Heritages of Conflict

american memorial and cemetary for those lost at flanders fields in the first world war

The material and immaterial legacies of war, invasion, oppression and social struggle are capable of generating strong emotions, on-going contestation and conflict, but also opportunities for dialogue and reconciliation. Battlefields, memorials, cemeteries and various symbolic structures relating to conflict, along with accompanying personal and collective memory, are amongst the most difficult forms of heritage to interpret and manage. At the same time, and beyond the narratives of history, the heritage of conflict is increasingly popular amongst communities and societies in terms of establishing or accentuating identities. It is also an increasingly significant focus for tourism economies, tapping into motivations which extend from the educational to the exploitative. There is a need for a deeper understanding of the processes which continue to valorise and re-valorise conflicts of all forms and the emotional, ethical and economic realms this touches upon.