Mobilising care for cultural heritage in response to the war in Ukraine

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Siân Jones and Diána Vonnák will discuss the DECOPE Project which examines how care is being mobilised for cultural heritage in response to the Ukraine war.

The main goal of the project is to identify national and international responses that aim to safeguard heritage and heritage practitioners during the war, helping to create more effective and targeted support for the work of professionals and communities.

They are also working with Ukrainian heritage professionals, NGOs and lay communities to understand the challenges they face, and how they have mobilised to mitigate damage to both the heritage they manage and their professional lives.

Siân will introduce the project, including the approaches, methods and activities that the Stirling team are working with. Diána will then discuss emerging insights from fieldwork, focusing on the cultural and social functions of heritage institutions like museums.

She will argue that being part of the public infrastructure radically shapes museums’ flexibility in terms of expanding social care mandates and curtails their response in terms of financial mobilization and professional care. She will show how this has played out in Ukraine and in Central Europe.

Speaker: Siân Jones and Diána Vonnák

Siân Jones is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on heritage, memory, identity and place, alongside various aspects of conservation practice. She is the UK PI for the DECOPE project.

Diána Vonnák is a social anthropologist whose research focuses on heritage politics in Ukraine, and the impacts of the ongoing war. Currently she is a Research Fellow for the DECOPE project.

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