deposit their cultural artifacts in the Culture Bank museum, they receive a micro-credit grant from the bank and instruction from the training center. This principle of involvement is at the crux of the difference between the Togolese and the Beninese Culture Banks. According to Michel Vernières in his book Patrimoine et Développement (2009), cultural heritage does not have inherent value but is rather a social construct. To him ‘heritageisation’ is therefore a process that allows the ‘shift from heritage in power to heritage as a form of commons, characterized by its economic, social, environmental and cultural dimensions’ (ibid.: 11, author’s translation).2 Vernières acknowledges that two kinds of ‘heritageisation’ exist: ‘heritageisation’ from the inside, initiated by a family, a community or a tribe; and from the outside, promoted by international organizations like UNESCO (ibid.: 12). The major advantage of Vernieres’ ‘types’ is that they acknowledge that the appropriation of the process by the local population is a determining factor: [The] behavioural logics of actors, at least [the] potential [actors], of ‘heritageization’ are diverse and should not be considered separately from the local development model to which they relate […] So, implementation of heritage politics is far from straightforward. This is all the more

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true when under external pressure (UNESCO, WB, decentralized cooperation) […], real local appropriation of the ‘heritageization’ process is not completed [unless it is] thoroughgoing and [carried out] in close connection with the realities of the region’s development. In the case of a ‘heritageization’ process driven from outside of the area, its durability is all the more fragile if its leads to a dispossession of resident populations, not only from its management, but also from the major part of its economic advantages. (ibid.: 12, author’s translation)3

He adds that even if the ‘heritageization’ is initiated from the outside, the appropriation of the process by a local population can nevertheless bear fruit from a local and sustainable development perspective (ibid.: 12). Admittedly the start of a ‘heritageization’ process can be triggered through an international or a national intervention, whether through the registration on the World Heritage List of UNESCO or, more modestly, from the action of an external NGO. But what is essential, for the sustainable valorization of heritage, is its appropriation by the resident population in the relevant area. (ibid.: 12–13, author’s translation)4

This appropriation of the process of ‘heritageization,’ in turn, depends on two parameters. On the one hand, it leans on the place dedicated to heritage in the ‘socialization process’ (ibid.: 11). This is understood as the process of the selection of the cultural heritage that is worth being considered as such and therefore preserved and conserved by a local community. This is determined: by its social, identity, and educational functions in this local community. On the other hand, it relies on the relationship maintained by the local community to its own past, that is to say: its ‘historicity regime’ (Hartog 2003). Having in mind the theoretical framework of Michel Vernières that links both the processes of heritageization and development, I shall offer a comparison between the Togolese and Beninese Culture Banks.


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The Togolese and Beninese Culture Banks, Two Divergent Examples of the ‘Heritageization’ Process In 2007, the program ‘Museums in the service of development’ was launched by the School of African Heritage (EPA) and funded by the Priority Solidarity Fund of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Africultures 2007: 130–131). In total, 23 people from West Africa answered the call for proposals with innovative museums projects. Two finalists were selected and received the funds to create two Culture Banks: Mr. Badoualou Alizim Karka from Togo and Mr. Alassane Zoumarou from Benin (Toffoun 2008: 3). The major difference between the Culture Banks of Taneka (Benin) and Koutammakou (Togo) is their international status. Koutammakou was registered as a ‘living cultural landscape’ in 2004 according to criterion 5 and 6 of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Koutammakou is considered to be ‘an outstanding example of a system of traditional settlement that is still living and dynamic, and subject to traditional and sustainable systems and practices, and which reflects the singular culture of the Batammariba, particularly the Takienta tower houses’ (Criterion 5) (ICOM/UNESCO 2004). It is regarded as ‘an eloquent testimony to the strength of the spiritual association between people and landscape, as manifested in the harmony between the Batammariba and their natural surroundings’ (Criterion 6) (ibid.). The Culture Bank of Taneka, on the other hand, 50 km from Koutammakou, is not located on a listed or registered heritage site but is rather sited adjacent to the road to the larger town of Copargo. In both Koutammakou (Togo) and Taneka (Benin), cultural artifacts are displayed in exhibits dedicated to three themes in three different buildings. In Koutammakou, the three themes are: Arts and Technologies, Beliefs and Religion, and Everyday Life. In Taneka, they are: Symbols of Power, Hunting and Fishing, and Traditional Percussion. In the Beninese Cultural Bank, these themes are linked to walking tours on Spirituality and Loyalty, Evasion and Resistance, and Traditional Music and Dance that are offered to tourists by local trained guides. The tours

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use the cultural artifacts in the Culture Bank as starting points for their talks (Alassane Zoumarou, coordinator of the Beninese Culture Bank, personal communication, 13 January 2014) (Fig. 2). In Koutammakou, visits to the Culture Bank are led by tourist guides as part of visit to the broader World Heritage Site. These guides are paid by the Togolese State and most of them have not received any training. When tourists arrive at the site, the guides offer them the ‘short circuit,’ which only encompasses the ‘takienta (tower house) residence’ built in 2004 for the visit of the director of UNESCO Koichiro Matsuura. Alternatively, tourists are offered the ‘long circuit,’ which stops at three inhabited takienta. On both circuits, guides rarely mention the Culture Bank. When they do, they only refer to it as a community museum, according to the guides of the Koutammakou site (personal communication, 12 January 2014). Because of the classification of Koutammakou as a World Heritage Site, the museum of the Togolese Culture Bank was constructed in the traditional Batammari way—in a takienta (Fig. 3). This style was adopted to preserve the integrity of the landscape and avoid the degradation of the site. Due to the lack of insulation in the takienta and the lack of its use, the artifacts presented in the museum decompose as a result of exposure to humidity and insects. During visits, because of the lack of electricity, artifacts are presented with a flashlight (Fig. 4). In the Beninese Culture bank, on the other hand, artifacts are presented in huts made from a mixture of concrete and earth,

Fig. 2 The Beninese Culture Bank’s three walking tours (Photo credit: Mathilde Leloup, January 2014)


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Fig. 3 A traditional takienta in Koutammakou (Photo credit: Mathilde Leloup, January 2014)

Fig. 4 A display case in the Togolese Culture Bank featuring a headpiece worn during the initiation ceremonies of the Batammariba maidens (Photo credit: Mathilde Leloup, January 2014)

which ensures good insulation and therefore preservation of the artifacts (Fig. 5). Furthermore, as the Togolese Culture Bank is located on a listed site, the tangible heritage displayed in the museum is considered to be the tangible support of the intangible heritage classified by UNESCO. In the Beninese Culture Bank, tangible heritage is also regarded as the tangible manifestation of traditions, but these are the fruit of a local selection rather than an external definition. The artifacts have been chosen

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Fig. 5 The Beninese Culture Bank in Taneka (Photo credit: Mathilde Leloup, January 2014)

Fig. 6 The interior of the Beninese Culture Bank (Photo credit: Mathilde Leloup, January 2014)

for their local meanings and are still used by the NGOs of Taneka. For example, the healing instruments are used for medicinal purposes, and musical instruments are used in live performances and dances (Alassane Zoumarou, personal communication, 13 January 2014) (Fig. 6).

The Impact of the ‘Heritageisation’ Process on the Development Model Whereas the Beninese Culture Bank in Taneka was launched by the local population‚ the Togolese Culture Bank was created as a follow-up to the World Heritage listing of Koutammakou. This listing seemed to produce several negative impacts on the selection of the types of artifacts that


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are displayed, the architecture that houses these artifacts, and on the presentation of the Culture Bank to tourists. In fact, the negative impacts of the heritageization not only affect the heritage aspirations of the Culture Bank, but also its developmental goals as both are interdependent. The difference in the way cultural artifacts are selected for display in the museums has an impact on the types of micro-credit granted to local community members. In Koutammakou, as cultural artifacts are considered to be individually owned, micro-credit is granted to individuals and serves more to reimburse the existing debts of beneficiaries than to create income-generating activities according to Badoualou Karka Alizim, the coordinator of the Togolese Culture Bank (personal communication, 10 January 2014). In the Beninese example, cultural artifacts are considered to be collectively owned; therefore, micro-credit is given to the community to finance NGO activities (Alassane Zoumarou, personal communication, 13 January 2014). This difference results in fewer defaults in the repayment of micro-credit in Benin than in Togo. Furthermore, in Togo, the micro-credit bank can no longer grant any credit because of the high number of reimbursement defaults and people cannot deposit further artifacts in the museum because of a lack of space—the whole system has come to a standstill. The income from tourism and the micro-credit has allowed the construction of a training center at Taneka, which sells its outputs. In Koutammakou this planned educational facility has been replaced by a handicraft shop. In the Beninese Culture Bank, the training center raises awareness of members of the various local ethnic groups, e.g., the Yoruba, Sola, Peuhls, Bariba, Lakpa, and Maoussa to their common heritage and trains people in different skills such as pottery making (Ghamba Association), the production of shea products (Sourron Navra Association), musical performance (Badma d’Abintaga Orchestra and Adji Adjeime), the cultivation of medicinal plants (Medecin Taneka Association), and agriculture (Sourron Wê Déhou) (Alassane Zoumarou, personal communication, 13 January 2014). In both the Togolese and Beninese cases, traditionally, cultural heritage is mainly locally appreciated for its sacred value. This value set has been challenged by the rise of Christian evangelism and Muslim fundamentalism which both consider voodoo

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heretical. The training center of the Culture Bank in Taneka educates local people about this heritage, which diminishes the risk of the loss of these practices and ensures intergenerational continuity. In the Togolese example, because of a lack of funding, the training center has never been constructed. The differences outlined above in the ‘heritageization process’—(e.g., the process of the selection of the cultural heritage displayed as representative of the group)—has driven the local population in Benin to deposit their artifacts. This is because in this Culture Bank individual families want their heritage to be preserved and presented in order to benefit from the available micro-credit. The exhibition of cultural heritage from the perspective of both the layout of the artifacts in the exhibition space and the inclusion of the museum as an element in a broader tour impacts the number of tourists that visit the Culture Bank museum in Benin. As certain objects are highlighted for visiting tourists, their owners, the inhabitants of the surrounding villages, re-engage with the objects in question. They go to see the artifacts regularly and use them as part of traditional ceremonies. This helps minimize the risk of ‘folklorization,’ which refers here to the notion of the ‘invention of tradition’ which Yves Robert uses to designate: […] societies that can perpetuate a fictitious continuity with the past and therefore characterize themselves with some rigidity or fixity with respect to their objectivized History. Sometimes, invented traditions are more rigid than those that are ‘naturally traditional’. The latter concerns societies that perpetuate a particular image of themselves knowing the interest, economically for instance, they can take advantage of (for example tourism within ethnic minority communities). (Robert 2007: 17, author’s translation)5

Tourists who visit the museum pay an entrance fee, helping to generate income for the villagers, who in turn become aware of the value of depositing their artifacts in the museum. This appropriation of the ‘heritageisation process’ by the local population has made the circle virtuous rather than vicious. Therefore, I argue that the selection of the artifacts for exhibition in Culture Bank Museums should not only be oriented toward tourist interests, but also seek to promote local uses and values.


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However, this conclusion must take into account the situation at the Culture Bank of Dimbal, Mali. This example illustrates that not all externally driven ‘heritageisation’ processes result in negative development—if there is real appropriation by the local population. Like the Koutammakou example, this Culture Bank is located on a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is classified both for its natural heritage— the famous cliffs of Bandiagara—and its intangible cultural heritage. Thanks to an awareness campaign raised by the training centre of the Culture Bank, the local community of Dimbal united to safeguard Sadia’s toguna threatened by Muslim fundamentalists during the Malian conflict ( 2013: 6). In both the cases of Koutammakou and Dimbal, the ‘heritageization’ process was led by the National Directorate for Cultural Heritage of each respective State, together with ICOMOS and UNESCO. In the Dimbal case, however, the NGO assured the follow-up to the original external initiative by securing long-term local participation. Therefore, the Culture Bank of Dimbal became a structure that protects the listed heritage and facilitates a local development dynamic.

The Necessity of the Appropriation of Both the Heritage and Economic Perspectives through the Concept of Guarantee In theory, the apparent contradiction between the heritage and economic perspectives of the Culture Bank model can be solved if we consider that both are subject to the same process of involvement and appropriation. Indeed, these two perspectives in the Culture Bank model converge within the notion of ‘guarantee’, which is the approved equivalence between the value of the cultural artifact and the amount of money granted by the Culture Bank in exchange.

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The Guarantee, the Equivalence Between the Values of Cultural Artifacts and Loans In the Culture Bank model, the concept of the ‘guarantee’ supposes a strict equivalence between a cultural artifact and the loan. It embodies the tangle between the heritage and economic perspectives. This equivalence is not innate, but ascribed. The valuation depends on the role played by the training centre of the Culture Bank, which by providing workshops, conferences, and courses, is the central point for the appropriation of the whole system of the Culture Bank. Among the various training courses provided, the most essential one is the explanation to the local population of the determination of the value of cultural heritage, not for its estimated market value but for its historic value— as crucially the credits given to beneficiaries depend on the precision on their narrative concerning their object (Keita 2005: 18). This mechanism encourages the local population to lend the item to the bank in order to earn micro-credit rather than selling their cultural heritage to antiquities dealers. Rather than gaining a one-off amount from a dealer, the loan they receive makes this heritage bear fruit in the long-term by creating income-generating activities contributing to sustainable development. The main objective of the Culture Bank is to propose an alternative solution to selling cultural artefacts through the setting-up of a mechanism of valorization of traditional cultural artefacts in favor [sic] of the whole community: a loan is granted to each villager who deposits an artefact in the museum. The importance of the loan is not determined by the aesthetic value of the artefact but by its historical and cultural value. It is not a question of selling or buying cultural artefacts but to ensure their maintenance in their customary context in favour of the whole community. Cultural heritage is not to be sold or bought. In sum, Culture Bank desires to bind culture and development. (ibid.: 4, author’s translation)6

The tension between ‘culture’ and ‘bank’ in the Culture Bank model, however, is a not only a conceptual opposition but also a real theater of confrontation between the disciples of the heritage perspective and of the economic one. In 2013, the conference Mali+ : le patrimoine pour


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le development that aimed at framing and professionalizing the microcredit use in the Culture Bank system created an argument between the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the heritage actor), and the NGO Planetfinance (the economic one). To the NGO Planetfinance, the object serves as a guarantee, ‘an element that reduces the risk of reimbursement default. In the event of default, the guarantee should be mobilized for the credit institution to recover its funds’ (Tastet 2013: 5, author’s translation).7 Whereas for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ‘the guarantee is for a cultural artefact that cannot be sold’ (ibid.: 5, author’s translation).8 This misunderstanding between heritage and economic actors about the concept of the guarantee reveals an underlying misunderstanding about the purpose of the Culture Bank model as a whole. For the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the goal is to fight illicit trafficking by preventing villagers from selling their cultural artifacts to dealers. Therefore, the seizure of these artifacts in the event of default would be rather counter-productive if not completely contradictory to the very principle of the Culture Bank. For Planetfinance, the impossibility of seizing the object signifies an absence of the capacity of constraint, or in other words the capacity of the structure to make the reimbursement mandatory.

A Non-lucrative Micro-credit Bank The originality of the Culture Bank model is that it creates equality and equity in the terms of trade. It does not oblige the owners who deposit their artifacts to volunteer and does not make the beneficiaries of microcredit enter a debt cycle. Following this perspective, because cultural artifacts are considered to be agents of social cohesion, these objects should be prevented from any form of economic transaction; but this can only be made possible through compensation to the owners of these artifacts to enable them to recover their right to choose the destination of their property in the sense of the capabilities outlined by Amartya Sen. In this model, donors and recipients have mutual obligations. The curator should guarantee that the artifact is conserved according to the best conditions whereas the beneficiaries of the micro-credit should guarantee

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the benefit of its income-generating activity for the whole community. This mutual obligation reminds one of the triple obligations of givingreceiving-returning outlined by Marcel Mauss in his book Essai sur le don (1968). By giving the artifact to the museum, receiving the microcredit from the bank, returning the credit along with creating an added value, the whole community benefits (ibid.). This is achieved through the ‘return’ of the object to the community (through its deposition in the museum) rather than its alternative ‘loss’ through sale to a dealer. The misunderstanding between the heritage and the economic actors during the Mali + : le patrimoine pour le development seminar was in the end based less on the concept of guarantee, than on the degree of commitment that this guarantee implies for local populations. This in turn depends on the degree of social integration in the community and on the value of the artifacts, especially their religious significance. When he created the concept of the Culture Bank, Todd Crosby theorized about the expected impact of Culture Banks on social and symbolic capital using Bourdieu’s concepts. This allowed him to differentiate his model from Mohammed Yunus’s Grameen micro-credit bank: In the Grameen model, social capital—the capacity to mobilize resources by virtue of social ties (Portes and Sensenbrenner 1993)—reduces the likelihood of a loan default. In the Culture Bank model, symbolic capital—the capacity to inspire deference in others by virtue of meaningful icons and the collective narrative one wields (Bourdieu 1984)— increases the likelihood that local cultural heritage is maintained, social relationships strengthened, and small-business loans collateralized […] Using a unique loan system, the Culture Bank transforms local symbolic capital, namely the stories embodied in cultural objects, into a variety of forms of capital that provide tangible benefits to local people, creating an incentive for communities to manage their heritage resources sustainably. (Wherry and Crosby 2011: 139–140)

The symbolic capital in Crosby’s sense is understood in reference to the ‘totem,’ a sacred artifact that embodies divinity (Durkheim 1968). Like ‘totems,’ religious and cultural artifacts deposited in Culture Banks can be considered a double guarantee of reimbursement, because of the fear


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of divinity and of repercussions from the other members of the social group should anything happen to the artifact: The sacred character of the totem does not inhere in the animal, plant or object itself. The totem reflects both the divinity and the social group. The divinity represented by the totem stands above and apart from the social group. The social group remains dependent on the divinity for protection and for nurturance. Similarly the social group requires the individuals comprising it to subsume individual interests for the sake of the collective. (Wherry and Crosby 2011: 150–151)

Cultural Heritage and Development: Oscillating Between Universalism and Particularism The interdependence between the heritage, economic, and educational perspectives that characterizes Culture Banks can produce both, a virtuous or a vicious circle, depending on the involvement of local population that result from their appropriation of the system. Culture Banks, in this regard, reveal the parallels between cultural heritage conservation and development in light of the concept of appropriation. But it also embodies the paradox of local heritage and development projects, which are often torn between the local and global scales, between local communities and international organizations.

Universalization of Cultural Heritage and Particularization of Development At the time of the shift from the Millennium Development Goals of the 2015 Development Agenda to the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Development Agenda, the Culture Bank model was used as the empirical demonstration of the need to integrate culture into the new development agenda. From the heritage perspective, the model of the Culture Bank was also used by ICCROM to illustrate the concept of

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‘preventive conservation.’ The former director of ICCROM and father of the concept, Gaël de Guichen, defines ‘preventative conservation’ as the: […] juridical, administrative, technical and administrative measures that will be taken and implemented to ensure that collections, which shape the material memory of a civilisation are well known by the public and transmitted in the best possible condition to future generations’. (N’Diaye 2007: 145–146, author’s translation)9

This can be understood as a major change in the theory and practice of the conservation of cultural heritage, as it does not consider conservation as a passive but rather as an active process of intervention into deterioration factors. This concept was introduced and implemented in the museums of West Africa through the PREMA programme (Preventive Conservation in Museums of Africa) in 1986 and continued by the selection of the Culture Bank model by the School of African Heritage—itself created by ICCROM in 1998. From an economic perspective, the Culture Bank model was seized by the World Bank to exemplify how culture is essential to the ‘Fight against Poverty.’ After the failure of the ‘top-down’ approach of the structural adjustment programs of the 1980s, the new paradigm of the ‘Fight against Poverty’ was an attempt to adopt a ‘bottom-up’ approach by empowering local communities instead of imposing conditions on States (Cling et al. 2002: 165). The Development Marketplace, which selected the Culture Bank model in 2002, recognized it as an example of this new approach of ‘Empowering Poor People to Participate in Development and Investing in Them’ (World Bank 2002b). At first glance, the support of the Culture Bank sounds like a tokenistic attempt at sustainability by ICCROM. A second view unveils it as an attempt at securing a local initiative by the World Bank, as it included the protection of the culture and identity of local populations. For those responsible for the Culture Bank on the ground, appealing to international organizations was the only manner through which to secure sufficient funding and publicity to allow the model to be actualized.


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Over time, both the protection of cultural heritage and development initiatives have swung between local and global scales but in opposite directions. Protection of cultural heritage, inherently linked to the preservation of the identity of local population, tends to be increasingly subjected to universalization through the initiatives of bodies like UNESCO, ICCROM, and ICOMOS. Development, on the contrary, was according to Truman’s landmark speech in 1945, a universalist principle that sought to raise the standard of living in poor countries to be on par with those of rich countries (Rist 2007: 130–131). Forty years later, this ‘one size fits all’ view of development culminated with the World Bank’s structural adjustments programs’ in the 1980s. The failure of this program triggered the shift to the ‘Human Development’ model through the Report of Human Development (1990–present). Nowadays, both the ‘Human Security’ and the ‘Development Agenda’ seek to employ a ‘bottom-up approach’ by placing individuals at the center of the principle of Human Security for the former and by giving States some choice in the instruments to fulfill Development Goals in the latter. The Culture Bank, by combining both the perspectives of the protection of cultural heritage and of development, is a theater of a real crossover between the local and global scale. Surprisingly, the model does not very often involve the national scale, the State. This crossover is perfectly explained by Françoise Benhamou, quoting Immanuel Wallerstein: Preservation of heritage is seen as a fight against the risk of disappearance of a vulnerable site. However, the rise of tourism and economic development should lead to hybrid solutions, sometimes difficult to define, when it comes to ‘universalizing our particularisms and particularizing our universals, in a kind a uninterrupted dialectical crossover’, that will allow us to result in a new mix, new synthesis – that will, of course; be instantaneously questioned. (Wallerstein 2006: 78, cited in Benhamou 2010: 128, author’s translation).10

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Cultural Heritage and Development in Culture Banks: The Fragmentation of States and International Agendas The Human Security and the Development Agenda, on the one hand, and the registration on the World Heritage List, on the other hand, seem to push toward opposing perspectives: particularization for the former and universalization for the latter. Yet, the overall impact of both is the progressive replacement of the ‘sovereignty’ of the State by the ‘responsibility’ of the international community (Badie 1999: 166–167). Through both of these vehicles, the State is considered to be an intermediary between the international community and local population, but is in fact often deprived of many of its sovereign powers. This process is exacerbated by the increasing decentralization, which has taken place in the majority of West African States since the 1990s. Jerome Marie and Eric Idelman (2010) explain this decentralization through the general willingness of these States to free themselves from the model of centralized Jacobin States imposed during colonization. To West African States, decentralization can be a means to outsource some of their competencies to territorial communities without completely abandoning them to traditional authorities. For international organizations, decentralization is understood as a democratic conditionality especially for international financial institutions to grant development aid (Marie and Idelman 2010: 5). In this context, the integration of culture into the Development Agenda following the Hangzhou Conference, which stressed the intrinsic link between natural and cultural diversity with the resilience of local populations, can be understood in the framework of ‘social multilateralism.’ According to the definition provided above of ‘social multilateralism,’ the integration of new issues into the international agenda— like cultural heritage—determines the integration of new actors into the international scene—namely the local communities. From this, we can deduce that the integration of culture and more precisely cultural heritage into the Sustainable Development Goals will favor a re-configuration of the power relationships of the different actors on the international scene. In this context, the direct interlocutor of the funding


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partners is no longer the Southern States, but the local communities themselves. Ultimately, fragmentation has become the new principle driving international interventions, as it is simultaneously characterized both the sectorization of international agendas and the decentralization of States.

Conclusion: Lessons Learned from the Culture Bank Model in West Africa The Culture Bank model in West Africa should be regarded as a revolutionary approach to heritage management. It creates a strong interdependence between the dynamics of fighting the illicit trafficking of cultural artifacts and promoting sustainable development. This chapter has set out to examine the cultural and economic facets of the Culture Banks model. Based on a comparison between two cases studies—the Togolese and the Beninese Culture Banks—it has explained the necessity of both the involvement in and appropriation of the ‘heritageisation’ process by the local population in order to minimize the risk of folklorization. This comparison also has questioned the aspirations of Culture Banks— torn between their cultural and economic aims as well as between the agendas of their two French donors—the Ministry of Foreign Affair and Planetfinance. The chapter deduces that the Culture Bank model concretizes the paradoxical relationship between cultural heritage protection and sustainable development. This is expressed at the local level, through the difficult relationship between its three components—the museum, the micro-credit bank, and the training center. At the national/bilateral level, it is evident through the contradictions inherent in the concept of the guarantee, which creates a strict equivalence between the values of cultural artifacts and their respective loans. This concept sits at the crux of the interactions between the cultural and economic donors. Finally, it is seen at the international level in the competing visions of international programs: the universalization of cultural heritage as promulgated by ICCROM through the medium of ‘preventive conservation’ versus

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the particularization of development as mobilized by the ‘fight against poverty’ program of the World Bank. Policy Suggestions In terms of informing future policies, the lessons learnt from this model can be used as the basis for suggesting the following points: 1. The Culture Bank model is an interdependent system. It regards the equal contribution of heritage, economic, and educational dimensions as being necessary for sustainable development. Therefore, the balance between the three components of Culture Banks—the museums, the micro-credit bank, and the training center—has to be strictly respected in order to make this model useful and sustainable for the local population in question. 2. The Culture Bank model reminds us of the central role that appropriation by the local population plays in every project aimed at protecting cultural heritage or enabling sustainable development. To ensure these aims, the local population in question has to be consulted at each stage of the implementation of a new Culture Bank and should have a direct interest in the initiative. The goal at the end of the day is to create a self-sufficient local population and to reduce the dependency on donors. 3. Converging in the notion of ‘guarantee,’ both the perspectives of the protection of cultural heritage and local development demonstrate the importance of considering the social cohesion within a local community before labeling a project as bankable or not. This is all the more true at a time of when the State in West Africa is weakening and local communities are increasingly called upon to act as the direct interlocutor of donors as a defense against fundamentalism.

Notes 1. ‘biens hétérogènes tangibles et intangibles dont le terreau commun est la référence à l’histoire ou à l’Art’.


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2. ‘passage d’un patrimoine en puissance à un patrimoine reconnu en tant que bien collectif, caractérisé tout à la fois par ses dimensions économiques, sociales, environnementales et culturelles’. 3. ‘Les logiques comportementales des acteurs, au moins potentiels, de la patrimonialisation sont diverses et ne sauraient être séparées des modèles de développement local auxquels ils se réfèrent. (…) Aussi, la mise en œuvre d’une politique patrimoniale ne va pas de soi. Il en est particulièrement ainsi quand, sous la pression de l’extérieur (UNESCO, Banque Mondiale, Coopération décentralisée …), une véritable appropriation locale du processus de patrimonialisation ne s’effectue pas en profondeur et en relation étroite avec les réalités du développement territorial. Dans le cas d’un processus de patrimonialisation initié de l’extérieur du territoire, sa pérennité est d’autant plus fragile qu’il se traduit par une dépossession des populations résidentes, non seulement de sa conduite, mais aussi de l’essentiel de ses bénéfices économiques’. 4. ‘Certes, la mise en route d’un processus de patrimonialisation peut être déclenchée par une intervention international ou nationale, qu’il s’agisse du classement du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO ou, plus modestement, de l’action d’une ONG extérieure. Mais il apparaît qu’est essentielle, pour la valorisation durable d’un patrimoine, son appropriation par les populations résidentes sur le territoire considéré’. 5. ‘Ce sont des sociétés qui peuvent entretenir une continuité fictive avec le passé et donc se caractériser par une certaine rigidité ou fixité par rapport à une histoire objectivée. Parfois les traditions inventées sont plus rigides que celles qui sont « naturellement traditionnelles ‘. Ce dernier rapport concerne notamment des sociétés qui perpétuent une certaine image historique d’elles-mêmes sachant l’intérêt, par exemple économique, qu’elles peuvent en retirer (tourisme au sein des minorités ethniques)’. 6. ‘L’objectif principal de la Banque Culturelle est de proposer une solution alternative a` la vente des objets culturels par la mise en place d’un mécanisme de mise en valeur des objets culturels traditionnels en faveur de toute la communauté´ : un prêt est octroyé´ a` chaque villageois qui dépose un objet culturel au musée. L’importance de ce prêt n’est pas déterminée par la valeur esthétique de l’objet mais plutôt par sa valeur historique et culturelle. Il ne s’agit donc pas de vendre ou d’acheter les biens culturels mais d’assurer leur maintien dans leur contexte habituel ´ L’héritage culturel n’est ni a` vendre ni au profit de toute la communauté. a` acheter. En somme, la Banque Culturelle ambitionne de lier culture et développement’.

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7. ‘un élément qui réduit le risque de non-remboursement. En cas d’impayé, la garantie doit être mobilisée afin que l’institution de crédit puisse récupérer ses fonds’. 8. ‘la garantie est l’objet culturel qui ne peut être vendu’. 9. ‘C’est l’ensemble de toutes les mesures juridiques, administratives, techniques et éducatives qui seront prises et appliquées pour s’assurer que les collections qui forment la mémoire matérielle d’une civilisation soient connues par le public aujourd’hui et transmises dans le meilleur état aux générations futures’. 10. ‘La préservation du patrimoine est pensée comme un combat contre le risque de disparition d’un lieu avant tout vulnérable. Pourtant, la montée du tourisme et le développement économique devraient conduire à des solutions hybrides, parfois difficiles à définir, lorsqu’il s’agit « d’universaliser nos particularismes et de particulariser nos universels, en une espèce de chassé-croisé dialectique ininterrompu, qui nous permettra d’aboutir à de nouveaux métissages, à de nouvelles synthèses – qui seront bien entendu aussi instantanément à remettre en question’.

References Africultures. 2007. Les musées au service du développement: nouveau programme de coopération. Africultures 70 (1): 130–131. Badie, B. 1999. Un monde sans souveraineté: les Etats entre ruse et responsabilité. Paris: Fayard. Benhamou, F. 2010. L’inscription au patrimoine mondial de l’humanit´e: La force d’un langage a` l’appui d’une promesse de d´eveloppement. Revue Tiers Monde 202(2): 113–130. Benhamou, F. 2012. Economie du patrimoine culturel . Paris: Repères. Bourdieu, P. 1984. Distinction: a social critique of the judgment of taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Cling, J.-P., M. Razafindrakoto, and F. Roubaud. 2002. La Banque mondiale et la lutte contre la pauvreté: tout changer pour que tout reste pareil? Politique Africaine 87 (3): 164–174. Cox, R. 1997. The New Realism: Perspectives on Multilateralism and World Order. New York: United Nations University Press.


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Dell, J. 2004. Mali-Banking on Culture Initiative. Washington, DC: World Bank. Deubel, T. 2003. Conserving Cultural Heritage with Micro-Credit: A Case Study of the Dogon Culture Bank in Fombori, Mali. Unpublished Master’s thesis, University of Arizona Campus Repository. Available at: http://ari 2013. Preservation du patrimoine culturel en pays Dogon (Final Report). Geneva: Durkheim, E. 1968. Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse: le système totémique en Australie, 5th ed. Paris: Presses universitaires de France. Glaser, B., and A. Strauss. 2010. La découverte de la théorie ancrée: stratégies pour la recherche qualitative. Paris: Armand Colin. Hartog, F. 2003. Régimes d’historicité, Présentéisme et expérience du temps. Paris: Seuil. ICOM/UNESCO. 2004. Nominations of Cultural Properties to the World Heritage List: Koutammakou the Land of the Batammariba, 28 COM 14B.21, 28th Session, (28 June-7 July, adopted 29 October 2004). Paris: UNESCO. Keita, D. 2005. Guide de la Banque Culturelle. Washington, DC: CESI/WBI. Keita, D. 2007. Les Banques Culturelles au Mali: une nouvelle initiative de sauvegarde du patrimoine culturel et de développement des communautés. In Afrique: Musées et patrimoines pour quels publics?, ed. A.-M. Bouttiaux, 117–127. Paris: Karthala. Leloup, M. 2016. Les Banques culturelles. Penser la redéfinition du développement par l’Art. Paris: L’Harmattan. Louis, M. 2011. L’organisation internationale du travail et le travail décent: un agenda social pour le multilatéralisme. Paris: L’Harmattan. Marie, J., and E. Idelman. 2010. La décentralisation en Afrique de l’Ouest: une révolution dans les gouvernances locales? EchoGéo 13: 1–14. Mauss, M. 1968. Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques. Paris: Presses universitaires de France. N’Diaye, M. 2007. Entretien avec Gaël de Guichen: Quel bilan pour les politiques de conservation en Afrique? Africultures 70 (1): 143–148. O’Brien, R., A.-M. Goetz, and J.A. Scholte (eds.). 2000. Contesting Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Petiteville, F. 2012. Developpement. In Dictionnaire des relations internationales, ed. D. Battistella, F. Petiteville, M.-C. Smouts, and P. Vennesson, 114–119. Paris: Dalloz.

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Portes, A., and J. Sensenbrenner. 1993. Embedness and Immigration: Notes on the Social Determinants of Economic Action. American Journal of Sociology 98 (6): 1320–1350. Quivy, R., and L. Van Campenhoudt. 2011. Manuel de recherche en sciences sociales, 4th ed. Paris: Dunod. Rist, G. 2007. Le Développement: histoire d’une croyance occidentale, 3rd ed. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po. Robert, Y. 2007. Musées en Afrique entre universalité et singularité: réflexions et propositions. In Afrique: Musées et patrimoines pour quels publics?, ed. A.-M. Bouttiaux, 13–34. Paris: Karthala. Sen, A. 2000. Un nouveau modèle de Développement. Paris: Odile Jacob. Stiglitz, J. 2002. Participation and Development: Perspectives from the Comprehensive Development Paradigm. Review of Development Economics 6 (2): 163–182. Tastet, C. 2013. Compte-rendu de l’atelier de réflexion sur les Banques Culturelles: opportunités d’un partenariat avec les institutions de microfinance, à l’attention du Service de Coopération et d’Action Culturelle de l’Ambassade de France au Togo, 28–29 May 2013. Benin: Porto Novo. Toffoun, D. 2008. Séminaire régional sur les Banques Culturelles du Mali, Rapport Général 7, 10–14 May 2008. Mali: Sévaré. UNDP. 1990. Human Development Report 1990. New York: UNDP. UN General Assembly. 1987. Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future, A/42/427 . New York: UNGA. UN General Assembly. 2013. Intervention of Mr. François Gave, Adviser and Responsible for the Coordination on Development Issues in the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations on Culture and Development. UN GAOR, 2nd Commission, item 21(d). Available at: http://www.fra lique/assemblee-generale/article/23-octobre-2013-assemblee-generale-7554. Published 23 October 2013. Vernières, M. 2009. Patrimoine, patrimonialisation, développement local: un essai de synthèse interdisciplinaire. In Patrimoine et Développement, ed. M. Vernières, 7–18. Paris: GEMDEV/Karthala. Wallerstein, I. 2006. L’universalisme européen. De la colonisation au droit d’ingérence. Paris: Demopolis. Wherry, F., and T. Crosby. 2011. The Culture Bank: Symbolic Capital and Local Economic Development. In The Cultural Wealth of Nations, ed. F. Wherry and N. Bandelj. Stanford: Stanford University Press.


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World Bank. 2002a. Building Creative Communities in Mali. Washington, DC: World Bank. Available at: World Bank. 2002b. Searching Solutions Empowering and Investing Poor. Washington, DC: World Bank. Available at: idea/building-creative-communities-mali. Yattara, A. 2007. Les Banques Culturelles au Mali: une expérience porteuse d’espoir. Africultures 70 (1): 174–179.

Exhibition Making as Aesthetic Justice: The Case of Memorial Production in Uganda Kara Blackmore

Between Peace, Development, and Heritage Peacebuilding and development actors working across Africa have come to recognize the role memory can play in both shaping productive and ‘reconciled’ societies in postwar contexts, as well as in entrenching divisive identities that can (re)ignite cycles of violence. This is partly due to the functional role that memory plays in transitional justice efforts that promote the externalization of memory as evidence within judicial witnessing, as collective memory in truth commissions, and as heritage enshrined through memorials. In this chapter, the politics of memory, the processes of memorialization, and the dynamics of localized justice will be explored through the case study of Uganda with specific attention K. Blackmore (B) Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, London, UK © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



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given to the Travelling Testimonies exhibition (2013–2014), curated by the author. Examples of archiving, performing, and curating temporary memorial spaces in Uganda offer opportunities for considering memorial production and investigate potential avenues for realizing justice beyond the courtroom. Uganda is a valuable case study for unpacking the relationship between peaceable development and heritage. As a nation, its development has been deeply disrupted by widespread violence, coupled with a growing tension between state selective amnesia and localized efforts to remember traumatic events. The Refugee Law Project’s Transitional Justice Audit (2011–2014) referenced 125 different armed conflicts that have impacted Uganda since its independence from colonial Britain in 1962 (2015: 3). In addition, there has been no transition of presidential power for three decades. Furthermore, the Red Cross estimated that in 2013 12,000 people were still missing due to the war in the north that pitted government forces against the Lord’s Resistance Army (ICRC 2013). Ongoing fighting by rebel groups in neighboring nations remains problematic for families of the missing. For survivor communities, questions still loom over how to commemorate atrocities that did not only involve killings, but also other acts such as enforced displacement, abductions, and sexual violence. Sites set up to remember and repair historical injuries—that span as far back as the era of the colonial regiment of British East Africa, known as the King’s African Rifles,1 are diffuse in terms of their references to space and time. Cultural exhibitions, photography initiatives, the creation of archives, and mass grave excavations relating to post-colonial conflicts have received support from international development actors such as World Vision, Caritas, the Norwegian Refugee Council, USAID, Associazione Volontari per il Servizio Internazionale (AVSI) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). These actors have sponsored museum collections, commemoration ceremonies, the preservation of an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)camp as a heritage site, and the removal of bodies from former displacement camps. Within this context, it is important to question how memorialization might contribute to or disrupt efforts for peace, justice, and reconciliation. To date, relatively little is known about what the memorialization

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of past violence actually does for communities who remember the event firsthand and who continue to be afflicted by its legacy in their daily lives (Brown 2012; Buckley-Zistel and Schaifer 2014; McDowell and Braniff 2014). Despite this lack of evidence on the effects of memorials, there has been a global increase in their production as an essential component of postwar nation building. After the end of the Cold War, Europe and the USA participated in what has been described as a ‘memory boom’ (Winter 2001), and a ‘rush to commemorate,’ (Williams 2007) that has been transformed into a global ‘fever of atonement’ (Soyinka 1998: 90) or a ‘tyranny of total recall’ (Theidon 2009: 297). Entire disciplines of research and frameworks for international law were formed around the reaction to the Second World War, in part because the documentation of atrocities during and after the Holocaust revealed unprecedented levels of identity-based extermination (Levy and Sznaider 2011). Wars and events of war (like the use of the atomic bomb) have been ranked at the top of global collective memory indicators (Anheier et al. 2011). The question arises: Does this global industry of ‘dark heritage,’ now a fully formed research field in its own right, actually contribute to a more peaceful world, a more just society? Are we as researchers and practitioners looking in the right places to monitor, evaluate, and participate in achieving justice? Concepts of development, heritage, and memorialization will be employed to help address the questions raised above. There is a widely accepted peacebuilding paradigm employed in post-conflict2 societies that assumes transitional processes will usher emerging democratic societies into competitive economic liberalization—thereby enabling ‘development’ (Jarstad and Sisk 2008; Newman et al. 2009). However, disagreement about the past can detour peace. Different actors may seek to make heritage that entrenches conflicting narratives. In some cases, societies cannot engage Jürgen Habermas’ deliberative democratic option of utopian negotiation whereby disagreement can be faced without violence, thus enabling them to embrace public resistance (2004). Instead, disagreement can fester, silencing dissent to such an extent that violence becomes the preferred outlet of expression. As many scholars have shown, the negotiations of memory around memorials are


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meaningful domains for unpacking disagreement and discontent in postconflict societies, even when it seems the narratives have been set (Ibreck 2012). In this chapter, peacebuilding efforts within Uganda, and specifically the Rwenzori Mountain region of Kasese, serve as the arena for understanding the transition from a situation regarded as a humanitarian emergency and security threat, to a process of unifying people in times of unstable peace. The work presented insists that focusing merely on the absence versus the presence of memorials, or work restricted to analyzing the product of the memorial rather than the process of its making, misses out on the potential for self-determination in the process of making memorial spaces. Examining the case study of the Travelling Testimonies exhibition will show that even if a political transition has not taken place, efforts to establish an ethics of justice, whereby war-affected peoples enter into a set of agreements about what constitutes justice, can illuminate the status of the disagreement and thus inform democratic preconditions for development and change.

Memory in the Liberal Peacebuilding Paradigm Memory work and memorialization are relatively new additions to the liberal peacebuilding portfolio. They have found a place in the sub-field of transitional justice and are gaining support in the social project of post-conflict transformation. This is part of a shift toward focusing on victims as both central to societal healing and necessary for fostering sustainable peace—which is regarded as a prerequisite for (sustainable) ‘development.’ Contributions are increasingly related to micro-histories of violence, work on the politics of identity, and investigations into everyday experiences during conflict. Andreas Huyssen (2011) regards the relationship between memory and peacebuilding as a set of shared aspirations about right and wrong, giving way to a mutually reinforcing human rights discourse and juridical practice. It is through this discourse that the traumas of past conflicts are understood within a framework of justice, most specifically their presumed ability to achieve symbolic reparation. Within developing nations, these efforts become ever more

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entangled in transnational politics of aid, humanitarian intervention, and international security. Through the lens of transitional justice (TJ), one can find a space for analyzing broad sweeping claims of peacebuilding and reconciliation to examine the relationship between memorialization and notions of justice. The core pillars of TJ—institutional reform, prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations, and memorialization—are being employed across the globe as a go-to framework for nearly 30 nations currently emerging from armed conflict or authoritarian rule (International Center for Transitional Justice 2007). A toolkit approach to TJ has come to include memorialization as a kind of ‘symbolic reparation’ whereby victims can rebalance the symbolic harm they have endured and in turn move forward to be productive members of a tolerant and democratic society. TJ is one avenue of peacebuilding that encompasses liberal ideas of creating an accountable society. Courts and formal justice systems are the backbone of TJ, using the legislative framework as a foundation for institutions, accountability, and trust that democratic processes rely on (Sharp 2013). TJ’s focus on building legislative institutions is thought to have a spillover effect into judicial frameworks for trade, political codes of conduct, and sensibilities of social responsibility (Lopez 2014). Specifically, international justice has been established as a mainstay of TJ’s role in the peacebuilding domain. For example, the Nuremberg Tribunals set a precedent for international collaboration to try perpetrators for statesponsored violence (Karstedt 2013). The Nuremberg Principles continue to define human rights violations and set a frame for how legislative action should be performed. In doing so, the trials created a mythology around impunity and state responsibility (Andrieu 2010; Bell 2006) that casts a shadow on postwar nations outside of the Second World War context. In this way, TJ represents a type of cosmopolitanism hinged on a set of transnational shared values that is central to the liberal paradigm and post-conflict justice efforts (Nagy 2008). Scholars and beneficiaries have warned against the blanket interventions embedded within the TJ toolkit, specifically truth seeking and the use of courts (Andrieu 2010; Baines 2010; Lekha Sriram 2007). In most cases these critiques reference the ineffectiveness of truth commissions to access comprehensive truth or the lengthy and costly reality of judicial


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proceedings (McEvoy 2007). Critics show that TJ’s toolkit approach is impractical for fostering ‘local ownership’ of international justice norms, often disregarding context-specific justice frameworks used to negotiate social unrest (Nagy 2008; Tietel 2003; Lekha Sriram 2007). This was perhaps most poignantly captured by the fiery critiques around the development of the International Criminal Court (ICC), established in 2002 (Allen 2006; Niang 2017; Mbeki and Mamdani 2014) Uganda highlights the tensions addressed in TJ and peacebuilding literature. Idi Amin’s controversial commission of inquiry into the Disappearances of People in Uganda (1974) is often referenced as one of the first official ‘truth’ commissions to have been initiated.3 Uganda was also the first nation to have arrest warrants issued by the ICC (2005) against four leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army, who waged a war in the north of Uganda (1996–2007), with spillover effects into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic and what is today South Sudan. It took 13 years before Dominic Ongwen, one of the commanders accused, stood trial at the ICC. In addition to the ICC’s LRA vs. Government of Uganda (GoU) case, amnesties have been extended to ex-combatants and returnees from a multitude of conflicts across the country. Importantly, the Uganda Crimes Division has set up a complimentarily4 domestic trial to try defendants, such as Thomas Koywelo who had been denied amnesty. To complete an accountability package, donor support has gone into performing and crystallizing traditional justice mechanisms. When justice in this sense is ritually performed in the contemporary moment it becomes a form of heritage—a vision of the past, performed in the present, for an aspirational future. Following critiques of the formal mechanisms, traditional justice was seen as a means to counterbalance and ‘localise’ accountability. Traditional justice mechanisms can occupy a locus of culturally relevant attempts to seek accountability, yet they are in danger of becoming commodified and institutionalized through development practices—thus diluting their symbolic legitimacy and their ability to act in an educative/advocative role (Allen and MacDonald 2013; Branch 2011; Shaw 2007). Tim Allen and Anna MacDonald (2013) have demonstrated that gacaca used in post-genocide Rwanda and other traditional mechanisms

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such as the Acholi mato oput , might lack the essentialist ‘local’ qualities that international agencies seek to counterbalance their top-down approaches, in part because the tradition becomes standardized to fit the necessity of state-wide liberal transfer (2013). This creates a kind of ‘memory entrepreneurship’ hinging on a reparations discourse that seeks to value victim experiences and encourages a transactional approach to witnessing and trauma (Hamber and Wilson 2002). Adam Branch (2014) has warned of the ‘ethnojustice’ agenda’s ability to prioritize one system over another and universalize or standardize its application, thus creating further divisions in multivalent societies that might be prone to identity-based violence. The above tensions around formalized justice and traditional justice requires academics and practitioners to work beyond the legalistic frames for understanding justice. As a contribution to this gap, this chapter will adopt the idea of ‘aesthetic justice,’ a concept used by some scholars in an attempt to insert new aspects into an arena otherwise dominated by factual and forensic understandings of law and justice (Gielen and Tomme 2015). Proponents of aesthetic justice offer artistic interventions as means to illuminate injustice, recalibrate justice norms, and present new approaches to law-making. In the analysis that follows, these concepts will be expanded into heritage making and memorial production. In doing so, the propositions offered by those who advocate for aesthetic justice are teased out through archives, artworks, and the coming together of an exhibition platform to make a heritage that is often otherwise sidelined in the national psyche of Uganda. What emerges is an uncovering of an ethics of justice whereby accountability, acknowledgment, performance, and memorial production serve to create agreements about wrongs in both abstract and collective ways, divorced from the individualizing nature of court proceedings and formal justice mechanisms.

The Exhibition Process When the Refugee Law Project—a community outreach organization of the Makerere University School of Law—started inviting public- and


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cultural institutions to help write Uganda’s history, they were not sure what might come out of it. Through their outreach work and radio shows, the employees of their National Memory and Peace Documentation Centre (NMPDC) called upon war-affected peoples to enrich the history of war and peace through their own testimonies. Almost immediately stories started to be narrated with objects, providing new materials through which the organization could structure their efforts to document the past. Collections amassed with the idea of creating a museum as an active discursive space to support the long-term goals of accessing truth and stimulating reconciliation. The products of these ever-growing collections have been displayed during conferences, shared in publications, and called upon for research. The 2013 exhibition Images of War and Peacemaking was a project born out of a response to community members in Kitgum (where the NMPDC is located) who began offering materials to illustrate their war histories around the LRA vs. GoU conflict. While separate research could be done analyzing the objects and archives, the discussion below is concerned with what can be gleaned from the process of curating the exhibition. For example, it is not the blanket of a missing person, but the intentions behind its donation and the kinds of productive outputs that arose from its transition from a personal item of endearment to an item on public display, that are of importance. How does the value and power of each object transfer, diffuse, or become magnified by its recontextualization in the collection and or exhibition? The open-ended exhibition concept was rooted in research conducted among war-affected communities in Uganda in 2007 that revealed that at least 95% of the respondents wanted the establishment of memorials as a way to remember what happened (ICTJ 2007: 32). The war-affected population related that they believed that future generations should know the truth about their experiences (ICTJ 2011). This was codified in the Juba Peace Agreement between the LRA and GoU which calls for the establishment of memorials and commemorations as part of the reparations package (Juba Peace Agreement 2007 section 9.1). Despite this, there have been very few efforts toward a comprehensive heritageization of Uganda’s conflicts. The projects that do exist have been confined to addressing the Lord’s Resistance Army versus GoU war. Support from

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the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, and the Democratic Governance Facility, enabled the Refugee Law Project to move beyond this well-known conflict and tour the country from December 2013 to May 2014 to build a national heritage centered on the themes of war and peace, continuously collecting, documenting, and creating spaces for justice to emerge. This process, which is still ongoing, is called the Travelling Testimonies. What began as an exhibition has transformed into a methodology. Civil society organizations, cultural institutions, individuals, and artists were invited to inform the proposition of collecting self-created histories at four sites in the semi-urban towns of Kasese, Luwero, Arua,and Kitgum (Fig. 1). These four sites represent key locations in conflicts. Including, the LRA vs. GoU conflict discussed above (1986– 2007); The War of Liberation commonly referred to the Luwero Triangle or Luwero Bush War (1981–1986) that gave rise to the current National Resistance Movement ruling party; the legacy of Idi Amin’s rule (1971– 1979) manifested in the operations carried out by the Uganda Army and the subsequent retaliations as well as the actions carried out by rebel groups like West Nile Bank Front (1995–1997), Uganda National Liberation Army (I and II) (1979–1986), and Uganda National Rescue Front (1980–2002) and the legacy of the Rwenzururu rebellion (1919– present), which is connected to the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (1980s) and the Allied Democratic Forces (1990s–present) (see further discussion below). The rough timelines and georeferences offered for context here were regularly blurred on the ground due to the interconnected realities of Ugandan conflicts over time and through space as regional conflicts. Respondents often confused the names of rebel groups and combined them based on the types of violence they employed. Visitors to the exhibition also urged that any timelines offered must depict these conflicts as continuing because they spill over and transform into ongoing conflicts. In touring these areas, it was thought that significant inputs from visitors would extend the collection and build up a set of narratives that could address smaller conflicts or splinter rebellions in other regions. Community organizations aligned with a transitional justice mission based on the pillars of TJ were the key voices in molding the anchor


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Fig. 1 The Travelling Testimonies exhibition sites (Developed by Shaffic Opinyi, Refugee Law Project)

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points for the exhibition(s) and took the lead in identifying participants with ‘iconic’ testimonies. Many of these survivors and organisations had previously engaged in conversations on historical traumas though the RLP’s Transitional Justice Audit. Others were identified through snowballing samples. In sum, they represented a range of war-affected citizens, including those who might be classified as victims, survivors, excombatants, artists, representatives of cultural institutions, community ambassadors, and government officials. These individuals were central to pre-site meetings and consultation sessions which provided the foundation for the collection and documentation processes. They also provided psychosocial support during the exhibition open days in each respective location. Preliminary meetings showed that the majority of residents of Kasese were generally excited to break a perceived silence, those in Arua were somewhat apathetic about engaging the past, and in Luwero they were a bit disgruntled due to the previous rejection of their role in the liberation struggle by the ruling elite. Each location revealed a different kind of relationship between residents and the state, localized forms of healing, and ideas about the usefulness of memorial processes. To have created a kind of national strategy for permanent remembrance would have disregarded this dynamic diversity. The building-block style exhibition began with the materials from the first exhibition Images of War and Peacemaking (2013) that focused on Kitgum. Participants at each venue were then invited to extend and remake the narratives as the primary owners and producers of history. Simultaneously, they reflected on the contributions from the other venues. It is at this juncture that the narrative power that would have been ascribed to the curatorial team’s authority was initially diffused. In doing so, didactic and linear narrative conventions were surrendered. Participation in the process positioned me as the curator to become part activist, part researcher, part creator. Using a reflexive ethnographic lens, the exhibitions tried to provide spaces to explore ‘dialogical truth(s)’ between people (Sachs 2002: 53). Sachs defines this concept as a point when ‘the debate between many contentions and points of view goes backward and forward, and a new synthesis emerges, holds sway for awhile, is challenged, controverted, and a fresh debate ensues. The process is never ending; there is no finalised truth […] It thrives on


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the notion of a community of many voices and multiple perspectives’ (Ibid.). This approach transferred the theoretical debates about memory, the roles of the citizen and state, memorial heritage, identity, and power into a performative space. Although the ‘performative turn’ in memorial heritage research looks at how people interact with spaces and things, it rarely offers an ethnography of production (Haldrup and Bærenholdt 2015). A temporary space was secured at each site. Uganda’s lack of exhibition infrastructure provided an opportunity to seek out existing social spaces that were familiar. Stakeholder meetings helped to identify accessible, politically neutral, and welcoming venues. For example, a primary school or sports field. We once used a church, and although the secular or separatist critic might infer that this created division, we found the opposite—that memory and memorial were viewed as sacred and therefore well suited for display within a religious space. On one occasion, a social services center in a former displaced persons camp compound was used. This symbolic setting was unanimously agreed by participating local partners to be a symbolically potent space in which to revisit past experiences. Each exhibition was hosted for three to five days at its respective venue due to budget and personnel constraints. However, after observing the charged nature of the spaces through the production process, it was deemed essential to maintain an ephemeral quality to the exhibition. Although there is currently little empirical evidence on retraumatization and memorials, the team considered that enduring forms of the exhibition might have created retraumatization or disharmony because the crystallizations of narrative or co-optation of narrative disrupts the dialogical format that this type of exhibition making seeks to implement. During each exhibition, selected individuals that had been identified by partner organizations as having ‘iconic’ stories as well as interested audience members, invited through public advertising, were offered an opportunity to articulate a part of their ‘truth’ about what happened in the past and how they perceived a peaceable future. The equipment used to document such inputs usually included scanners, video recorders, audio recording devices, stationary for writing labels, and artistic participation spaces. During the open days, it was not possible to predict what

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contributions any particular audience member might want to add, rather the team just had to be prepared to receive often-unexpected contributions. Community ambassadors were on call to provide psychosocial support to those offering personal testimonials that might retraumatize them. The result of this initial endeavor is a growing collection of 204 photographs, 112 objects, 120 artworks, 365 pages of archives, 47 hours of testimonials, and 3 DVDs of archival footage. The ongoing process of creating such a collection is as much a key to understanding the surrounding tensions and contestation as the products themselves. The ‘collection also becomes a way to access the present and to think of learning and knowledge as “eventualities”, which take shape in situations that are not necessarily prescribed but are part of the process’ (Anguelova 2012: 9). Each iteration of the Travelling Testimoniesexhibition provides a unique set of collected memories, illuminating strategies for everyday reconciliation and the potentiality for the heritage making to be seen as a form of justice.

Travelling Testimonies in Kasese Focusing on one of the five locations of the Travelling Testimonies exhibition will illustrate the process of producing heritage around past violence. In 2014 we presented the first comparative displays of the LRA vs. GoU war in Kasese, a town nested in a region of Uganda that has suffered more than 100 years of conflict in the border region of the Rwenzori Mountains. Straddling the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), these dense mountains are home to several (contested) tribal groups and kingdoms which have been the site of conflict since the colonial era. Ongoing episodes of violence include: the Rwenzururu rebellion5 which fed into the 1980s establishment of the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU); regular clashes over land; and the development of the Islamic fundamentalist group the Allied Democratic Forces in the 1990s, who remain operational in neighboring DRC. The government of Uganda’s responses to the violence have included armed combat, the planting of land mines, the deployment of special intelligence forces,


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and the banning of cultural rituals at shrines. Conversely, the Kingdom of Rwenzururu has maintained its kingdom-appointed royal guards to protect King Charles Mumbere and the kingdom’s cultural shrines. As recently as 2016, there were clashes between the Kingdom of Rwenzururu and the GoU, in which it is estimated that more than 100 men, women, and children were killed by government soldiers. This attack was a retaliation against the kingdom’s royal guards who refused to surrender at their town offices after it was alleged that they attacked two Kasese police posts. The clashes culminated in the storming of the palace and the arrest of King Mumbere (Human Rights Watch 2016). In the context of the exhibition held in 2014, survivors, educators, ex-combatants, and members of the general public joined in a threeday program of simultaneous exhibition display and documentation held over the weekend of Palm Sunday. The narratives, materials on display, and performances were co-designed by the curator, the Refugee Law Project team, and members of social justice, cultural or educational organizations in the region. During the three days of display, hundreds of visitors came to view the exhibition and more than 25 individuals contributed their memories, artifacts, artworks, and archives. The analysis below focuses on this process and argues that ideas of law, justice, and reconciliation are being reframed through the relational making of place, history, and collective memory, which occurred during the exhibition. Examples of archiving, artistic production, and dramatic performance will be explored to make sense of the ever-changing nature of such exhibition production.

Tracing and Making the Archive For contemporary residents of the Rwenzori region, the official archive is a mysterious and amorphous entity. Yet, the memories related to events inscribed in colonial or post-colonial government documents, housed or destroyed in archives, as well as KoR documents that were created during the height of the Rwenzururu Rebellion in the 1950s and 1960s, ascribed value to the archive—official or personal—as both a site of memory recall and a legitimate space to narrate heritage. Furthermore,

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the processes of transition and cycles of ‘peace-to-violence-to-peace’ are surrounded by humanitarian archives from refugee settlements, antimining initiatives, and the Amnesty Commission. In an effort to see ‘the archive’—as a collection of official and personal documents—this next section will illuminate the negotiation of heritage in the public space of the exhibition. It is first important to explain what the official archive is and how citizens may be challenged to engage with it. The national archive resides in Kampala, which is four to seven hours by vehicle from any given town in the Rwenzori region. A portion of the national archive is housed at the Mountains of the Moon University in the largest regional town of Fort Portal. Items that might be of interest to the heritage of conflict and peace are the files containing district and national reports; correspondence dating to times of conflict; census data; and maps detailing tribal lands, conservation areas, roads, and population density. It is also important to highlight the six-year ($150,000) project that reports to have digitized 410,000 documents in the Mountains of the Moon University archive.6 Both repositories require users to obtain clearance from the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST). One can only apply for access online and only if one has an institutional affiliation that is approved by UNCST. The processes of clearance involve the completion of several forms, the provision of letters of approval from educational institutions, and lengthy descriptions of what the user of the archive intends to do with the material. Note that the desire to know one’s own history as a citizen does not garner UNCST clearance or access to the archives. Given these barriers, there were regular requests by exhibition visitors and collaborators to access and display documents contained in the official archives. The residents of Kasese expressed an interest in the official archive as part of a perceived need to validate their narratives of oppression by the ruling elite. Specific documents featured in pre-exhibition planning discussions. For example, the 1932 Toro Land Act in which the people of the Bakonzo language and cultural community were subsumed into the Toro Kingdom. This is said to be the foundation of the conflict that led to the August 15, 1962, Declaration of Independence in which Konzo language speakers asserted their own identity as separate from the Toro majority


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who had been aligned to the British colonial administration. The archives of this movement are part of the legacy left by the Bakonzo Life History Association that conducted research in the 1950s and 1960s to emphasize their uniqueness and to mark the cultural attributes of the Bakonzo as those of a legitimate Kingdom of Rwenzori. Another document that was commonly referenced was the limited print edition pamphlet ‘20 Years of Bitterness,’ written by the former Rwenzururu rebellion leader Amon Bazira (1982). The Land Act, Declaration of Independence, and the Bazira ‘manifesto’ were viewed as critical anchor points onto which the lineage and legacy of resistance and oppression could be linked. Therefore, I was tasked as the curator to find these, and related documents, to put on public display during the exhibition. Only the Toro Land Act was available in a national repository. It was retrieved by sifting through abandoned boxes covered in dust and detritus, mixed in with other important colonial era and post-independence documents in the back of a commercial warehouse which was formerly owned by the Government Printers in the colonial seat of Entebbe.7 The Declaration of Independence and the manifesto by NALU leader Amon Bazira were retrieved from private archives belonging to individuals who participated in the exhibition’s production. This spurred an investigation on behalf of our team members to uncover other personal documents that might inform the archival heritage of the region and the struggle of the Bakonzo. Materials like a 1951 Rwenzururu United Kingdom Ministry of Defense, Army Certificate of Qualification was presented as well as clippings from 1960s newspapers that recounted the numbers of people who died in the fighting between the Batoro and the Bakonzo. One woman even brought her copy of Tribe, a text written by journalist Tom Stacey who was instrumental in the Bakonzo Life History project and partly negotiated the Rwenzururu struggle between King Isaya and then president, Milton Obote. At the time of the exhibition, Tribe was seen as ethnographic evidence for self-determination whereby an oral history had been turned into a written one. It was so powerful that people rumored it had been banned after the 2016 clashes. As materials were brought to the team during the 2014 exhibition, we worked to digitize them. After scanning, materials were reprinted and placed on a dialogue table that encouraged a process of transformation

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from archival documents to heritage objects with negotiated labels. In this way, the authoritative position of an archive as official history was interpreted through object labels and people decided which sections of archives were relevant for public display. For example, the selection, scanning, and reprinting of the following extract from Bazira’s ‘20 Years of Bitterness’ (1982: 13): The secret weapon of tribal interest groups as we saw during Amin’s rule, has been the ability to galvanise their positions for specific political objectives by counting on ancestral homes. Tribal politics carried as they have been in our political evolution, to excess have proven harmful to the national interest. They have generated both unnecessary animosities and illusions of common interest where little or none exists. Specific policies favoured by organised tribal groups can generate fractious controversy and bitter recrimination.

Throughout the text, Bazira highlights casualties on both sides of the Batoro-Bakonzo conflict and works to both stabilize Bakonzo identity while defusing the tribalistic divisions at the root of such tensions. One can see from the extract above that he also draws in the legacy of Idi Amin. Visitors to the exhibition who highlighted this archival extract insisted on two contextual points; firstly that the conflict was part of a ‘political evolution’ as stated by Bazira, and secondly that to illustrate the history one must see it as part of a deep legacy of nation building and failed attempts at leadership. Beyond the Rwenzururu rebellion, other archives were presented to describe the emergence, impact, and displacement of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group that occupied the region in the 1990s and early 2000s. The materials donated to the exhibition showed a personal relationship with the project of building the archive, through the inclusion of personal narratives and photographs. One of the most comprehensive donations was a compilation of images and testimonies from Father Landas Bwambale, Priest of the Diocese Kasese, and Director of St. John’s Seminary in Kitambula, Kasese. His archive relates to the August 16, 1996, attack on the seminary that resulted in the abduction of 19 boys studying at the premises. Father Bwambale


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brought together 11 of the 19 abducted students who returned after being forcibly conscripted into the ADF. He encouraged them to write their stories as a way of making sense of the past and fostering solidarity among returnees. A brother of one of the deceased boys who was abducted in 1996 and killed in the mountains, visited the exhibition. He worked onsite to edit his brother’s story and added images of his brother to bolster the memorial capacity of the archive. These contributions worked to create a heritage which reached beyond the newspaper coverage of events, amnesty commission reports (of 2200 ADF fighters), or army correspondence that would be found in the national archives. In doing so, the collection of narratives is less about accruing ‘data’ and more about capturing lived experiences of abduction, displacement, and return. As a result of the display, members of the returnee group spent time narrating firsthand what they had written, to give potency and orality to their stories. One member noted that he wanted to show that they (forcibly conscripted rebels) are trying to work toward building a peaceful community for their families and should not be regarded solely as fighters to be feared and rejected.8 NGO employees and those impacted by land mines in the region also participated in producing personal or institutional archives that would illustrate this critical aspect of the everyday experience of conflict in the Rwenzori region. Wilson Bwambale donated photographs from the Anti-Mines Network Rwenzori’s work with the Danish Demining Group conducted in 2011, exactly twenty years since the first known mine was planted. These materials illustrated community events of ‘sensitisation’ to help identify and safely detonate land mines. One photograph of a young boy in a school uniform ignited the story of his experience as the school timekeeper, whereby he had rung a ‘bell’ everyday not knowing that it was actually an undetonated cluster-bomb. Only after the antimining work was it realized that for almost a year he had been saved from the potential explosion of the four bombs inside the shell he had been banging to call his fellow students to class. During the three days of the exhibition, the experiences of landmine survivors were vocalized again and again. People even offered to donate old prosthetics to the collection as ‘proof ’ of their social and physical harm.

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Fig. 2 Theatre performers photographing the archival table at Travelling Testimonies in Kasese, Uganda (Photo credit: Kara Blackmore, 2014)

All the archives brought into the Travelling Testimonies exhibition in Kasese formed a kind of evidence of past injustices that are marginalized in official discourses (Fig. 2). Ranging from capturing the ideologies behind rebellions to recording the exact dates of events on a timeline, there was an overwhelming pressure on the exhibition team to be agents of knowledge accumulation. The demand to make a heritage in this way was also about making a space for justice in spite of or in parallel to formal justice mechanisms. Because the visitors often saw their struggle as a long history of self-determination, the mere process of recognition through knowledge and display worked as an arena to articulate injustice as well as a forward-facing glimpse into being equitable citizens. These kinds of harvestings of the archives and resultant presentations that ripple into communities offer a starkly different reading of the past than those which rely on the use of the official record as primary ‘agents of heritage’ (Peterson 2012). The entanglements of conflict histories between the Rwenzururu Rebellion and the ADF, for example, disrupt Derek Peterson’s reading of the region’s past that relied on the official archive. In the exhibition space, historical figures that Peterson focused on as key players did not even feature, census documents that show


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the evolution of Konzo identity seemed irrelevant and the linear depiction of the mounting tensions that one takes from reading the official documents were publicly debated. What we witnessed is that the official archive can work to incite violence as it relies on uncontextualized and state-based or colonially selected information. In contrast, the exhibition attempted to seek out justice through providing evidence of collective historical injuries to be publicly negotiated. Negotiating the archives and the processes of producing heritage in the ethnographic present, queried the very evidence base upon which many ‘conventional’ heritage projects are rooted. Indeed, heritage production is inherently a biased process. When the archives are being employed to seek justice, or if they become agents of conflict, then they need to be read within the context of present-day social dynamics to be understood as heritage. Rather than beginning with the archive as ‘truth’ and comparing it against contemporary commentary, the methodological approach employed by Travelling Testimonies inverts conventional narrative construction approaches by beginning with the concerns of those directly impacted by the conflict and then employing the archive for dialogical truth seeking. What became apparent from each donation and the interviews that articulated archival provenance was that there needed to be action, justice, and developmental outcomes as a response. Not a single donor of material to the collection articulated a sense of contentment with their social, political, or economic position. The common discontent expressed through their collected memories was directed toward current government structures as opposed to the colonial administration or the Toro Kingdom. The heritage making called for change in the present, not merely an acknowledgment of the past, using archives and associated testimony as the evidence to instigate a push for change.

Artistic Palimpsests Artistic production is the focus of this section, providing a counterpoint to the textual narratives addressed in the previous section on archives. It illustrates how temporary socially engaged art practices of visual and performative arts can be layered into the heritage making process during

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the exhibition open days. Akachi Ezeigbo’s (2000) discussion of literature as a means to access justice draws on Soyinka’s (1998) arguments around artworks as valid registers to both make and understand social realities. According to Stauffer (2015), trauma experiences often isolate the survivor and derail access to justice, especially in instances when acquiring justice is not central to state identity formation. Bringing together Ezeigbo, Soyinka, and Stauffer, one can argue that art breaks the doubling cycle of loss: that of the violent event itself as well as that of the loss that has occurred through national silencing of experiences in Kasese. Specific examples illustrate an ephemeral and embodied process and suggest an alternative way of interpreting justice, not as verdict, but as social contract or as aspirational social change. The inclusion of contemporary art, processes of artistic production, and display in the outside courtyard of the Kasese Social Services Centre that housed the exhibition were intended to abstract the codified narratives within the exhibition space. Visitor-engaged drawings served to illustrate audience experiences as well as offer opportunities to digest the often complex and layered material presented within the displays, (Fig. 3) while dramatic performances both purged narratives of trauma

Fig. 3 Young Kasese resident participates in making a collaborative artwork after viewing the exhibition (Photo credit: Kara Blackmore, 2014)


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and worked to reproduce traditional Bakonzo identity. Each of the three guiding visual artists began their ‘residency’ with a tour of the exhibition and then engaged with their preferred medium of painting, sculpture, or drawing to begin making reflections in dialogue with audience members. In some cases, the artists worked to develop artworks in anticipation of the exhibition. In Kasese, land mine survivors awaiting their turn to give testimony in front of the video camera gravitated toward the three artists. Jackson Bwambale was deep in thought preparing to continue his sketch proposal for a monument to ‘mark the past in this forgotten district.’ Godwin Muhindo meanwhile decided to start talking to the waiting women about their stories. He drew as they narrated. This interaction became a spontaneous preparation phase for their video testimonials. The charcoal figures gradually illustrated how land mines maim and kill, how survivors remember, and how memories can be preserved. Almost like a comic book with divided sections, one could read the testimony from left to right, top to bottom, with squared off punctuation in events, silences, and ruptures. When Muhindo went on to start a second testimonial illustration, a visiting woman—who chose to leave her work anonymous—copied the technique in a parallel process. Throughout that Friday afternoon Moses, who had his personal archive on display related to the story abduction at St. John’s Seminary by the Allied Democratic Forces, sat and watched Muhindo illustrate. Bookending Muhindo for those moments was an experiential arc disrupting notions of victim and perpetrator—one individual classified as victim narrated to the artist, the perpetrator who was also a victim sat in silence, and artistic narratives carried forensic truth into abstraction. The untitled artworks sketched during the moments when the survivor narrated, and ex-combatant listened, are intangible interactions that making can produce. Charcoal in the above example was seen as an unthreatening tool with which to share a story without writing down dates, names, or places. Absent of forensic metadata, in spite of its factual resonance within the narrator’s body, the art became the negotiating space for truth telling far from a courtroom. This kind of action challenges the idea that memory must be encapsulated in a material form to be transmitted within a community. Rather, the form becomes the

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medium of transmission not merely a receptacle for testimony (Buikema 2012). The organic interactions made possible through open unscripted discussions should be seen as an ideal accompaniment to war histories as told by their survivors. According to theater theorist Rustom Bharucha, this kind of interaction enables the ‘modulation of energies’ that creates a spaces of mediation for truth to become ‘a collective responsibility in caring for the future of the victims’ (2002: 374). Such a space was fostered by simply engaging a collective collision between war-affected people, more precisely, those who were labeled victims and those seen as perpetrators. For the painting I’m a U -Gandan, artist David Tugume called on youth to take turns in groups to paint sketches onto a common canvas (Fig. 4). He then allowed the piece to dry in the sun near visitors entering and exiting the exhibition. With the addition of each layer, the piece became more abstract, words, and colors blurring with successive impressions. The final piece shows strong blocks of mixed colors with illegible words, saved for a nationalistic reference that shows a clear interpretation of the juxtaposed conflicts. The work is a clear example of what Yilmaz (2010: 270) calls the ‘visiting sequence’ of artistic layers with six levels of interaction between artists, war-affected people, and

Fig. 4 Public artwork ‘I AM U-Gandan’ made in collaboration with exhibition visitors. Kasese, Uganda (Photo credit: Kara Blackmore, 2014)


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the generation who was as many claimed are ‘learning their history for the first time.’ This piece is full of empathetic sentiments, making visible the core of the exhibition narrative, that in some way all Ugandans have been impacted by war and that the struggle for peace is part of a national healing process. Exhibition displays were void of images that represented the human body suffering. In this way, donors to the collection and exhibition advisors refused to create ‘abject artefacts’ (Hughes 2003) out of their experiences. As Hughes (2003) has argued, images divorced from their context and consumed by spectators gazing onto trauma do not advance justice. Creating an exhibition that showcases images of passive bodies in pain, would according to Staffuer (2015), increase the loneliness by demobilizing the collective experience of being affected by war. The performances of drama, dance, and music by the Kasese National Women’s Exchange sometimes reenacted bodily trauma by making space to move through the narrative, constantly reformulating the aesthetic outlet of heritage transmission. The members have created an alliance bounded by the shared loss of family members to the ADF conflict and a commitment to expressing a communal resilience. Onlookers were drawn in by the dramatic cries reproduced to recall moments of mourning. Yet their ability to arrest the audiences was transformed into a kind of rejoicing in the finality of each dramatic rendition, so much so that many audience members sought out the opportunity to change their own position from static onlooker to a participating dancer. Within the courtyard—demonstrative drama presided over the threeacre plot that once served as an IDP camp—visitors and creators worked to make real-time palimpsests. In this way, drama, testimony, and visual art simultaneously built a dialogue. Bajec (2018) claims that this type of collective performance of solidarity is a counter monument, working as a marker of heritage, while rejecting the desire to be claimed by an official discourse. Critiquing how people should perform traumatic experiences and a refusal to be merely a spectator or performer can be read as an expression rooted in aesthetic togetherness and projecting into aspirations of justice as agreement. According to Papastergiadis and Lynn (2014: 226), ‘the ubiquity of images and the enhanced public participation has not only disrupted the conventional categories for defining the

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agency of the artist and opened up the meaning of collective authorship, it also underscores the necessity to rethink the function of the imagination as a world-making process.’ Returning to the theoretical framework of aesthetic justice, it is plausible that the kind of world being made through these interactions is one that aspires to be just, whether or not the perpetrators are present to witness the testimonial performances. Caught among the making processes, it is almost impossible to not recognize the optimism of those engaged who feel that they are working against injustice, however, politically or developmentally motivated.

Conclusion: Temporary Transitions The contemporary making of the postwar Rwenzururu in the region of Kasese is permeated with everyday experiences of heritage or legacies related to the postwar context. The exhibition Travelling Testimonies, as a transitional justice intervention by the Refugee Law Project, acted as a kind of micro-intervention into this heritage through the use of objects, personal archives, negotiated official archives, performances, and artworks. The interactions that transpired during a series of exhibition days at different locations, extended into collections, conversation, and future exhibitions that are ongoing. This emergent heritage captured by this process is not isolated within the Rwenzori memoryscape, rather through the National Memory and Peace Documentation Centre and the programming of Refugee Law Project’s Conflict, Governance, and Transitional Justice, the narrative forms donated in Kasese have reached other war-affected regions. Through the forms of archive and artwork, both literal and abstracted narratives of past conflicts came to the fore. By participating, the collection donors, performers, artists, and audiences collaborated with the curatorial and documentary team to produce a heritage in the making. The aspirational nature of such heritage production works against normative notions of law-making and justice, that prevail in development discourse, and work to suggest alternative moral agreements rooted in participation, listening, and individual contributions.


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One cannot divorce this kind of heritage making from the ideological tenants of Christianity and liberal peacebuilding efforts that are predicated on the externalization of memory as a tool for molding democratic and reconciled societies which are believed to be essential pre-requisites for (sustainable) development. What this case study does offer is a glimpse into the kinds of social contracts negotiated through exhibition processes. Whether it be the individual responsibility for archival production, access, and interpretation, or the performative collaboration in artistic propositions, there is a shift to move away from state-centric topdown efforts for nation building. Justice in this sense is not found alone in the jurisprudence of courts, tribunals, institutional reform, or even state acknowledgment of historical injuries. With an ongoing struggle, a king on trial for treason (who if found convicted is punishable by death), and only glimpses of peace within living memory(ies), Kasese residents presented a strong, if only temporary, commitment to transformation. While the project was funded by an international aid organization (the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development and the Democratic Governance Facility) and all the NGOs involved received support from European or American donors, the performance of symbolic repair in Kasese was distinctly for a local audience. Perhaps something to be gleaned from this is that Kasese’s burgeoning sense of justice could be projected onto or interface with the state once it has received an internal reckoning. Here there is a recognition (particularly within the context of the ADF) that ones’ own people committed atrocities, and that the Rwenzururu movement for independence failed. There is no lasting monument, no commodification of trauma into tourist attractions, only the collaborative making process and the materials that now are part of the RLP collection. Yet, as contributors to the volume Reclaiming Heritage (De Jong and Rowlands 2007) assert, understanding the intangible realms of heritage is essential if we are to break the frames that have been bound by external understandings of conservation, monuments, and symbolic space. This chapter has tried to present both methodological (exhibition making) and theoretical (aesthetic justice) contributions to the relationship between heritage and development. The case of Kasese presents a context unlike those addressed in much of the heritage literature. It

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is characterized by an ongoing conflict, the absence of formal justice processes, the presence of perpetrators at the highest levels of government, an almost complete lack of state support for memory work, donor-driven peacebuilding efforts in spite of state selective amnesia, a memoryscape almost void of tangible markers to past violence, and a largely grassroots set of efforts to preserve its conflict heritage. Yet, the situation of Uganda as a multi-ethnic and conflict-affected nation that is dominated by the public commemoration of liberation narratives and the simultaneous silencing of the disquiet caused by civil unrest is not unique to the region. Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and South Sudan all experience similar dynamics. It is in these contexts that an approach to exhibition making as temporary spaces to create moments of justice can be meaningful. It remains our task, however, as exhibition makers to work over time for a better understanding of the long-term impact of our interventions. If, as this chapter has done, one advocates for temporary or semi-tangible processes of memorialization, then critical heritage research will have to support a space for analysis that can make sense of what happens in the production of memorials as much as it has done in looking at the final products.

Policy Suggestions 1. Heritage practitioners and donors should consider weighting investments in memorial heritage to favor production over product. 2. Those charged with the responsibility of memorial production should investigate existing local memorial practices before sanctioning or reproducing the ‘global’ (read Euro-American) model. 3. Memorial producers should record and critically interrogate intentionality during the ‘making’ processes.

Notes 1. This was a British Empire regiment comprised of subjects primarily from present day Uganda and Kenya.


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2. Here the term post-conflict relates to the end of war, genocide or authoritarian regimes that caused mass causalities. I recognize that other forms of violence can and do persist even after the state or rebel sponsored killings have ended. See Dacia Viejo Rose 2013 for discussion on issues of post-conflict. 3. A version of this can be found at the US Institute of Peace online, https:// 4. Complimentarily refers to a domestic trial that relates to the countries that have cases held in an international court or tribunal. 5. The combatants fought to avoid being subsumed into the kingdom of Toro by the colonial administration. 6. See Derek Peterson’s description from the University of Michigan at https:// 7. For a more detailed description of the UPPC read, http://www.monitor. hers/691232-2646306-oae8bbz/index.html. 8. Interview with ADF returnee, Joram.

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Modern Nostalgias for Sovereignty and Security: Preserving Cultural Heritage for Development in Eritrea Christoph Rausch

The Modern Architectural Heritage of Asmara In the late 1980s, the World Bank announced that it would adopt a ‘holistic approach’ to development and subsequently turned its attention to cultural heritage as a tool in what it called ‘post-conflict reconstruction, nation building, economic development and poverty reduction’ (Duer 1999; Wolfensohn 2001). The Bank considered Eritrea a ‘natural experiment’ in which to test this new approach (Kreimer et al. 1998). In 1993, Eritrea declared its independence from Ethiopia after decades of violent conflict, making it one of the youngest nation-states on the African continent. A symbol of Eritrea’s newly won sovereignty is its capital, Asmara. The city remained virtually undamaged throughout Eritrea’s long struggle for national independence, as well as during C. Rausch (B) Humanities and Social Sciences, University College Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands e-mail: c[email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



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another war between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 1998. Largely built under Italian colonialism, Asmara survives as an ensemble of early twentiethcentury modern architecture and urban planning that was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017 (UNESCO 2017). In this chapter, I examine the heritage valorization of Asmara’s modern architecture. Based on multi-sited anthropological fieldwork conducted for my PhD research, I describe the practices of relevant state and non-state actors that, I argue, raise a number of significant questions concerning norms and forms of government today. I ask how the modern architectural heritage of Asmara is instrumental both to the Eritrean government and to transnational organizations, but for different reasons and to different ends. My analysis indicates how the dictatorial Eritrean government crucially depends on the appropriation of the modern architecture of Asmara as national heritage to ensure a re-territorialization of its sovereignty along the lines of its former Italian colonial borders with Ethiopia. The Eritrean government’s dominant concern with political and economic sovereignty, however, is compromised of the conditions of a World Bank loan for the preservation of Asmara’s modern heritage. In turn, the Eritrean quest for self-reliance at all costs, including serious human rights violations, disappoints the World Bank’s high hopes of post-conflict reconstruction, nation building, economic development, and poverty reduction through cultural heritage preservation. Surprisingly though, ‘failure’ seems to be irrelevant to a positive assessment of the project, as well as the further promotion of culture-bound development aid to Eritrea. In fact, after the end of the World Bank’s engagement, the European Union delegation continued to refer to the modern heritage of Asmara as a resource for the EU’s overall development program to improve food security and to contain emigration in the Horn of Africa. In my conclusion, I point out relevant conflicts of interests and claim firstly that they need to be better acknowledged, secondly that they point toward pitfalls for the preservation of cultural heritage for development in general, and thirdly that nostalgia is a bad policy advisor. Indeed, I argue that it is invariably forms of modern nostalgia that determine the policies of transnational development organizations such as the World Bank and the EU delegation, as well as those of the Eritrean national

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government. Considering the resonance of Asmara’s image portrayed in popular exhibitions and documentary movies as ‘Africa’s secret modernist city’ and a ‘City of Dreams,’ I claim that different notions of nostalgia for colonial modernities revolving around Asmara’s modern architectural heritage problematize norms and forms of government in terms of the politics of sovereignty and security.

Politics of Sovereignty and Security Following the work of Michel Foucault, I consider politics to be the situated practices through which existing governmental rationalities are reflected upon and transformed. Foucault situates his account of the transformation of modern governmental reason in the social environment of the town (Foucault 2007). Drawing on Foucault, Paul Rabinow has shown how modern government is intricately intertwined with innovative technologies of social regulation through urban planning and modern architecture. Rabinow extends Foucault’s somewhat Eurocentric scope by zooming in on urbanization in France’s North African colonies (Rabinow 1989). He argues that the French colonies ‘constituted a laboratory of experimentation for new arts of government capable of bringing a modern and healthy society into being’ (ibid.: 289). As part of the military project to guarantee France’s sovereign rule of an expanded territory, the colonial built environment was developed to effectively rule over a population. Based on the ideologies of progress and development and through the organization of urban space in its territories abroad, the French state developed the norms and forms of its social modernity (ibid.). Rabinow’s analysis of colonial politics as a productive tension between governmental rationalities of sovereignty and security that is manifested in the modern built environment is supported by a number of other scholars (e.g., compare: AlSayyad 1992; Vale 1992; Hosagrahar 2005). Mia Fuller notably applies Rabinow’s findings to her study of Italian colonialism, indicating how the Italian colonial government fundamentally relied on theories and practices of modern architecture and urban


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planning, particularly under Mussolini’s fascist rule. Among other examples, she analyzes the urban development of Asmara between 1898 and 1941, the period when it was the capital of the Italian colony of Eritrea (Fuller 2007). Initially, Asmara consisted of little more than a number of Italian military installations, with a colonial settlement which grew into a small town by the 1920s. In the 1930s, Asmara experienced a building boom as Italy invested heavily in Eritrea’s infrastructure. This boom was linked to Mussolini’s preparations to invade neighboring Ethiopia, which after a massive European ‘scramble for Africa’ remained the only independent kingdom on the continent (Pakenham 1992). Regarded at the time as being based upon an imperial model, Asmara’s subsequent urban growth was regulated according to a fascist master plan meant to control ‘all that concerns the organization of a population’s life’ (Fuller 2007: 141). This master plan decreed the separation of living areas for colonizers and colonized, who were thought to form distinctly separate civilizations. In fact, while the architects and planners of Asmara believed that ‘the native must join his new nation,’ he or she was explicitly not considered part of Italian civil society. Rather, the subjection of ‘the natives’ to the colonizers’ sovereign power was taken for granted; in the colony, they were considered ‘a guest rather than a former master’ (ibid.: 138–142). The disciplinary design of Asmara’s urban grid according to strict principles of racial, ethnic, and religious segregation thus confirms a particular tension between governmental rationalities of sovereignty and security, especially against the backdrop of Mussolini’s colonial policy of territorial expansion. As Fuller puts it, the Italians wanted to ‘have their cake and eat it too, controlling the colonized while imagining themselves as both beneficent and beloved’ (ibid.: 144; also compare: Makki 2008). Today, the Eritreans have inherited Asmara’s modern architecture and many Asmarinos live and work in their former colonizers’ houses and offices, or alternatively in the slums of the former indigenous zones. No changes to the urban makeup of Asmara were made when Eritrea became a British protectorate following the 1941 defeat of the Italians in the Second World War. After the UN proposed a contested federation between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 1950, the long Eritrean War of Independence (1961–1991) prohibited any major urban development

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of Asmara. The only visible alterations to Asmara’s street views concern the walls around properties, which many owners raised for reasons of privacy and safety during the Ethiopian occupation. For a large part, the modern architectural heritage of Asmara thus continues to represent early twentieth-century Italian colonial urbanism. But what happens when, as is the case with the heritage valorization of the modern architecture of Asmara, political practices are tested over the built environment of a colonial past?

A Global Heritage Assemblage Around the Modern Architecture of Asmara Development organizations in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s moved toward what was called a holistic approach to development. In this policy shift, ‘culture’ was deemed essential. UNESCO even declared 1988–1997 the ‘World Decade for Cultural Development,’ asserting that ‘from now on, culture should be regarded as a direct source of inspiration for development, and in return, development should assign to culture a central role as social regulator’ (Duer 1999: 21). When James D. Wolfensohn was appointed president of the World Bank in 1995, he continued to endorse a similar view. Wolfensohn reflected on the role of the World Bank by stating that ‘[we need to do] development differently’ and that ‘we must not lose sight of culture and cultural heritage’ (2001: 15). He commissioned a framework for action on culture and sustainable development, personally chairing a working group with what Arlene Fleming, a senior heritage consultant to the World Bank, calls the qualities of an encouraging believer (Fleming 2010). Apparently, Wolfensohn’s policy objective was ‘to mainstream culture into Bank operations’ (Picciotto 2001: 6). Seeking partnerships with cultural heritage organizations such as UNESCO, the World Bank started lending ‘specifically for culture’ in the late 1990s (Duer 1999). This was facilitated mainly through socalled Learning and Innovation Loans (LILs), which were meant to ‘afford opportunities to test new approaches, pilot efforts for later expansion, and develop programmatic strategies’ (Picciotto 2001). Wolfensohn


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maintained that investment in culture makes ‘sound business sense. From tourism to restoration, investments in cultural heritage and related industries promote labour intensive economic activities that generate wealth and income’ (Duer 1999: 7). He regarded it as imperative that ‘when the World Bank supports conservation of monuments and heritage sites it is to achieve economic and social objectives’ (Duer 1999: 8). At the same time as the World Bank included culture in its development policy, it also claimed it was stepping up its ‘work on post-conflict situations’ (Kreimer et al. 1998: 6). In 1998, it emphasized that ‘the Bank has a critical role to play in the early stages of post-conflict reconstruction’ (Kreimer et al. 1998: xii). In fact, the relevant World Bank report on experience with post-conflict reconstruction established an essential link between peace and development, assuming that ‘in post-conflict countries sustained peace is essential to sustained development’ where ‘broad-based development in its own right also contributes to sustainable peace’ (Kreimer et al. 1998: 21). The report expounds that ‘Culture is not a luxury’ in post-conflict situations, asking: ‘What is the justification for assisting in the protection and conservation of cultural heritage in situations of complex emergencies?’ and explaining: Applying scarce resources to conserving cultural heritage in a post-conflict situation may seem frivolous at first glance. However, cultural heritage has the power to inspire hope and remind people of their creativity. [It can be] viewed as integral to the transition from war to sustainable peace and as a prerequisite for economic and social development. (Kreimer et al. 1998: 32)

The same World Bank report on post-conflict reconstruction and development prominently refers to Eritrea as a case study. Simultaneously with the publication of this report, the World Bank encouraged the Eritrean government to apply for a Learning and Innovation Loan in order to develop its Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project [CARP], which was targeted at the modern architectural heritage of Asmara. The Bank welcomed the Eritrean request, which, it stated, ‘comes coincident with the progress which is being made in launching post-conflict activities which are oriented toward economic reconstruction and recovery, and

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other social and economic programs with poverty reduction objectives’ (Dewees 2001). However, work on the specifics of a loan application for CARP began shortly before a renewed war between Eritrea and Ethiopia started in 1998, which led to a waning image of Eritrea as a model newly independent state and halted development activities until 2001. Only then was CARP finally launched with a loan of $5 million (Dewees 2001; Fleming 2010). Naigzy Gebremedhin, a former employee of the UN Environment Programme, coordinated CARP together with a steering committee formally placed under the Eritrean Ministry of Finance, but initially operating relatively autonomously. From the World Bank’s side, Arlene Fleming took over as World Bank Task Team Leader from Peter Dewees, who had initiated the project together with Naigzy Gebremedhin before the war. Fleming had a record as a consultant in cultural heritage policymaking and emphasized the value of the Learning and Innovation Loan, which according to her ‘for the Bank is small, but for the cultural heritage field is enormous’ (Fleming 2010). Moreover, Fleming recognized a pattern in the use of World Bank LILs for cultural heritage: What is interesting to mention is that these small loans for cultural heritage tended to be taken, not entirely, but frequently by countries who were newly free, newly independent. For instance, there was one in Georgia, one in Romania, there was one in Eritrea; Azerbaijan, also. So, you see that these countries have a particular interest in developing awareness and attending to their own cultural heritage, which had not been possible under the previous regimes. And that I think was an interesting feature, which is not often mentioned. (Fleming 2010)

Besides attempting to generate economic development through cultural heritage by financing CARP, the World Bank also clearly supported an attempt to ‘re-establish Eritrea’s identity,’ as Naigzy Gebremedhin puts it (Gebremedhin 2009). Gebremedhin’s ambition to forge Eritrea’s national identity through the valorization of its modern built heritage coincided with a rising interest in Africa’s colonial architecture among global heritage organizations. In 2001, for instance, the very year, CARP was launched,


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ICOMOS published a report which labeled modern architecture in Africa a ‘shared colonial heritage at risk’ (ICOMOS 2001). The report urged the inventorying and protection of modern heritage in Africa, suggesting joint responsibilities for former colonizers and the colonized alike. Moreover, ICOMOS in 2004 presented an advisory report to UNESCO entitled Filling the Gaps: An Action Plan for the Future, identifying modern architecture in Africa as a category of heritage that combines some of the thematic and regional shortcomings of the UNESCO World Heritage List (Jokiletho 2004). Against the backdrop of a concept of shared heritage which started being referred to more frequently by heritage professionals following the initial 2001 ICOMOS publication, CARP’s focus on Asmara’s colonial architecture proved a powerful means to create international interest in the newly independent state of Eritrea. Realizing this potential, one of Gebremedhin’s first decisions as CARP manager was to hire foreign consultants Edward Denison and Guang Yu Ren, a British-Chinese couple with a background in design, who had travelled extensively in Eritrea in the years before (Gebremedhin 2009). Gebremedhin, Denison, and Ren started to work vigorously in order to raise international awareness of Asmara’s modern heritage, even though this was not a primary objective of CARP under the specifications of the World Bank loan. One result was that the UNESCO World Heritage Centre chose Asmara as the venue for the 2004 regional meeting of its Modern Heritage Programme (van Oers 2004). UNESCO considered modern heritage in Africa ‘a [vulnerable] source of identity and economic development’ (van Oers 2004: 1, 3). During the conference in Asmara, UNESCO encouraged a tentative World Heritage listing of Asmara’s ‘historic perimeter,’ which Denison and Ren wrote and submitted to UNESCO on behalf of CARP in 2005. Their entry describes Asmara as the ‘most concentrated and intact assemblage of Modernist architecture anywhere in the world’ (UNESCO 2005; van Oers 2010; Denison 2009). In 2003, Denison, Ren, and Gebremedhin co-authored Asmara: The Secret Modernist City. In Denison’s words, this book was meant to ‘get this material into the international domain, to celebrate Asmara’ (Denison 2009). Based on research conducted for CARP, the book

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advertises a ‘sublime urban environment that has miraculously survived to the present day’ and refers to a ‘definite urgency in extolling Asmara’s beauty’ (Denison et al. 2003: 17). In fact, Asmara: The Secret Modernist City reads like a call for support. The mayor of Asmara, for instance, writes in his foreword: Eritreans are able to present to the world a heritage that is worthy of international acclaim and of which they should all be proud. This book therefore appeals to all Eritreans to offer an unending commitment to future generations that this legacy is preserved and to rise to the challenge of nurturing and involving themselves in the positive development of their capital, which will serve to make it one of the world’s most atmospheric, interesting and, importantly, safe cities. With an agenda based firmly on the needs of the Eritreans, including the alleviation of poverty and nurturing a balanced and equitable society, we are seeking to achieve these aims. Therefore, I call upon individuals, communities and organizations, domestic and international, to collaborate in achieving these aims, and to assure that it is not only Asmara’s fascinating history that is recognized, but also its bright future. (Denison et al. 2003: 11)

This rhetoric combined with the aesthetic appeal of the highly visual content of Asmara: The Secret Modernist City can explain why Roxanne Hakim, Arlene Fleming’s successor as World Bank Task Team Leader for CARP in 2006, claims that the book ‘single-handedly brought Asmara on [to] the international agenda’ (Hakim 2010). Indeed, CARP capitalized on the popular reception of the book to drum up support. According to Hakim, the generation of an image of Asmara as ‘Africa’s secret modernist city’ made CARP ‘fantastic with partners’: I’ve never seen a World Bank project that partnered so much with other organizations. The Alliance Française, a little NGO somewhere, the Italians, this project really did well in this respect. […] CARP began to be seen as a body in Eritrea, which was a state channel to put your money in if you wanted to support culture. […] This project, the topic, the sector we worked in; every kind of embassy in a country has a little fund somewhere, the sole aim of which is to do little stuff like this.


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[…] Now suddenly that pot of money found this huge bandwagon to jump on. […]. Because [CARP] provided a structure and while not many government institutions were very efficient it had already identified things worthwhile to do. (Hakim 2010)

Effectively then, CARP facilitated the creation of what I call a global heritage assemblage around the modern architecture of Asmara. In my book Global Heritage Assemblages, Development and Modern Architecture in Africa, from which this chapter is adapted, I develop my conception of global heritage assemblages at length (Rausch 2017: 14–17). I define the global heritage assemblage around the modern architecture of Asmara as administrative apparatuses, technical infrastructures, and value regimes that revolve around contested notions of cultural heritage, which—despite being deeply and historically entwined with nationbuilding projects—begin to transcend the actual borders and categories of the nation-state (Rausch 2017: 15). CARP’s mission of the ‘reestablishment of Eritrean national identity’ was merged with the transnational appeal of Asmara’s historic perimeter as shared colonial heritage and the city’s tentative UNESCO World Heritage status. CARP’s conspicuous emphasis on the global responsibilities of post-conflict reconstruction, nation building, economic development, and poverty reduction, however, stirred opposition from the Eritrean government.

Asserting Sovereignty and Security While widely being recognized as having brought CARP’s activities to the attention of a global audience, Asmara: The Secret Modernist City was not officially endorsed by the Eritrean government. In fact, the government’s reactions to the publication of the book revealed a fundamental opposition to CARP’s policy of creating a global sense of a shared ownership of Asmara’s modern architectural heritage. Eager to assert its newly won national sovereignty and in pursuit of a radical policy of self-reliance, the Eritrean government censored the book and, shortly after its publication, cracked down on CARP’s rallying of international assistance.

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The Eritrean government’s suspicion was not limited to CARP and generally affected any foreign intervention at the time. Whereas in the early 1990s, Eritrea was viewed as ‘the darling of the western world’ (Denison 2009), over time its authorities became more and more apprehensive about foreign influence. From the late 1990s onward, according to a high-ranking foreign diplomat in Eritrea, this made it increasingly difficult for development organizations to work in Eritrea (Anonymous 2010a). The German GTZ, the World Food Programme, and USAID all left the country because of Eritrean obstructions. Moreover, the number of NGOs active in Eritrea sharply decreased from 38 in 1993 to three in 2010. Even UNMEE, the UN peacekeeping mission installed after the 1998 war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, was forced to leave in 2008. First, the Eritrean government withheld its gas to fuel its vehicles on account of alleged lack of gas supplies, and then, when the mission’s equipment had been exchanged for diesel-fuelled cars, the Eritreans pretended there was a diesel shortage. ‘Having been UNMEEed’ has become a standing expression among diplomatic personnel in Asmara to refer to the blunt expulsion of the UN mission when describing one’s own experiences of the Eritrean government’s indirect but effective sanctions against aid work (Anonymous 2010a). Apparently, the publication of Asmara: The Secret Modernist City was reason enough to lead the Eritrean government to ‘UNMEE’ CARP until the termination of the World Bank loan in 2007. The World Bank Implementation Completion and Results Report about CARP, published in 2008, describes in diplomatic language how in the later phase of the project ‘there were difficulties in reaching decisions in a timely manner on some key matters’ with an ‘ambivalent’ government (World Bank 2008: 22). CARP activities were delayed or otherwise subjected to ‘changing and unpredictable government priorities’ (ibid.). According to the Bank, the premises upon which the project was designed to achieve economic development and poverty reduction changed drastically as a result of ‘the changing political environment in Eritrea’ (ibid.: 28). Originally, the World Bank’s objectives for CARP established a crucial link between the preservation of the historic built environment of Asmara and economic growth. Among the so-called key indicators was a ‘growthoriented planning process for urban and architectural management and


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conservation’ and a ‘conservation fund […] designed to stimulate the private sector and to engage communities’ (ibid.: 2). Furthermore, the World Bank assumed that ‘low-income groups [would be] targeted for training in specialized building trades related to conservation’ and that the ‘conservation of priority sites in Asmara [… would be] completed with a particular emphasis on improving community access to public services and spaces’ (ibid.: 2). However, the Bank observed ‘three main shifts […] in government orientation that affected the project activities and achievement of development objectives’ (ibid.: 8). These main shifts compromised the initial key indicators regarding the preservation of Asmara’s modern architecture, none of which were satisfactorily met, according to the Bank’s final CARP evaluation. The first political shift identified by the World Bank concerns the private sector, which was deemed crucial in attaining CARP’s poverty reduction and growth objectives. The Eritrean government is reported to have ‘eliminated or greatly reduced’ activities ‘in support of the private sector’ (ibid.: 8). The Eritrean Conservation Fund [ECF], which was to enable private owners of real estate in Asmara to engage in necessary maintenance and conservation works and was designed to ‘ensure a healthy post-Project afterlife’ (ibid.) of CARP, has yet to be established. According to the World Bank, ‘it is unclear when or if the ECF will become operational through a legal proclamation, in part due to the Government’s declining support of the private sector’ (ibid.: 13). Meanwhile, an official from the Eritrean Department of Infrastructure euphemistically sums up government policy as a … sort of embargo of building permits: for the past 10 years we didn’t issue permits for new building construction. We tell the applicants: please wait until guidelines are fully established, for example the appropriate height of buildings. There is a great awareness of the heritage among the Eritreans. People are very cooperative. Many people are suspending their projects, because they want to wait until decisions have been made. (Anonymous 2010b; also compare DOI 2006)

The Eritrean government has effectively halted private building activity on the pretext of cultural heritage preservation.

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The second political shift the World Bank notes is that throughout the loan period for CARP ‘the scope to work with community groups was greatly restricted’ (World Bank 2008: 8). For instance, while according to Fleming the ‘empowerment of local people’ was high on CARP’s agenda and ‘there was a lot of attention in the early phases of the project to citizen involvement and creating enthusiasm among the people who owned property in Asmara,’ later this came to a halt. She claims ‘no one really knew why, but the assumption was that the order came from the very top. They didn’t want this in Eritrea, this citizen engagement, it had to stop’ (Fleming 2010). A case in point is the Restore Asmara Campaign, which gathered Asmarinos for voluntary building conservation projects. According to the World Bank report, the Restore Asmara Campaign was ‘a wonderful example of building social capital through cultural restoration,’ though ‘the stop put to [it] gave a strong message to the project regarding working directly with community groups’ that the Eritrean government was opposed to civic engagement around cultural heritage projects (World Bank 2008: 18). The third political shift that the World Bank identifies as having substantially compromised CARP concerns the Eritrean nationalization of the building trades. According to the World Bank ‘… the withdrawal of construction contractors’ licenses imposed by the government in the last few years [resulted] in delays in activities involving civil works, many of which remained undone at project closure’ (ibid.: 8). What in practice became a monopoly created by this nationalization clashed with the procurement rules of the World Bank, which demand competitive bidding for contracts. As Roxanne Hakim told me: [The Eritrean] government wanted to see something physical, they wanted us to restore a building. Now, the purpose behind that was political. They wanted to restore Cinema Asmara and Cinema Capitol, but [we had] a huge, huge problem with procurement. […] So we wasted a long time. Also, the government didn’t want foreign companies to bid. (Hakim 2010)


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This conflict between the Eritrean policy of state ownership of industries and the World Bank’s procurement rules concerning construction works is emblematic of CARP’s failure to satisfy both parties’ interests. Actually, the World Bank Implementation Completion and Results report about CARP arrives at a rather damning final evaluation of the project. The Bank frankly admits that the primary objectives of CARP were not met to its satisfaction, stating that ‘it is difficult to assess […] the contribution of cultural assets to economic growth in the present circumstances of Eritrea’ and that the ‘poverty impacts [of CARP] are primarily anecdotal’ (World Bank 2008: 17). Furthermore, the World Bank states that ‘a weak point in the design [of the loan for CARP] was the underestimation of risks and their mitigation. Several important risks, especially political risk, were underestimated’ (ibid.: 17). Hakim explains: In hindsight I think we really should have taken a step back and taken a little more drastic look at the design, to see if it would extend into the new situation. Remember, at the time of [project] design Eritrea was doing relatively well; 7% GDP [growth], it was a really new country. When we actually implemented the project; it was after the war, but as you know the war was still going on. We were coming into a new dictatorial government in the country, communist philosophy, no private sector, not really an environment where creative heritage stuff was a priority. (Hakim 2010)

The far-reaching conclusion of the World Bank’s CARP report is that ‘in retrospect, it may have been more realistic to eliminate [emphasis added] the poverty reduction and growth aspects of the development objective’ (World Bank 2008: 3). Whereas the World Bank’s evaluation complains about CARP’s failure to achieve its economic development and poverty reduction objectives, on another front it credits the project as having positively ‘demonstrated that investing in cultural assets is an element of nation building […] and post-conflict reconstruction’ (ibid.). This conclusion is largely based on CARP’s effects on institutional cooperation and capacity building in Eritrea, as well as on the Bank’s insight that nationally and globally the ‘awareness raising on historic architecture [of Asmara] exceeded

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expectations’ (ibid.: 17). The World Bank also notes that ‘media attention on Eritrea’s cultural heritage has created a positive image of Eritrea’ abroad (ibid.: 19). Finally, CARP’s initiative to add Asmara’s historic perimeter to the tentative UNESCO World Heritage List is credited as a success. But whereas internationally these events indicate an overwhelmingly positive interest in CARP, domestically they had a rather different resonance. In fact, the Eritrean government fundamentally contradicts the World Bank when it comes to its interpretations of nation building and post-conflict reconstruction through cultural heritage. A case in point is the Eritrean government’s long-standing unwillingness to further participate in the UNESCO World Heritage program. The World Bank portrays the drafting of the tentative World Heritage List entry under CARP as a major achievement and claims that nomination was slow only because ‘the country lacks legal and management requirements’ (ibid.: 19). Naigzy Gebremedhin, however, talked about a conscious decision on the Eritrean government’s part not to officially nominate Asmara: ‘With the designation as World Heritage Site comes responsibility. There is an erosion of your sovereignty. […] But Eritreans are terribly, terribly sensitive about an erosion of their sovereignty. And they have not yet made an application’ (Gebremedhin 2009). In fact, after a long moratorium, Asmara was finally inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017, an inscription which was claimed to present ‘an opportunity to encourage critical reflections on cultural relations and heritage globally, and to promote stability and prosperity locally’ (Denison et al. 2017: 12). However, the Eritrean government’s long hesitation about having the historic perimeter of Asmara listed as a World Heritage Site was an act of defiance against the ‘shared’ global responsibilities for Asmara’s modern architectural heritage. Their stalling denotes fundamental tensions between the assertion of national politics of sovereignty on the one hand and transnational appeals to post-conflict reconstruction, nation building, economic development, and poverty reduction on the other. Above all, the Eritrean dictatorial regime valorizes Asmara’s modern heritage with fervent nationalism and a calculated vision of political and economic self-determination, using the architectural heritage to


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ensure its national sovereignty very pragmatically. During my fieldwork in Asmara, I interviewed Samson Haile from the Eritrean Ministry of Information about his government’s policy concerning Asmara’s modern heritage. Haile’s answers betray an understanding of cultural heritage as crucial for the establishment of Eritrean national sovereignty as he quickly referred to the many martyrs of war as a reminder of the ‘importance of preserving Eritrea’s independence’ and continuously emphasized an imperative for Eritrean ‘self-reliance,’ always with an eye on the ongoing conflict with Ethiopia (Haile 2010). After all, the authority of the Eritrean government depends on this conflict as it provides President Isaias with an excuse to neither pass the democratic constitution nor hold democratic elections (O’Kane and Redeker-Hepner 2009; Redeker-Hepner 2009). Whereas the World Bank complains about lost chances to ensure economic development and poverty reduction through cultural heritage preservation, Haile displayed a certain cynicism, maintaining that ‘we can be hungry, but we will work for Eritrea’ (Haile 2010). He claimed that his country ‘may be poor economically, but it is rich in social and cultural values. Life is not only economy. Our community ties, that’s what makes us strong’ (Haile 2010). Yet Haile’s community ties have been put under strain by the current circumstances in Eritrea, a country which, analysts warn, continues to be threatened by food crises (UN WFP 2017). Because of hunger and widespread poverty, more and more young Eritreans choose to leave their country, a trend which is reflected in the current European migrant crisis. An additional reason for emigration is government repression. For example, the National Service, which is mandatory from the age of 18 to 40 and likened by a highly ranked foreign diplomat in Asmara, as well as by Human Rights Watch, to a form of slave labor (Anonymous 2010c; Human Rights Watch 2009). Although Haile has nothing but disdain for ‘those who flee to Europe,’ the Eritrean government is obviously hard pressed to appeal for social cohesion. Little wonder then that Haile claims that ‘every Eritrean should be proud of Asmara’ and that the Eritrean government employs cultural heritage to instill a sense of national obligation (Haile 2010). The call to preserve Asmara’s modern architectural heritage has effectively provided the Eritrean government with concrete means to

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discretely exercise disciplinary power domestically. For instance, the government launched an orchestrated press campaign to reduce the height of walls around private houses in Asmara. According to Samson Haile, who has published a book about Asmara’s modern heritage in Tigrinya, the local language, of which he claims 5000 copies have been distributed in Eritrea: Asmara is an open city, so walls should only be 1,20m high. The 1938 master plan dictates this. During the Ethiopian period, walls were heightened for security because everybody was being killed. The government is now urging to abolish the walls. In my book and in other media we are campaigning for the reduction of the heights of walls. I devote one chapter to this in my book. […] If they want privacy, they should plant hedges. (Haile 2010)

Whereas Haile advertises lowering the walls for the sake of preserving the colonial built environment of Asmara, a main goal of his campaign is clearly to assist in the rounding up of ‘draft dodgers’ (BBC 1999). Indeed, the Eritrean government enforces National Service participation with frequent and orchestrated raids throughout the city, known as gffa. The Cultural Secretary of the Eritrean People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, Zemeret Yohannes, states that ‘when our young people are defending our country, it is morally and socially unacceptable to hide from the duty of citizenship’ (ibid.). During gffa, though, it is common to hide to avoid arrest ‘until the provisional prisons – police stations, cinemas, backyards, and sometimes the stadium – are crowded’ (Treiber in O’Kane and Redeker-Hepner 2009: 97). Seen against this backdrop, the campaign to reduce the height of walls plays into the hands of the Eritrean government. In this context, Haile’s reference to Asmara as an ‘open city’ retains a very different connotation than the expressed hope of Guang Yu Ren and Edward Denison in Asmara: The Secret Modernist City that Eritrea would become more ‘open to the world.’ It is clear that the Eritrean government means to do the opposite, doing all it can to close Eritrea from the world. Until this day, Asmara: The Secret Modernist City is not available for sale in Eritrea and the book’s censorship perfectly illustrates


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Eritrea’s continuous ranking as the very lowest country on the World Press Freedom Index, behind North Korea (Reporters Without Borders 2017). The Eritrean government thus coordinates the preservation of Asmara’s architectural heritage while violating fundamental human rights. This puts the World Bank’s admittance of underestimating the political risk of CARP in a critical light. Indeed, the Bank’s Implementation Completion and Results report notes: … in retrospect, the risk assessment [for CARP] was overly optimistic and should have been Moderate (M) rather than Negligible (N). […] During implementation […] risk factors [previously not accounted for] seriously affected [the project’s] implementation [such as a] change in government support for the involvement of the private sector, a downturn in tourism as a result of regional instability and border conflict [as well as a] depleting human resource base with out-migration and army enrolment. (World Bank 2008: 15)

Such self-reflection has to be taken with a grain of salt. Not least because overall the World Bank rates CARP ‘MS,’ or moderately satisfactory, a rating which it claims is ‘fully justified as the project demonstrates extensive achievements and lessons learned’ (World Bank 2008: 17). In a strange move, the Bank report maintains that CARP … clearly contributed to increased recognition of the importance of cultural heritage in Eritrea. Among other achievements, it has led to the production of a number of important publications and studies of Eritrean cultural heritage, particularly related to old districts of Asmara […]. These publications and studies have become popular among both tourists and scholars and have increased awareness of the cultural heritage of the country. The potential for increased tourism and international interest in historic sites and local culture provide important opportunities for building social capital and for contributing to economic growth. The project has also successfully provoked increased cooperation among municipalities and other Government bodies, urban planners, the private sector and cultural heritage professionals […] directed towards the preservation and protection of cultural heritage of the country. This has

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included new zoning and frontage regulations designed to preserve the historic [perimeter] of Asmara […]. (ibid.: 17)

Knowing just how the Eritrean government responded to the increased recognition of the importance of cultural heritage, how it censored relevant publications, and how it interpreted the frontage regulations in terms of its campaign to lower the walls, it is hard not to read the report with a cynical eye. The World Bank rhetoric of political risk certainly underplays the Eritrean government’s structural violations of human rights as a consequence of its radical politics of sovereignty. The World Bank even lauds the creation of ‘a positive image of Eritrea’ (ibid.: 19) as a result of CARP’s activities, maintaining that CARP, despite its shortcomings, has shown that ‘culture should be recognized as a unifying force in a post-conflict situation’ (ibid.: 24). Clearly, such statements play favorably into the hands of the Eritrean government and what Cultural Secretary Yohannes calls its ‘propaganda machinery,’ ‘the main element of [which] is a continuation of the old liberation struggle [against Ethiopia]. It is our heritage’ (Hannan 1999). In this respect, the global heritage assemblage around the modern architecture of Asmara appears to be a case in point of what the anthropologist James Ferguson has called an ‘anti-politics machine.’ For Ferguson, the anti-politics machine of development depoliticizes ‘everything it touches, everywhere whisking political realities out of sight, all the while performing, almost unnoticed, its own pre-eminently political operation of expanding bureaucratic state power’ (Ferguson 1994: xv). When the World Bank ignores the political capital that the heritage valorization of Asmara’s modern heritage creates domestically for the Eritrean government, this is exactly such an act of de-politicization through development. Significantly, however, the heritage valorization of Asmara’s modern architecture has not just served the Eritrean state well in its politics of national sovereignty. At a time when according to one foreign diplomat in Asmara ‘[conducting] development work in Eritrea is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute’ (Anonymous 2010d), the modern architectural heritage of Asmara presented an emergent transnational


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apparatus of government with a welcome opportunity to justify its pursuit of the politics of security in the Horn of Africa. An immediate follow up to the World Bank’s involvement in CARP is the 2009 European Union delegation’s National Heritage Programme. Worth e5 million of direct investments in architectural heritage preservation, this program is part of a e120 million development aid package for Eritrea that mainly focuses on food security and infrastructure. Its overall goal is ‘to effectively support the ongoing efforts of the Government of the State of Eritrea in protecting or rehabilitating Eritrea’s rich cultural and architectural heritage in order to sustain long term socioeconomic objectives’ (EU Commission Delegation to Eritrea 2009). And indeed, the 2006 European Union Consensus on Development holds that ‘economic, social and environmental dimensions of poverty eradication in the context of sustainable development include many development activities’ prominent among which is ‘culture’ (EU Commission 2006). Like CARP, the EU National Heritage Programme through the aim of the ‘urban rehabilitation of Eritrea’s capital city’ focuses on Asmara’s modern heritage (EU Commission Delegation to Eritrea 2009: 3). With this ambition, the EU delegation explicitly acknowledges the World Bank’s cautionary Implementation Completion and Results CARP report. For instance, the Terms of Reference for the National Heritage Programme warn that ‘lack of assured dialogue and cooperation between stakeholders could lead to a halt in the urban rehabilitation project’ (EU Commission Delegation to Eritrea 2009: 6). Still, the World Bank presented CARP as ‘highly relevant’ and ‘good value for money […] although its implementation was uneven’ (World Bank 2008: 14, 16), and whether or not CARP yielded measurable economic development and poverty reduction results seems to be irrelevant to the project in the short term. Following the World Bank and CARP, the EU delegation to Eritrea with its National Heritage Programme pursues long-term interests of global governance and politics of security in the Horn of Africa. The EU has explicitly committed itself to preventing food shortages in and to containing migration from Eritrea. Employees of the EU delegation to Eritrea, as well as diplomats from EU member states working

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in Asmara, however, doubt whether investment in the modern architectural heritage of their host city is an effective means to secure these aims, especially with an eye to the government’s policy of self-reliance and its structural violations of fundamental human rights. My expatriate interviewees in Asmara point out an essential tension between the politics of sovereignty and security in Eritrea. They describe the Eritrean regime as fostering a ‘strange national pride, a couleur nationale which is difficult in an environment of poverty when you should first feed your people.’ They claim that the Eritrean government mistakenly thinks that it is ‘at the centre of international attention,’ ‘full of conspiracy theories about everybody who is advocating for its cultural heritage abroad.’ Above all else though, my contacts spoke of Eritrea as a ‘notoriously unpredictable recipient of aid.’ What then explains the urgency of continued transnational appeals to the development potential of the valorization of Asmara’s modern heritage?

Restorative Nostalgia/Reflective Nostalgia For the World Bank, CARP’s LIL was a relatively small investment. Similarly, for the EU delegation’s development aid to Eritrea, the National Heritage Programme merely constitutes a ‘non-focal sector.’ Still, the ‘restoration of national heritage’ is said to provide ‘a substantial platform for European Union visibility in the country’ (EU Commission Delegation to Eritrea 2009: 1). In fact, the delegation considers attention to cultural heritage particularly attractive for the EU’s image: The [EU delegation], as a potential lead donor, is ideally positioned to deliver a flagship project in an internationally renowned setting that other donors can replicate. Representatives of almost all [EU] member states in Asmara have expressed an interest in supporting future rehabilitation programmes bi- or multi-laterally if the Heritage Programme proves successful. This places the [EU] in a unique position of taking the lessons learnt from [CARP] and assuming a lead role in Eritrea in this sector in the long term. (EU Commission Delegation to Eritrea 2009: 2)


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Apparently, transnational organizations consider Asmara’s reputation as the ‘City of Dreams’ or ‘Africa’s secret modernist city’ to be a good advertisement for their interventions in Eritrea. Ultimately, both the World Bank and the European Union delegation crucially rely on a particular fascination with Asmara in communicating their political engagement in and with Eritrea. Among the expatriate community in Eritrea, there seems to be a personal fascination with Asmara’s modern architectural heritage, and most believe it is ultimately well equipped to distract from the real dangers faced by the Eritrean population. Several of my expatriate interviewees in Asmara pointed out the ‘nice atmosphere’ in Asmara. They claim it explains why for them ‘there is no way around being sympathetic to cultural heritage in this town.’ Unanimously, they considered Asmara a pleasant and familiar environment and experienced it as safe. In addition to that, they pointed out Asmara’s ‘Un-Africanness.’ Some even referred to a certain ‘Europeanness,’ claiming that in Asmara ‘as Europeans and as Westerners, that’s what we see Europe in Africa, the West in Africa.’ Also, Asmara: The Secret Modernist City characterizes the city as a ‘convivial urban idyll.’ Ultimately, this kind of fascination with the modern architectural heritage of Asmara might go a long way toward explaining the EU delegation’s decision to launch a CARP follow up. Off the record, there is great disillusionment among diplomats in Eritrea, several of whom express the belief that ‘the country really doesn’t do anything with the potential of the modern heritage of Asmara’ and that ‘in order to stay in power, the [Eritrean] president needs to obstruct development.’ Denison, however, told me: Jesper Pedersen at the EU [in Asmara] initiated the e5 million project. He felt, I think personally that heritage should be part of these e120 millions [of development aid]. I think he’s right. I think many people think he’s right. And if the present situation wasn’t as bad with the Eritrean government I think anyone who’s passionate about this architecture would accept any money to preserve it. (Denison 2009)

While Denison acknowledges ‘criticism of the e120 million aid package that it will only serve the [Eritrean] government to stay in power,’ he adds

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that ‘the heritage issue doesn’t bother me morally, because I think that buildings will be around longer than any government’ (Denison 2009). This statement implies more than a mere downplaying of political problems, however. When the image of Asmara is that of a ‘European’ colonial city, engagement with its modern heritage under Denison’s motto that ‘buildings will be around longer than any government’ also betrays a certain nostalgia. According to the comparative literature scholar Svetlana Boym, ‘nostalgia like progress is dependent on the modern conception of unrepeatable, irreversible time. […] Nostalgia remains unsystematic and unsynthesiseable, it seduces, rather than convinces’ (Boym 2001: 13). Somewhat paradoxically then, for transnational organizations and their staff, the appeal of Asmara’s modern architectural heritage appears to be rooted in nostalgia for colonial utopias of progress. Against all odds, there is a belief in the capacity of cultural heritage, to, though not rapidly, (re-)transform Asmara into a ‘most modern and sophisticated city.’ Nostalgia for colonial Asmara, once claimed to have been ‘the world’s prime building ground for architectural innovation during the Modernist Movement’ (UNESCO), may betray a hope that its ‘untouched’ historic built environment can reconstitute the ‘ideal blank canvas’ allegedly available to colonial architects in the past. Only this time, Asmara would be a field of experimentation for transnational organizations to test out new approaches to economic development, poverty reduction, nation building, and post-conflict reconstruction through cultural heritage preservation. Indeed, if Boym understands heritage as ‘institutionalized nostalgia,’ a way of ‘giving shape and meaning to longing’ (Boym 2001: 15), clearly the valorization of Asmara’s modern heritage institutionalizes a nostalgia for colonialism, a time when the colonial state introduced the politics of security through modern architecture and urban planning (Boym 2001: 15, 41). It is telling that the tentative UNESCO World Heritage List entry of Asmara’s historic perimeter refers to the colonial era as a time when ‘Italian architects could practice and realize […] modern ideals’ on an ‘ideal blank canvas,’ transforming the city ‘from a relatively minor town into Africa’s most modern and sophisticated city at that time’ (UNESCO 2005).


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Guang Yu Ren and Edward Denison’s vision of ‘progress’ for Eritrea also hinges on colonial nostalgia, as ‘the implications for Eritrea evidently go far beyond extolling its colonial architectural heritage. The possibilities for all manner of initiatives to encourage development largely through tourism, awareness and education are now more attainable than ever before’ (Denison and Ren 2004). Denison admits, ‘it would be devious for Europeans to just focus on tourism because it is us [Europeans] going there’ (Denison 2009). The fact that Asmara’s modern heritage is continuously credited with a high potential for international tourism may be the result of a nostalgia for a colonial ‘age of travel and adventure […] embodied in [the] new architectural forms of Asmara,’ as it was literally described in the tentative UNESCO World Heritage List entry (EU Commission Delegation to Eritrea 2009: 3; UNESCO 2005). Today, globalization is said to have given rise to a new age of travel, and for Eritrea, the preservation of Asmara’s colonial built environment is presented as an opportunity to finally ‘join the rest of the world’— through tourism and by capitalizing on the link to global resources initially established by CARP. The Strategic Urban Development Plan for Asmara, credited as a major result of CARP and financed by the African Union, for instance, formulates a future vision under the heading ‘a convivial city, proud of its heritage’: In 2025, Asmara is a city which has succeeded in protecting its modern heritage […] Asmara has managed to place itself on the tourist map of the sub region. It is widely visited by specialized tours. […] It has managed to avoid the mass tourism which has proven so destructive of heritage [elsewhere]. (DUD Ministry of Public Works 2006: 15)

The Heritage and Tourism Strategy expounded in the plan does remark that a necessary international promotion campaign for tourism to Asmara can only be realized after ‘the normalization of relations with neighbouring countries’ (DUD Ministry of Public Works 2006: 22, 23). That such normalization is not imminent is illustrated by the 2009 UN Resolution against Eritrea, responding to a threat to international peace and security because of ‘the ongoing border dispute between Djibouti

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and Eritrea, as well as Eritrea’s support of armed groups destabilizing and undermining peace and reconciliation in Somalia’ (UN 2009). Only nostalgia for the relative geopolitical stability and global dominance that allowed for a colonial ‘age of travel and adventure’ on the Horn of Africa may obscure such realities. Of course, the Eritrean government indulges in its own version of colonial nostalgia, one largely opposed to the form informing the agendas of transnational organizations. After decades of fighting for national sovereignty and independence from Ethiopia, the Eritrean regime fundamentally depends on references to Italian colonialism for its legitimacy. In fact, compared to the hated Ethiopian occupation, Eritreans regard the Italians as ‘the good colonizers’ (Gebremedhin 2009). After all, the anthropologists David O’Kane and Tricia RedekerHepner note, it was during the period of Italian rule that the Eritrean population ‘began groping towards a common identity’ (O’Kane and Redeker-Hepner 2009: xviii). Even if such a common identity was the result of brutal colonial policies of racial segregation, it did make the Eritrean pursuit of an independent nation-state possible. Today, as a legacy of Italian colonialism, Asmara’s modern architectural heritage stands as a symbol of Eritrea’s cultural and political borders. Not only do the contested boundaries of today’s Eritrea more or less coincide with those of the former Italian colony, it is also difficult to establish differences between Eritrea and its enemy Ethiopia that reach further back than the period of Italian colonialism. In this respect, Denison may be right to claim that ‘Asmara is adamant to break the traditional African hostility to an acceptance of the continent’s colonial history’ (Denison et al. 2003). But for the Eritrean government to embrace its Italian colonial heritage does not equal willingness to globally ‘share’ its ownership. Instead, the Eritrean government exploits globalization trends and mechanisms to assert the newly won Eritrean national sovereignty by exploiting a sense of colonial nostalgia. Svetlana Boym (2001) ultimately distinguishes between restorative nostalgia and reflective nostalgia. According to Boym, restorative nostalgia manifests itself in the total reconstruction of monuments of the past. For the restorative nostalgic, the past is a value for the present— it is not a time period but a snapshot of an ‘original image’ (ibid.:


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49). As a consequence, restorative nostalgics do not think of themselves as nostalgic; instead, they believe that their project is about truth. Clearly, such restorative nostalgia—instead of reflective nostalgia, which I will define below—informs Eritrean governmental reasoning. After all, the Eritrean government lists among the most important lessons learned from CARP both ‘the empowerment to identify, know and write Eritrean ancient history free from Axumite hegemony and excessive Sabean [read: Ethiopian] influence’ and the ‘improved interpretation of Eritrean history by Eritreans’ (DUD Ministry of Public Works 2006: 43). The transnational occupation with Asmara’s modern architectural heritage, however, is also fuelled by restorative nostalgia. One of my diplomat interviewees in Asmara, for instance, admitted that she likes to ‘imagine sometimes how it must have been when the Italians were still here,’ claiming that ‘a splash of paint would make a world of difference’ (Anonymous 2010e). Evidence of this type of nostalgia can be found in the funding of the EU National Heritage Programme, which is limited to the restoration of two iconic buildings. In one way or another, this isolated restoration of two monuments will result in the creation of two perfect snapshots of the past, feeding the different restorative nostalgias behind the valorization of Asmara’s modern heritage. Though transnational organizations ascribe much of the development potential of Asmara’s modern heritage to tourism, the vision of a meticulously restored, monumental Asmara—although obviously far from attainable in the near future—does not seem to attract tourists from abroad. The few foreigners who do make it to Asmara for reasons of tourism often come because of the crumbling patina of its colonial built environment. If they are not put off by the Eritrean government’s restrictive foreign visa regulations and global warnings about instability and violent conflict in the Horn of Africa region, they visit Asmara because of its exotic allure of secrecy. When I waited at Asmara International Airport’s baggage claim on the eve of the Eritrean Christmas holiday together with many people from the Eritrean diaspora and just a handful of Asians and Europeans, I met a Viennese historic preservationist and his wife who had come to spend their vacation in Asmara. The two told me that they had first gotten to

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know about the city through Asmara: Africa’s Secret Modernist City. They had even taken the book with them as a travel guide. Now that they had arrived, they feared they would not be able to experience the city as presented in the book, patina and all. Having read about the many international initiatives launched to restore Asmara, they were anxious that much of the façades would be hidden behind scaffolding. Of course, when I met them again a couple of days later, they readily admitted that this worry had been ungrounded, given the virtual lack of any building construction perhaps even inappropriate considering Asmara’s visible poverty. This story captures Boym’s notion of an alternative to restorative nostalgia, as reflective nostalgics … are aware of the gap between identity and resemblance; the home is in ruins or, on the contrary, has just been renovated and gentrified beyond recognition. This defamiliarization drives [reflective nostalgics] to tell their story, to narrate the relationship between past, present, and future. (Boym 2001: 50)

As far as our two tourists are ‘longing for a different place’ and ‘yearning for a different time’ (ibid.: xv), they certainly display a nostalgia for Asmara’s modern heritage. Their actual experience of Asmara resembles the reflective nostalgia described by Boym; ‘it reveals longing and critical thinking are not opposed to one another, as affective memories do not absolve one from compassion, judgment or critical reflection’ (ibid.: 50). Though Boym acknowledges a need to accommodate a sense of longing for the past, for her, ‘the past is not made in the image of the present or seen as foreboding of some present disaster; rather the past opens up a multitude of potentialities, non-teleological possibilities of historic development’ (ibid.: 50). As a consequence, ‘a modern nostalgic can be homesick and sick of home at the same time,’ which may be how those tourists felt once they had landed in Asmara (ibid.: 50).


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Preserving Cultural Heritage for Development: The Need for Reflexivity In this chapter, I have attempted to narrate relationships between Asmara’s past and future. I have tried to illustrate the multitude of possibilities opened up by the heritage valorization of Asmara’s modern architecture. My analysis of the global heritage assemblage around Asmara points out the pitfalls of cultural heritage preservation for development in Eritrea and can be read as a plea for a reflective nostalgia of the modern. I contend that contemporary governmental rationalities, rather than indulging in restorative nostalgia for the colonial politics of a recent past, need to reflect on how the global fascination with Asmara’s modern heritage problematizes Eritrea’s politics of sovereignty and security today. As my example shows, the Eritrean government instrumentalizes the colonial built environment of Asmara in order to establish its newly won national sovereignty, all the while violating fundamental human rights and obstructing transnational politics of security. The World Bank and the European Union, however, cast these problems aside, as their interventions in Eritrea depend on positive references to the potential of Asmara’s modern heritage for global development. In effect, this transnational nostalgia for Asmara’s modern architecture obscures poverty, hunger, and militarism in the Horn of Africa. The tentative UNESCO World Heritage List entry, for instance, considered it ironic that post-colonial ‘turbulence’ and ‘continuous unrest’ should have ‘served to protect Asmara’s unique urban heritage’ so that its buildings have ‘remained untouched’ (UNESCO 2005). Moreover, a foreword to the book Asmara: The Frozen City somewhat cynically states that for a ‘mysterious, slightly crumbling, ideal city of modernism […] poverty is the best way to protect monuments’ (Visscher and Boness 2006: 10). In the end, Edward Denison maintains the success of his engagement with CARP and the National Heritage Programme: Although it may not be earth shattering in its wider significance, it tells good news from Africa. That is a welcome rarity in itself and represents an attempt to seek alternative approaches to development that have not been given much hearing. [A problem is that] the timeframe

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required [for] measuring the success of cultural preservation, which often far exceeds the limited schedules of today’s mega-donors. Cultural preservation cannot be ascribed an annual figure to demonstrate improvement. And it might sometimes only involve maintaining the status quo in the face of widespread change. When successful, it underpins the broader aims of development, linking the past with the present – and the present with the future. (Denison 2009)

Denison may be right when he states that ‘slowly but surely Eritrea is learning to exploit the Western fascination with Asmara to support other development programs,’ but an important question to ask would be how does it do so and to what ends? I have analyzed how the Eritrean government bases its problematic politics of national sovereignty on a kind of restorative nostalgia. Svetlana Boym likens nostalgia in general to: a transformation of fatality into continuity, contingency into meaning. Yet this transformation can take different turns. It may increase the emancipatory possibilities and individual choices […]. It can also be politically manipulated through newly recreated practices of national commemoration with the aim of re-establishing social cohesion, a sense of security and an obedient relationship to authority. (Boym 2001: 42)

It is not that the Eritrean government’s domestic repression is completely ignored, as many of my expatriate interviewees in Eritrea have doubts about the ‘development impact’ of the preservation of the modern architectural heritage of Asmara and say they would have spent the money in other ways. Paradoxically, however, the obvious contingency of politics of national sovereignty and transnational security does not seem to reduce the colonial nostalgia for Asmara’s modern built environment. Certainly, some reflect on what happens when a young African nationstate is forced to operate in a global space of transnational governance. Denison, for instance, claims: Eritrea, to be fair to their government, they’ve always taken the line of self-reliance. And they’ve also shot themselves in the foot probably more times than not, but they at least are a developing country that has taken


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that line consistently, and if that means building a wall around their border and saying we’re on our own, they’ll do it. And it might ruin ties with the nations but they’ll do it, they’ve got that sort of headstrong mentality. And that pisses the West off, because the West knows ultimately, they’re right. You know why should a country exist on favours by the West? (Denison 2009)

Such critical views of contemporary norms and forms of government are hardly represented in official policy documents. In fact, as James Ferguson has pointed out in a different yet applicable context: ‘there are a host of statements, which are, if not actually forbidden, at any rate profoundly unhelpful in the discourse of a development agency’ (Ferguson 1994: 68).

Policy Suggestions If there are lessons from my analysis that could be turned into policy advice, it is that there is an absolute need to 1. critically acknowledge those ‘unhelpful statements’; 2. make a reflexive effort of understanding exactly how, and why, they appear ‘unhelpful’; and 3. probe relevant conflicts of interests, which could point to the many possible pitfalls when preserving cultural heritage for development— for instance those lying in contested politics of sovereignty and security. In any case, my argumentation in this chapter clearly suggests that nostalgia, at least nostalgia of the restorative kind, is a particularly bad policy advisor. And against this background, I would like to close with one of my expatriate interviewees’ comments on the political situation in Eritrea: ‘There is reason to believe that things can’t possibly stay as they are.’

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Redeker-Hepner, T. 2009. Soldiers, Martyrs, Traitors, and Exiles: Political Conflict in Eritrea and the Diaspora. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Reporters Without Borders. 2017. World Press Freedom Index 2017. Available at: Treiber, M. 2009. Trapped in Adolescence: The Postwar Urban Generation. In Biopolitics, Militarism and Development: Eritrea in the Twenty-First Century, ed. D. O’Kane and T. Redeker-Hepner. New York: Berghahn. UN. 2009. Security Council Resolution 1907. Available at: https://www.un. org/press/en/2009/sc9833.doc.htm. UN WFP. 2017. World Food Programme: Eritrea. Available at: https://www. UNESCO. 2005. Tentative World Heritage List Entry: The Historic Perimeter of Asmara and Its Modernist Architecture. Available at: http://whc.unesco. org/en/tentativelists/2024/. UNESCO. 2017. World Heritage List Entry: Asmara: A Modernist City of Africa. Available at: Vale, L.J. 1992. Architecture, Power, and National Identity. London: Yale University Press. van Oers, Ron. 2004. Meeting on Modern Heritage for Africa: Asmara, Eritrea, 4–7 March 2004. Paris: UNESCO. van Oers, R. 2010. Telephone Interview. Visscher, J., and S. Boness. 2006. Asmara: The Frozen City. Berlin: Jovis. Wolfensohn, J.D. 2001. The Challenges of Globalization: The Role of the World Bank/Address to the Bundestag. Berlin: The World Bank Group. World Bank. 2008. Implementation Completion and Results Report on a Learning and Innovation Loan to the State of Eritrea in the Amount of SDR 4.0 Million (US$ 5 Million Equivalent) for a Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project. Edited by Conflict and Social Development Unit (AFTCS) Fragile States, Eritrea Country Department. Washington, DC.

Epilogue: Whose Heritage, Whose Development? Chris Boonzaaier

The main aim of this book was to determine in what ways heritage, sustainability, and development intersect in Africa. This firstly implied that the relationships, tensions, and challenges between heritage, development, and sustainability in Africa had to be investigated. Secondly, it required reflection on how heritage is conceptualized in diverse African contexts and how it interfaces with social, economic, and political priorities. For this epilogue, the chapters of the volume have been analyzed in the context of these objectives. In what follows, an attempt will also be made to reflect on what issues relating to heritage, development, and sustainability are specifically relevant to Africa and whether they are distinct to certain parts of Africa. Possible actions to be considered to rectify tensions and to address challenges will be indicated. Africa’s multifaceted heritage is both regarded as a resource to be utilized and a potential constraint on rapid development. Different C. Boonzaaier (B) University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa © The Author(s) 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,



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values are attached to heritage by members of various elites and by ‘ordinary people.’ The latter follow a pragmatic approach using their ‘heritage’ in an everyday way to make a living whereas the elites often exploit heritage or its products to accrue prestige. Although these uses might not be in direct opposition, they seem to rarely intersect with resultant tensions and disagreements. In these asymmetrical contexts, the voices of ordinary people are often marginalized. These realities present real challenges to post-colonial heritage practices which are supposed to promote democracy, human rights, equal access to resources, and contribute to the ideals of the development of the African continent as stated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the AU Agenda 2063 (Ndoro and Pwiti 2001). Hence, it is important to pay due attention to how issues of heritage, tradition, and culture are socially stratified and structured, both locally and in wider global terms. In sub-Saharan Africa, decisions relating to heritage, development, and sustainability tend to be channeled primarily through community leaders (the so-called local elite). In this way, heritage conservation and economic development become, in the words of Robinson (1999: 17), ‘highly symbolic’ of the power of the local elite, leaving ordinary people outside the sphere of decision making and power. As I have written elsewhere, the result is predictable, as ‘(i)n the process, community leaders (local elite) draw on their natural resources as well as their cultural resources, and in doing so, may even accept the risk of destroying these resources’ (2007: 94). A case study from the Limpopo Province of South Africa (Boonzaaier 2007) illustrates this point. The community leaders (the local elite) wanted to convert a natural heritage site into a game reserve for trophy hunting at the expense of cattle owners who grazed their cattle in the area and women from a nearby village, who extracted salt from the soil surrounding a hot spring regarded as a sacred place. The women benefited economically from the spring by extracting salt from it using traditional processes that involved religious practices and traditional extracting skills. The different interests of the community leaders, on the one hand, and the cattle owners and women, on the other hand, resulted in considerable tension and conflict in the area (cf. Kolkman 2002: 37–38). This case study further shows that power concentrated in a dominant and outspoken

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leader (a representative of the local elite) can easily be the most decisive impediment for cultural or natural heritage and development projects. ‘From the perspective of such a leader, consensus decision making is unnecessary, which implies that community members are deliberately kept in sub-ordinate positions’ (Boonzaaier 2007: 96; cf. Timothy 2002: 159). This case study also shows that the participation of a wider range of community members is often constrained by social structures and responsibilities within a community. For example, in some communities, women may not make or implement any decisions related to work without the approval of their husbands or male counterparts. In this context, tribal authorities often take control over development and/or conservation projects without necessarily having the local expertise or the interests of ‘their’ community in mind (Boonzaaier 2007: 96–97; cf. Wassermann and Kriel 1997: 77). This elite monopolization and exploitation of heritage not only reifies the differences between the elite and the rest of the community but can also exasperate them—a serious consideration on a continent which boasts some of the highest Gini coefficients in the world. The relationship between heritage protection and economic development continues to be a cause of tension in Africa and elsewhere. As it stands, the heritage sector on the continent is generally weak, its governance and its voice are rarely present when development agendas are discussed. This situation is worsened due to heritage practitioners’ reluctance to engage with decision makers at economic or political levels (cf. Fleming 2014; Wait and Altschul 2014). On the one hand, archaeologists as heritage practitioners argue that as a neutral party they have little power or influence (Ndoro and Pwiti 2001: 23), and, on the other hand, archaeology and heritage are not sufficiently recognized by economists and development practitioners as assets that can contribute to social and economic development (Gould and Burtenshaw 2014). As a result, cultural heritage continues to receive little attention (Burtenshaw 2014: 48). However, Gould and Burtenshaw (2014: 8) state quite frankly that since archaeology is hard-pressed for support, ‘it is incumbent on archaeologists to make the effort to correct the lapse.’ One could extend their argument to the heritage community as a whole. The heritage


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community needs to recognize that neutrality is neither helpful nor sufficient when development projects impact indigenous communities, their cultures, traditional knowledge, and heritage resources in ways that are seriously detrimental to their ways of life and when this impact is disproportionate to the effect on other groups. Unattended, such trends will sustain or even widen social rifts and divisions. Such projects, therefore, bring into relief questions about archaeologists’ professional neutrality. Through their ‘neutrality,’ they may, for instance, become associated with a contested development project that involves human rights violations as highlighted by Taha in this volume. These scenarios emphasize the importance of consulting and engaging with stakeholder communities as this is the only means of reconciling divergent needs and expectations (cf. Nthiga et al. 2011: 107–125; Abungu 2016: 91–111). For the sake of perspective, it should be acknowledged that the conservation of tradition is not always in the hands of either heritage managers or the customary bearers of heritage as macroeconomic, political, and social factors far beyond their control can challenge and undermine their efforts. The importance of international organizations such as UNESCO, IUCN, ICCROM, and ICOMOS in protecting fragile and irreplaceable World Heritage Sites should be emphasized here. They may have the power to affect attitudes and decision making at high levels of government, provided that they take on more active roles in controlling development projects that impact communities negatively. Heritage management which involves the community can create employment, an increase in heritage tourism, educational opportunities, and an appreciation and development of the cultural landscape. However, the involvement of communities is limited largely due to a lack of capacity which does not allow for indigenous research or even broader site investigation. Furthermore, African inscriptions on the World Heritage List are scarce and hardly representative. Yet, the impression is evoked that the inscription of heritage sites has been prioritized while neglecting one of the most important prerequisites for sustainable heritage conservation, namely empowerment. Capacity building should be accepted as prerequisite for community involvement. The impact of the tourism industry and associated commodification of cultural heritage is another matter of great concern that requires attention (Breen 2007: 366–367; Arazi

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2009). Relevant international organizations have an ethical imperative to address these matters. Current national legal frameworks also require urgent revision. Ndoro and Pwiti remark that ‘current heritage management in southern Africa is conducted under the patchwork of legal and regulatory mandates promulgated by governments linked to a middle class with strong links to Western cultural milieus. These mandates are never designed in consultation with the local communities’ (2001: 33). Given this background, it is not surprising that one of the issues that run through most of the chapters is the alienation experienced by many local communities from their cultural heritage. Outdated approaches to heritage management continue to be applied, and this undermines the possibility of compatibility between development for the people and conservation of their heritage resources. In certain African countries, such as Zimbabwe, legislative and administrative structures established during the colonial period still prevail and remain inadequate in terms of evoking wider public interest. Furthermore, in all Southern African countries, except South Africa, legislation has had the side effect of turning archaeological sites into government property. Furthermore, protective legislation (e.g., the Zimbabwean National Museums and Monuments Act) requires the public to notify the authority of any archaeological sites or relics that they find and also makes it an offense to destroy, alter, damage, or remove any archaeological data without written approval from the authority. This implies that the onus is ultimately on the ‘public’ to identify and assist the government with the conservation of archaeological resources—a prospect which is particularly problematic when government involvement has continued to be associated with Western ideas and international demands rather than local values, rituals, and cultural practices. A quirk of fate is that at grassroots level, community members are not necessarily aware of this legislation (Ndoro and Pwiti 2001: 24–25). The most obvious solution appears to be to move away from an elitist to a more people-centered approach. Several leading authors on African heritage, such as Pikirayi (2011), Abungu (2016), and Schmidt (2016), are in support of partnerships or collaborative heritage conservation programs in which communities are the most important stakeholders.


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This would imply that the continued use of oral traditions and traditional knowledge systems is indispensable for sustainable heritage conservation in the African context. Therefore, the development of policy that acknowledges cultural values and practices and ensures the employment of empowered people in professional heritage management structures is recommended. As such, this volume considers empowerment as a development instrument in the context of heritage management. Communities should be empowered to engage with their pasts in ways that are beneficial to their lives in the present. That includes representation in the management of heritage sites as well as in any related research (fieldwork) because local communities compose an important knowledge base. Ultimately, it is about sharing the past and allowing alternative interpretations thereof. How such knowledge and interpretations are processed by professionals in consultation with local communities will eventually determine how heritage management will be approached in Africa. It is reasonable to expect that such an involvement of communities should lead to the restoration of pride in their local heritage and a realization of the need for its continued conservation (Ndoro and Pwiti 2001: 32; Pikirayi 2016: 133). Empowerment is in practice, however, often found to be of a highly superficial and localized nature. Typically, because of the absence of institutional means of establishing authority, empowered people remain localized and discontent as they continue to feel neglected and deprived of the benefits emanating from the sites which they feel entitled to. Again, a more people-oriented approach according to which local populations should be involved in heritage management, integrating both traditional and scientific procedures, is suggested to be vital to ensuring the future continuity of strong links between local people and their heritage. A deliberate attempt in this regard has been made by Boonzaaier (2012) who adopted the Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) approach according to which traditional authority structures are used as a basis for the management of natural resources and, if necessary, can be adapted to conserve and develop cultural heritage resources as well. Such an approach includes the possible democratization of management practices to ensure that they represent the people’s needs and wishes (cf. Chipfuva and Saarinen 2011; Mbaiwa

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2005). Democracy is used here to reflect how it works in traditional subSaharan African contexts where it is based on consensus and as such may be referred to as ‘consensual democracy’ (Senghor 1964; Nyerere 1971; Wiredu 1997; Wamala 2004). This concept is defined by Wiredu (2002: par 16) as follows: ‘It was a democracy because government was by the consent, and subject to the control of the people as expressed through their representatives. It was consensual because, at least as a rule, that consent was negotiated on the principle of consensus’ (Wiredu 2002: par 16; Ani 2014; Matolino 2013). Although this concept has been criticized by scholars such as Eze (1997) and Ajei (2015), the principle of deliberation implied in this concept is not without merits in respect of CBNRM. At community level, members are not only represented in council but are also present in counsel for discussions of any matter relevant to their interests. Hence, for the sake of perspective it has to be realized that consensus is not a particularly political phenomenon but an inherent approach to social relations (Wiredu 2002: par 2, 14). As a fundamental human right, the principle of representation (deliberation) should not only be practiced at community level but also extended to negotiations with authoritative structures at higher levels of governance. In Western culture, a divide is made between nature and culture. In sub-Saharan Africa, this divide is not necessary absolute. Many communities in Western, Eastern, and Southern Africa attach (intangible) cultural meanings to natural phenomena that result in an intertwined, almost inseparable relationship with nature in their cultural practices, values, and belief systems (Mkenda 2010; Bernard 2003, 2007; Meskell 2012; De Beer 1995, 1996, 1999). Yet in practice, the development of conservation initiatives that encompass cultural heritage is often neglected, as priority is given to nature conservation. Wildlife and wildlife geographical areas are regarded as economically viable in Africa while cultural heritage resources have often proven to be less sustainable or lucrative (Keitumetse 2009). When environmental policy is formulated, cultural heritage resources have until recently received very little, if any, attention (Pathak et al. 2005; De Beer 1999; Boonzaaier 2010). Unless the impacts of economic growth and development on both cultural and natural heritage are taken into consideration early in the planning stages, the continent may lose some of its priceless


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treasures. Conservation of natural heritage should not exclude cultural heritage since this affects any efforts of both natural and cultural heritage conservation negatively. Part of the solution probably lies in a change of perceptions and an acceptance by the global heritage community of the many different understandings of heritage as it is conceived by local communities. In many parts of the world, this will entail an interpretation of nature which draws upon and respects living cultural traditions, has sustainability as a central goal, and includes varied heritage stakeholders (Eckert et al. 2001; Boonzaaier 2007; Roe et al. 2001). Hence, local communities will not necessarily agree to utilize their heritage for the same reasons or with the same aims that heritage professionals argue for elsewhere in the world (Ndoro and Pwiti 2001; cf. West and Ndlovu 2010). In this regard, this volume also helps to show how the dominant Eurocentric approaches to conserving the past (which center on the preservation of tangible cultural heritage) are inadequate for most African countries. The interpretation of any heritage, particularly in the African context, must be done by taking the intangible, symbolic domain as point of departure. What persists throughout many parts of Africa is often the intangible that resides in the memories of the people and is conveyed from one generation to another through performative participation and abstraction in works of art. For the sake of perspective, it is important to mention that in the African context ‘(a)rtistic creations are rarely separate from practical, social or religious motivations’ (Ndoro and Pwiti 2001: 25). Hence, the intangible is not necessarily separated from the tangible. In fact, cultural values are not only attached to cultural objects but also to particular places which are central to understanding the social and religious worlds of particular communities. Hence, advancing the understanding of the significance attached to ‘places of the past’ by contemporary peoples remains an essential field of commitment for archaeologists and heritage practitioners, and I suggest this is particularly so in the context of African heritage (see also Bowser and Zedeño 2009; Bernard 2007; Scheub 2010; Boonzaaier and Wels 2016; cf. Harrison and Rose 2010). The importance of balancing tangible heritage with intangible heritage implies the recognition of traditional knowledge in the conservation of

Epilogue: Whose Heritage, Whose Development?


heritage. A plea is also made for the development of indigenous archaeology by following a collaborative approach that blends the strength of Western archaeological science with the knowledge and epistemologies of indigenous peoples—a celebration of alternative strategies. The challenge for heritage managers is to understand, recognize, and support the intangible meanings that communities attach to things (Ndoro and Pwiti 2001). This volume bears evidence that tensions exist between the agendas of heritage management, development, and sustainability. This is not peculiar to Africa, as it is a global phenomenon. Unique to Africa, and to other so-called Third World countries on other continents, are the causes of these tensions and the resulting challenges. In Africa, apart from the most obvious causes of tensions such as poverty, armed conflict, and political instability, is the fact that culture is often not perceived or protected in its totality by heritage practitioners. Cultural properties recognized on the World Heritage List, in particular, do not consider the intangible aspects of each site but are categorized according to criteria that have been formulated by the World Heritage Convention (1972). The immense richness of Africa’s heritage cannot be reduced to these categories (Ndoro and Pwiti 2001: 25). Unless local communities are regarded as full-fledged stakeholders in development projects, these tensions will never be addressed. If the current status quo prevails, the development agenda will have a considerable negative impact on the continent’s heritage. Until these issues are properly addressed, not only will the question ‘Whose heritage and whose development?’ remain, but existing community relationships to their heritage will also become increasingly fraught and at times undermined. Unless these challenges are met in constructive forward-looking manners, the continent will be deprived of important parts of its heritage and local communities will be the main losers.


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Note: Page numbers in italic indicates figures. A

AAA. See Australian Archaeological Association (AAA) abductees, Uganda 266, 282 Abungu, P.O. 335 academic disciplines differing perceptions of ‘heritage’ in 65–66 ’indigenous archaeology’ 73–76 need for transformation of 202, 206, 207, 220 role in policy formulation 50, 337 accountability post-conflict. See transitional justice (TJ) accreditation. See credentialing of heritage trainees aesthetic justice 271, 288–289 African National Congress (ANC) 174–175

African Union Agenda 2063 70, 104–107, 112–115, 119, 120, 332 Strategic Urban Development Plan, Asmara 320 African World Heritage Fund 7 Agbamevoza festival, Agotime, Ghana 181–194, 186 agriculture, foreign investment in 79, 84 AHD. See Authorised Heritage Discourse (AHD) aid, foreign 18 and decentralization, West Africa 257 in Eritrea 298, 300, 317–323 Travelling Testimonies exhibition, Uganda 265–278 Ajei, M.O. 337

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2021 B. Baillie and M. L. S. Sørensen (eds.), African Heritage Challenges, Globalization, Urbanization and Development in Africa,




al-Bashir, Omar 132 Algeria 114 Alizim, Badoualou Karka 248 Allen, Tim 270 Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Uganda/DRC 273, 277, 281–283, 286, 288 Amafa aKwaZulu-Natali. See KwaZulu-Natal Amafa and Research Institute (Amafa) American Packard Humanities Institute 136 Amin, Idi 270, 273, 281 ANC. See African National Congress (ANC) Angola 114 apartheid legacies 161, 163, 167, 168, 177 Apoh, Wazi 66 Apter, Andrew 190 Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, Oman 117 archaeological impact assessments 66–67, 82–83, 118–119 archaeology different values placed on 59, 109–110, 117 ’indigenous archaeology’ 73–76 transformation of in southern Africa 202–204 see also academic disciplines; heritage professionals architecture, modern, as heritage 297–299 archives, Uganda’s official 266–268 art and intangible heritage 335–339 and memorialization 266, 270 Arthur, Charles 31, 204–223 Arua, Uganda 273, 275

Asmara, Eritrea 297–306 Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA) 203, 207, 220, 223 Aswan Dam, Egypt 110, 111, 136 Atalay, Sonya 73 Australia 106, 113 Australian Archaeological Association (AAA) 145 authenticity 59, 110, 170 Authorised Heritage Discourse (AHD) 13, 17, 22, 63 autochthonous peoples. 75. See also indigenous peoples Azerbaijan 303


Bajec, M. 288 Bandiagara World Heritage Site, Mali 250 banks. See culture bank model, West Africa; World Bank ‘Bantustan’, South Africa 205, 224 Basotho heritage professionals 213, 215, 218, 219 Basu, P. 27 Batoro-Bakonzo conflict, Uganda 281 Bazira, Amon, ‘20 Years of Bitterness’ 281 Bench Marks Foundation 165 Benhamou, Françoise 240 Benin 236–237, 240–241, 245–247 Bernal, Martin, Black Athena 68 Bharucha, Rustom 287 ‘biocultural’ heritage 89 Blackmore, Kara 25, 28, 32, 265


bodies suffering, avoiding images of 288 Bonaparte, Napoleon 10 Boonzaaier, Chris 31, 34, 331–339 Botswana 21, 29, 51, 52–54, 69, 70, 114 Bourdieu, P. 253 Boym, Svetlana 319, 321, 325 Branch, Adam 271 Brazil 107, 129 Breen, Colin 70 British colonial legacy Eritrea 297 Ghana 182 Kenya 68 British Museum 136 Brundtland, G.H. 170 Brundtland Report 19, 239 Bui Dam, Ghana 66, 67 Burkina Faso 22 Burtenshaw, P. 333 Buthelezi, Prince Inkosi uMangosuthu 172–174 Bwambale, Father Landas 282 Bwambale, Jackson 286 Bwambale, Wilson 282


Cameroon 85, 116 camps for Internally Displaced Persons 266, 288 Canada 106 capacity building 31, 201–217 CAR. See Central African Republic (CAR) CARP. See Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project (CARP)


CBNRM. See Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) CDIS. See Culture for Development Indicators (CDIS) project censorship 313–315 central Africa population growth rates 80–81 Twa communities 75. See also individual countries Central African Republic (CAR) 270 Césaire, Aimé 68 Challis, Sam 31, 201–223 chieftaincy as colonial legacy 189–190 China investment in Africa 84, 110, 111, 113 Three Gorges Dam 107, 112 Chirikure, Shadreck 85, 119 Christianity 26, 103, 290 Clifford Collard, Niamh Jane 30, 181–197 climate change 6, 117 Coal of Africa Ltd 66, 118 colonialism, legacies of in African archaeology 203 Asmara, Eritrea 298–300, 302, 304, 307–309, 311–323 Dutch settlers, South Africa 159 Ghana 181–189 and ‘Indigenous’ designations 74 Nigeria 184–187 Uganda 266, 268 colonialism, modern comparisons 298 commercialization of agriculture 78, 135 of heritage 171, 178



of water management 78. See also dam projects Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) 105, 113 Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) 336 community, definitions of 24, 74, 149, 158. See also local communities compensation in culture bank model 235–237 for displaced people 133, 140, 276 ‘complex multilateralism’ 237 conflicts 51, 116, 130, 132, 171, 223, 266, 270, 272, 287. See also post-conflict reconstruction projects consensus, local 333 conservation apartheid legacy in 161, 163, 168, 177 ‘fortress’ approach challenged 22, 26, 171 importance of engaging with local community for 110, 145, 173 and Indigenous Peoples 73–76 nature-culture dichotomy in 34, 48, 50, 57, 108 ‘preventive’ 237 versus development 104, 108, 109 Convention, Ramsar, on Wetlands (1971) 58 Conventions, UNESCO 20 Biological Diversity (1992) 58

Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005) 17, 144 Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) 21, 58, 144 World Heritage (1972) 57, 339 Côte d’Ivoire 105, 116 Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa 15 courts, role in peacebuilding 265, 269 Cox, Robert 237 craftwork as heritage 181, 182, 185, 194, 196 credentialing of heritage trainees 206, 220 crisis narratives, use of 6 Crosby, Todd 236, 240, 253 Crowfoot, J.W. 137 Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project (CARP) 302–311, 314–318, 320, 322, 324 culture as key to sustainable development 16, 21, 108, 301 legitimation of through archaeology 207 versus nature conservation 28, 80 culture bank model, West Africa 32, 238, 235–241, 245–247, 253, 255, 258 Culture for Development Indicators (CDIS) project 21–22


Dafalla, H. 131, 137


Dam Implementation Unit (DIU), Sudan 132–136 dam projects 110, 129 Aswan Dam, Egypt 111, 136 China 107, 112, 128–129 Farakka Dam, India 113 Gibe III Dam project, Ethiopia 111–112 Grand Inga Dam, DRC 106–107 Lesotho 204 Merowe Dam, Sudan 130–143 Stiegler Gorge, Tanzania 111 ‘dark heritage’ 267 De Beers Group 118 decentralization, West Africa 257 decision-making processes, participants in heritage professionals 304 local communities 144, 146, 147, 158, 339 Declaration of Independence, Rwenzururu, Uganda 280 decolonization 4, 68. See also colonialism, legacies of; post-colonial heritage practices De Jong and Rowlands (eds.), Reclaiming Heritage 290 Democratic Governance Facility, Uganda 273, 290 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 270, 277, 291 Allied Democratic 281 Allied Democratic Forces 273, 277, 286 Grand Inga Dam 106–107 mining industry 114 Denison, Edward 304, 305, 307, 311, 313, 318–321, 324–326


Asmara: The Secret Modernist City 304–307, 313, 318 Deubel, T. 236, 240 ‘development discourse’ 16, 23, 32, 206, 237, 289 Dewees, Peter 303 De Wet, C.J. 128 ‘dialogical truths’ 275 dictatorships 129, 132, 298, 310, 311 Dimbal, Mali 250 Diop, Cheikh Anta 10, 68 Disappearances of People in Uganda inquiry (1974) 270 disciplines, academic. See academic disciplines displacement of people 11, 26 apartheid legacy of 159, 161–163, 167, 168, 177 for conservation projects 17, 30, 309, 333 for Gulf State agricultural investments 135 Internally Displaced Persons camps 266 for MDPs 127–130, 140, 146, 148 and property evaluations 59 through conflicts 51 Uganda 266 DIU. See Dam Implementation Unit (DIU), Sudan diversity, cultural, in Africa 3–5, 34, 113, 191, 257 Djibouti 320 domestication of food sources 77, 79 donors. See sponsorship, international



drama, in Travelling Testimonies exhibition 277–278 DRC. See Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Du Bois, William 68 Duma clan 171


Earth Summit (1992) 20 East African Community (EAC) 113 Ebola crisis 195 ecology and agricultural histories 65, 81 economic growth 8, 111, 119, 241. See also mega development projects (MDPs) economic needs of craftworkers 165, 181–183, 185, 188, 194 economic transformation plans 105 ecosystems, historical development of 21, 81 education. See credentialing of heritage trainees; culture bank model, West Africa Egypt 10, 105, 111, 134, 135 electricity supply problems 105–106 elephant hunting 81, 115 elites, local 11, 84, 184 eMakhosini Valley, South Africa 159–163 empowerment and heritage development 202, 203, 207, 211, 220, 237, 322, 334, 336 energy projects 105–108. See also dam projects ‘environment’, in southern Africa 47, 48, 53

equality issues within heritage management 24, 183, 190 Equatorial Guinea 114 Eritrea 33, 297, 298, 300, 302–305, 307–318, 320, 321, 324, 325 Eritrean Conservation Fund (ECF) 308 Eritrean War of Independence 300 Ethiopia economic transformation plans 105 and Eritrea 298, 300, 303, 307 Gibe III Dam project 111–112 ethnoarchaeology 73 EU development program, Horn of Africa 298, 316, 321, 322, 324 Eurocentric approaches to heritage 30, 170, 338 Europe. See colonialism, legacies of Ewe language, Ghana 185 exhibitions, Uganda 265–291 expert-trainee divides 214 Eze, E.C. 337 Ezeigbo, Akachi 285 Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, South Africa 162


Fair Trade 212 fascism 300 Ferguson, James 206, 315, 326 festivals and heritage, Ghana 181–189 field technicians, credentialing of 212, 220, 221 ‘Fight Against Poverty’ (World Bank) 236, 255, 259 financial crisis 2008 19, 84


‘first-comers’ and ‘late-comers’ 76 Fleming, Arlene 301, 303, 305, 309 flooding 138 Fombori, Mali 235, 236, 240 food crops, globalized history of 77 food security 78, 128, 135, 298, 316 foreign investment 114, 119 heritage rescue projects 111, 144 ‘land grabbing’ 84, 135 in Lesotho’s heritage management 209 mining projects 66 tourism industry 5, 334 see also aid, foreign; dam projects; international sponsorship; World Bank ‘fortress conservation’ 29, 158, 174 Foucault, Michel 299 French colonial legacy 75 French Ministry of Foreign Affairs 236, 244, 252 fuel export earnings 196 Fuller, Mia 299 future versus present aspects of ‘heritage’ 66, 88, 170, 239, 270, 323, 325


gacaca (traditional justice mechanism) 270 Gavua, Kodzo 66 Gdansk Archaeological Museum 142 Gebremedhin, Naigzy 303, 304, 311, 321 Asmara: The Secret Modernist City 304–307, 313, 318 Gellert, P.K. 127, 128 gentrification 65


Georgia 303 Germany 117 Geschiere, P. 75, 85, 86 gffa, Eritrea 313 Ghana 22, 66, 114, 181–185, 188–192, 195, 198 glades, history of 81–82 global heritage assemblage 301, 306, 315, 324 globalization, impacts on heritage 1–5 global warming. See climate change Gold Coast. See Ghana Gould, P.G. 333 graffiti 215, 216 Grameen Bank 253 Grand Inga Dam, DRC 106–107 Graziano da Silva, José 19 Great Depression 106 green energy 106 ‘grounded theory’ 241 Guang Yu Ren 304, 313, 320 Asmara: The Secret Modernist City 304–307, 313, 318 ‘guarantee’ concept in cultural bank model 250–252 Guichen, Gael de 255 Guinea 116, 195 Gulf States 84, 134, 135


Habermas, Jürgen 267 Haile, Samson 311–314 Hakim, Roxanne 305, 306, 309, 310 Hangzhou Conference, UNESCO 257



heritage, different understandings of 4, 7, 11, 12, 30, 63, 141, 145, 290, 312, 338 ‘heritageization’ 31, 250, 258, 272 ‘heritage natures’ 80–82 heritage professionals 15, 23 need for transformation of approach 222 ‘neutrality’ of 147, 206, 334 role in decision making 107, 120 heritage rescue projects 111, 144, 147, 148 Heritage Unit, South Africa 175 Hirsch, P. 112 history-writing ‘from below’ 207 hotspots, biodiversity 81–82 Hughes, Rachel 288 human body suffering, avoiding images of 288 human development 8, 237, 256 Human Development Index (HDI) 239 humanitarian disasters 138 human rights, Eritrea 314 Human Security agenda 257–258 Huyssen, Andreas 268 hybrid heritages 85–88 hydropower. See dam projects


ICCROM. See International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) ICOMOS. See International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) iconoclasm 88

Idelman, Eric 257 IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons). See displacement of people Ilojo Bar, Lagos 67 Images of War and Peacemaking exhibition (2013) 272, 275 impact assessments 19, 66, 82, 83, 107, 112, 118, 120, 176 independence era 19 India 84, 86, 113 ‘indigenous archaeology’ 73–76, 339 indigenous peoples clashes with archaeologists 141–143 connections with natural environment 52 definitions of 74, 148 residing in protected sites 86 through ‘indigenous knowledge’ 65, 68, 74 Indonesia 111 inequality gap widens 9 infrastructure expansions 83, 84, 120. See also dam projects initiation rituals 184 Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 168, 172–176 intangible cultural heritage 21, 58, 65, 84, 250 culture bank model 235, 241 Lesotho 202, 213 South Africa 171 see also living heritages Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies in Africa (AFRICACULT) 16 Internally Displaced Persons camps 266, 288


International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) 111, 237, 240, 255–256, 258, 334 International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) 59, 111, 250, 256, 304, 334 International Criminal Court (ICC) 269–270 International Rivers (NGO) 131, 149 international sponsorship culture bank model, West Africa 235–241, 253, 255, 258 Travelling Testimonies exhibition, Uganda 266, 268, 273, 277 see also aid, foreign; foreign investment International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 49, 111, 334 invented traditions 30, 189, 190, 249 Iran 135 irrigation systems, history of 78. See also dam projects Isaias Afwerki 312 Isaya, King of Rwenzururu 280 Islam 26, 103, 137, 277 Israel 135 Italian colonial legacies 298–301, 321 Ivoryton, US 86 ivory trade 86

Johannesburg Summit (2002) 20 Juba Peace Agreement, Uganda 272–273 justice and memorialization, Uganda 265–269


Kasese National Women’s Exchange 288 Kasese, Uganda 268, 273, 275, 277–279, 281, 283, 285, 286, 289, 290 Katse Dam, Lesotho 209 Keita, Daouda 236, 240 Keitumetse, Susan O. 20, 21, 23, 25, 29, 47–60 kente cloth, Ghana 31, 181–185, 186 Kenya 52, 105, 112, 291 Khama, Sir Seretse 68, 70 Kilimanjaro, Kenya 52 King, Rachel 14, 19, 31, 201–223 Kitgum, Uganda 272, 273, 275 Kleinitz, C. 84 Kothari, A. 337 Koutammakou, Togo 236, 241, 244, 245, 246, 248 Koywelo, Thomas 270 Kpetoe, Ghana 181–184 KwaZulu Monuments Council 172, 173 KwaZulu-Natal Amafa and Research Institute (Amafa) 159, 175


Japan 106


Lake Nasser, Egypt 135 Lake Turkana, Kenya 112



‘land grabbing’ 84, 135 land mines 277, 282, 286 land reclamation issues 51 Lane, Paul 28, 63–89 language use in heritage management 11, 157 leaders, local. See elites, local; Traditional Leaders, South Africa Learning and Innovation Loans (LILs) 301, 303 legislation on heritage KwaZulu-Natal Amafa and Research Institute Act (2018) 175 KwaZulu-Natal Heritage Act (2008) 175 National Heritage Resources Act (2011), Lesotho 209 need for transformation of 17, 31, 206, 217, 220, 222, 280 Sudanese Antiquities law 141, 144 Zimbabwean National Museums and Monuments Act 335 see also Conventions, UNESCO Leloup, Mathilde 15, 18, 235–259 Lesotho 68, 85, 202, 204, 206, 208, 209, 212, 217 Lesotho Heritage Network (LHN) 212 Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) 209 liberal peacebuilding paradigm 268–271, 290 Libya 114 Limpopo Province, South Africa 332 livelihoods as heritage 31, 181–183, 204, 218

livestock, cultural value of 165 living heritages 27, 30, 146, 178, 217, 219, 222 craftwork as 27, 31, 181, 182, 187 culture bank model 236 eMakhosini project, South Africa 174, 176 and ‘fortress conservation’ 29, 158, 174 initiation rituals 219 see also intangible cultural heritage local communities access to protected sites 54 challenges of engaging with 27, 127, 144, 339 clashes with archaeologists 6, 145, 147 and consensus 337 and culture banks 241, 248, 255, 259 and ‘development discourse’ 206 excluded from decision-making 213 and human security agenda 257 and MDPs 127, 128, 146 urban and rural community relations 84 see also displacement of people; indigenous peoples; intangible cultural heritage; poverty local elites 11, 84, 184, 188, 332, 333 looting 85, 115 Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Uganda 266, 270, 272 Louis, Marieke 237 Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia 111–112


LRA vs. GoU conflict, Uganda (1986–2007) 272, 273 Lugard, General 190 Luwero Triangle/Luwero Bush War, Uganda (1981–1986) 273 Luwero, Uganda 273, 275 Lynch, B.D. 128 Lynn, V. 288


MacDonald, Anna 270 Makerere University, Uganda 271 Mali 21, 32, 236, 240, 250 Manasir people 131, 142–143 mapping cultural heritage 53–56 maps eMakhosini Valley, South Africa 159 MCRM and MARA work, South Africa 205 proposed dams, Sudan 143 Travelling Testimonies exhibition Uganda 274 Mapungubwe, South Africa 66, 116 Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape 117–119 Marie, Jerome 257 Matatiele Archaeology and Rock Art (MARA) Programme 204, 211–214, 217, 218, 220, 223 mato oput (traditional justice mechanism) 271 Mauss, Marcel 253 Mazrui, Ali 103 Mchunu, Senzo 175, 176 Mchunu, Willies 176 Mega Development Projects (MDPs) 127, 128


Aswan Dam, Egypt 110, 111, 136 Bui Dam, Ghana 66 displacement of people for 128 foreign investment in 114 Grand Inga Dam, DRC 106–107 North-South Corridor 113 Sudan’s dams 130 Three Gorges Dam, China 107, 112. See also foreign investment Mehloding Community Trust 212 memorialization 291 memorials 33 Spirit of eMakhosini 162 to Voortrekkers, South Africa 160 mentoring trainee heritage managers 206, 211, 213 Merowe Dam, Sudan 130–143 Metolong Cultural Resource Management (MCRM) Project 204, 205, 209–213, 215, 217, 220, 223 Metolong Dam, Lesotho 204 micro-credit. See culture bank model, West Africa Middle East 19, 88, 135 migration from Eritrea 316 and heritage 76 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 237 mining industry, Africa 113 Mire, S. 17 Mkhize, Dr Zweli 161, 168, 176 modern architecture as colonial heritage 298–301, 304, 306, 315, 324



modernity and tradition 14, 16, 85, 89, 115, 183, 187 Modest, W. 27 Mohale Dam, Lesotho 209 Monga, Célestin 16 monuments councils, South Africa 172–174 Mountains of the Moon University, Uganda 279 Mozambique 21, 51, 114 Muhindo, Godwin 286 multilateralism, ‘new’ and ‘complex’ 237 multi-sited approaches 85 Mumbere, Charles, King of Rwenzururu 278 Museum of London Archaeology Service (MoLAS) 211 museums 80 in culture bank model 235, 236, 240, 241, 246, 247 at Merowe Dam, Sudan 136 portrayal of Indigenous Peoples in 80 in post-conflict exhibition process 267 Mussolini, Benito 300


Naidoo, R. 18 Namibia 21, 22, 52, 114 Näser, C. 145 National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) 273, 277 National Commission on Culture, Ghana 191

National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM), Sudan 136, 141, 142 National Heritage Resources Act (2011), Lesotho 209 nationalism, heritage used to promote 191, 311 nationalization, Eritrea 309 National Memory and Peace Documentation Centre (NMPDC) 272, 289 National Resistance Movement party, Uganda 273 National Service, Eritrea 313 natural environment, local people’s connections with 145, 336 natural World Heritage Sites 107, 116 nature-culture conservation dichotomy 57 ‘natures, heritage’ 80–82 Ndebele, Sibusiso 162, 174 Ndlovu, Ndukuyakhe 13, 14, 21, 157–177, 210 Ndoro, Webber 29, 103–120, 170, 332, 335 necklacing 167 négritude 68 Nene Keteku III 186–187 ‘neutrality’ of heritage professionals 147, 334 New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) 70, 107 Ngorongoro Crater National Park, Tanzania 58 NGOs and culture bank model 236 and policy formulation 50


withdrawal from Eritrea 309 Nicholas, George 73 Nigeria 67, 114, 184 Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) 135, 149 Nile Valley 111, 137 Nile Waters Treaty 133 Nkrumah, Kwame 68 NMPDC. See National Memory and Peace Documentation Centre (NMPDC) Nobamba Traditional Authority (NTA) 173 Nomadic groups 140 North Africa 8, 70, 299 North American ‘Indigenous archaeology’ 73 North Korea 314 North-South Corridor 113 nostalgia for colonial modern architecture 33, 298, 319 ‘notions of endangerment’ 6–7 Nubian monuments 110, 111 Nuremberg Tribunals 269 Nyerere, Julius 68


Obote, Milton 280 O’Brien, Robert 237 okado (motorcycle taxis) 196 O’Kane, David 321 Okavango Delta World Heritage Site (ODWHS), Botswana, 51, 54, 56 Oman 117 Ongoiba, Aissata 236 Ongwen, Dominic 270 oral histories 76, 81, 222, 280 Oriental Institute, Chicago 142



Pakistan 111 palanquins 185–187 palm trees 138 Pan-Africanism 68 Papastergiadis, Nikos 288 paramount chief, Agotime, Ghana 184, 188, 190 Parsons, Neil 70 ‘participant observation’ 241 pastoralist settlements 81–82 past versus present aspects of ‘heritage’ 22, 29, 33, 146, 217, 237, 270 paternalism 6, 26 peacebuilding 32, 265–291 Peace Corps 32 Pedersen, Jesper 318 Pérez de Cuéllar, Javier 20 Peterson, Derek 283 Pikirayi, Innocent 6, 11, 202, 203, 335, 336 Planetfinance (NGO) 252 Platinum Group Metals 114 poaching 52, 115, 120 Polihali Dam, Lesotho 210 politics and heritage management 23 eMakhosini project, South Africa 174–176 Eritrea 298 Gibe III Dam project, Ethiopia 112 kente cloth, Ghana 181–187 Merowe Dam, Sudan 130–143 population growth rates 6, 9, 80 post-colonial heritage practices 4, 104, 189. See also colonialism, legacies of; decolonization



post-conflict reconstruction projects 32, 33, 297, 298, 302, 306, 310, 311, 319 poverty 6, 108 and ‘development discourse’ 16, 206 ‘Fight Against Poverty’ (World Bank) 236, 255, 256, 259 and forced displacement 109, 135, 266 and MDPs 127 rates of in Africa 79, 140 reduction strategies 70, 112, 128, 297, 298, 303, 306–308, 310–312, 316, 319 as threat to heritage sites 115 ‘pre-colonial past’ 68 Preventive Conservation in Museums in Africa (PREMA) programme 255 Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development 273, 290 ‘pristine’ cultures/landscapes 21, 57, 80 private sector, Eritrea 308 property evaluations for relocations 168 protests against displacement 139, 164, 166, 167 Pwiti, G. 335


Qangqatho Committee negotiations with Amafa 164, 167, 169


Rabinow, Paul 299

racial equality issues 207, 300, 321. See also colonialism, legacies of Radcliffe, Sarah 206, 219 rainforest ecosystems 81 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (1971) 58 Rausch, Christoph 33, 297–326 Global Heritage Assemblages, Development and Modern Architecture in Africa 306 reconciliation work, Uganda 266, 269, 272, 277, 278 Red Cross 266 Redeker-Hepner, Tricia 321 Refugee Law Project (RLP) 271, 273, 278, 289 Transitional Justice Audit (2011–2014), Uganda 266 Regional Economic Communities (RECs) 113 Regional House of Chiefs, Ghana 185 relocation of people. See displacement of people ‘rescuing’ heritage 4, 111, 144, 147 research, areas requiring further 73, 79, 80, 158, 334 research-based heritage management 59, 60 resettlement. See displacement of people restitution, archaeology’s role in 203, 204, 207 retraumatization, in Travelling Testimonies exhibition 276 Rhodes Must Fall movement 204 Robert, Yves 249 rock art, South Africa 204, 212, 215 Romania 303


Rostow, W. 237 Ruggles, D.F. 146 Rwanda 105, 270 Rwenzori region 278, 279, 282 Rwenzururu Rebellion, Uganda 273, 277, 278, 280, 281, 283


Sachs, A. 275 sacred groves 82 SADC. See Southern African Development Community (SADC) SAHRA. See South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) Samuels, Kathryn Lafrenz 65, 70, 215 SAPS. See South African Police Service (SAPS) SAQA. See South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) Saudi Arabia 135 savannah ecosystems 81 Schmidt, P.R. 4, 6, 11, 18, 24, 74, 335 scientific expeditions 10 ‘scramble for Africa’ 10, 300 Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania 115, 116 Sen, Amartya 237, 252 Senghor, Léopold 68 Serengeti National Park, Tanzania 58 Sheffield, UK 86 Shepherd, Nick 74 Sicomines 114 Sierra Leone 114, 195 Silverman, H. 146


Sinclair, Paul 82 skills transfers of heritage crafts 27, 181–183, 192 between heritage professionals 212, 213 through ‘indigenous knowledge’ 64, 65, 68, 74, 108 slave trade 9, 76, 86 Smith, Laurajane 63, 65, 86, 88, 214 Smits, Lucas 208 social media 187 ‘social multilateralism’ 237, 241, 257 socioeconomic impact of heritage management 7, 204, 206, 220 Somalia 321 South Africa 21, 30, 105, 106, 113, 114, 116–118, 158, 160, 221 Limpopo Province 332 Mapungubwe 66, 116 MARA Programme 211, 212, 214, 217 transforming archaeology in 202, 203, 207 South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) 158, 220, 221 South African Police Service (SAPS) 164, 166 South African Power Pool (SAPP) 107 South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) 220–221 southern Africa 47–53, 56, 59, 222, 223, 335 see also individual countries



Southern African Development Community (SADC) 107, 113, 203 South Korea 84 South Sudan 132, 270, 291 Soyinka, Wole 267 spiritual heritage artifacts 235, 236, 242, 244 sites of 171, 178 sponsorship, international 208 of culture bank model 235–237, 240, 241, 253, 255 of Travelling Testimonies exhibition, Uganda 266, 268, 273, 277 see also aid, foreign Sri Lanka 111 Stacey, Tom, Tribe 280 state sovereignty 33, 257 Eritrea 297, 298, 306, 312, 315, 317 Stauffer, J. 285 stereotypes of ‘Africa’ 9, 11 Stiglitz, Joseph 239 Strategic Urban Development Plan, Asmara 320 ‘structural adjustment plans’ 256 Sudan 84, 85, 111, 130–143 South Sudan 270, 291 Sudan Archaeological Research Society (SARS) 136–137 Sudanese Antiquities law 141, 144 sustainable development 15, 16, 19–23, 29 and conservation 48, 57, 104, 107, 109 culture as key to 108 culture bank model 237, 241, 258

definitions of 239 nature-culture dichotomy in 23, 28, 108 promises of heritage to deliver 59 Sustainable Development Goals 104, 112, 120, 237, 254, 257, 332 ‘sustainable interpretation’ of landscapes 59 Swaziland 22


Taha, Shadia 25, 30, 127–147 takienta (tower house) 245–247 Taneka, Benin 241, 244, 245, 247, 247 Tanzania 58, 68, 111, 114, 115 technicians, credentialing of 206, 212 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) 106 Tesele, Taole 208 The Economist 5 Three Gorges Dam, China 107, 112 TJ. See transitional justice (TJ) Togo 184, 236, 237, 241, 246, 248 Toro Land Act, Uganda (1932) 279 totems 253 tourism industry 5, 334 Asmara, Eritrea 297, 314, 320, 322, 323 branding of ‘Africa’ by 5 cultural heritage used to promote 49, 51, 65, 85 and culture bank model 32, 235 and Ebola crisis 195 nature tourism, southern Africa 49, 51, 54, 59 traditional justice mechanisms 270


Traditional Leaders, South Africa 31, 173 tradition and modernity 14, 16, 85, 183, 187 traditions, invention of 249 trainee heritage managers 210 Transformation Charter (ASAPA, 2008) 207 transformation plans as economic policies 105 and empowerment issues 203, 207, 220 within academic disciplines 71, 202, 206, 207 transitional justice (TJ) 33, 265, 268, 269, 273, 289 Transitional Justice Audit (2011–2014), Uganda 266, 275 trauma narratives 285 Travelling Testimonies exhibition, Uganda 33, 266, 268, 273, 274, 277, 283, 287 trees, symbolic significance of 108 Tripartite North-South road network 113 Truman, Harry S. 256 truth commissions 265 Tugume, David 287 Turkey 135 TVA. See Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)


Uganda 105, 265–291, 274, 283, 285, 287 Uganda Crimes Division 270


Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST) 279 uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, South Africa 158, 171 UNESCO 319 African World Heritage Fund 7 Culture for Development Indicators (CDIS) project 21–22 Hangzhou Conference 257 and Nubian rescue project 110, 111, 130 Proclamation of the Masterpieces of Intangible Heritage (1997) 183 on ‘sustainable development’ 20 World Decade for Cultural Development (1988–1997) 20, 301 see also World Heritage List; World Heritage Sites UNESCO Conventions 17 Biological Diversity (1992) 58 Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005) 17, 144 Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) 21, 58, 144 World Heritage (1972) 58, 339 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) 75 ‘Unity in Diversity’, Ghana 190 universalization of cultural heritage 254–256 of traditional justice mechanisms 270



UNMEE, expulsion from Eritrea 307 UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 237 ‘unsettled histories’ 76 unskilled labor in excavations 222, 223 UN Sustainable Development Goals 120, 237, 332 urban expansion, impacts of 82, 83 USA 106, 267 US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) 127


Vele Colliery, South Africa 118 Venetia Diamond Mine, South Africa 118 Verhoeven, H. 132 Vernières, Michel 242 Virunga World Heritage Site, DRC 116 visual art, Travelling Testimonies exhibition 285, 288


Wallerstein, Immanuel 256 Warren, C. 112 water management histories of irrigation systems 78 impact of urbanisation on 83 see also dam projects weaving heritage, Ghana 192–197 West Africa culture bank model 235–240, 258 urban expansion rates 82–84

see also individual countries wetlands, policy formulation on 58 Wherry, Frederic 240 ‘wilderness’, southern Africa 29, 47, 49–52, 57 wildlife conservation. See natureculture conservation dichotomy Williams, P. 267 Wiredu, K. 337 Wolfensohn, James D. 236, 301 women’s cooperatives 236 World Archaeological Congress (WAC) 145 World Bank and culture bank model 236, 240, 255, 258 on culture in development 302 and dam projects 129 in Eritrea 297, 302 human development indicators in Africa 8 Implementation Completion and Results Report 307, 310, 314 World Decade for Cultural Development (1988–1997) 20, 301 World Energy Council 107 World Heritage List 7, 8, 117, 243, 247, 257, 298, 304, 311, 339 World Heritage Sites 58, 104, 107, 241, 334 and mining projects 66 Asmara, Eritrea 297–306 Bandiagara, Mali 250 eMakhosini Valley considered for, South Africa 159 Koutammakou, Togo 236, 241, 244, 245, 246


Lake Turkana, Kenya 112 Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia 111–112 Mapungubwe, South Africa 66, 116 natural World Heritage Sites 107, 116 Okavango Delta, Botswana 54 Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania 115 uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, South Africa 158 World War II, and memorialization 267



Yattara, Aldiouma 240 Yilmaz, A. 287 Yohannes, Zemeret 313, 315 Yunus, Mohammed 240, 253


Zambia 114 Zimbabwe 52, 105, 335 Zimbabwean National Museums and Monuments Act 335 Zulu history 163, 174 Zulu, Prince Gideon 173