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Words by Tina Palaić

Resilient Heritage: 4th International Symposium of ICOMOS Slovenia

International Council on Monuments and Sites – ICOMOS Slovenia organized 4th International Symposium entitled Resilient heritage which focused on climate change with relation to the protection of cultural heritage. It took place online between 16th and 18th September 2021 as an accompanying event of Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Climate change has been recognized as one of the most serious threats to cultural heritage. Heritage has been increasingly exposed to the consequences of natural catastrophes significantly contributing to its deterioration. The traditional practices and the stronger coexistence between people and nature in the past can serve us as an inspiration for more sustainable practices for today and tomorrow, especially when we speak about the heritage protection and conservation expertise. Participants discussed a wide array of topics addressing in particular the following challenges: how to ensure sufficient inclusion of heritage experts into the discourse on mitigating climate change and protecting the heritage; how to increase the cultural heritage resilience to climate change; how to preserve traditional practices that may contribute to a more sustainable future; how to ensure that digitalization contributes to the achievement of preservation goals. Additionally, participants presented case studies of the successful heritage protection, as well as awareness raising of the climate change urgency and promotion of the sustainable values of cultural heritage.

Image 1: Kanika Gupta in the storage room of the Slovene Ethnographic Museum. Photo: Tina Palaić

Kanika Gupta, activist-in-residence at the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, and museum curator Tina Palaić spoke about Gupta's residency as a case study on how to use cultural heritage for awareness raising of an importance of preserving the nature and encouraging more eco-friendly practices. They emphasized cataloguing and investigating the Museum Indian collection, which was in a small part displayed during the Gupta’s documentary film screening that took place in the Museum, as well as presented with blog posts on the project homepage and social media. Gupta’s authorial artistic performance, her documentary film as well as the literary competition announced as part of the residency were described as having an important role of awareness raising and encouraging the audience to reflect on questions of nature and heritage protection.

Symposium program is accessible here

On the third day of the symposium, Kanika Gupta and Tina Palaić presented a paper, which you can listen to here (starting at 2.03.00)