Are National Heritages Becoming Deviant Narratives?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gilbert Scott Conference Room - 251 (University of Glasgow)
David Duarte , NA
Through its cultural actions, the European Union is attempting to introduce into the public space a supra/transnational approach to collective memories with the intention of reinforcing the feeling of belonging to Europe and, consequently, the legitimacy of the European political project itself. In other words and in the current context of financial, social, political and moral crisis, the European Union is trying to justify its existence by identifying a set of cultural representations in which Europeans recognise themselves as members of the same group. However, this attempt necessarily challenges the authority of the existing national memories as references used by Europeans to understand their past and to project themselves into the future. How does the EU deal with national memories? Are European and national narratives complementary? Can they coexist in the public discourse or does the emergence of a new supra/transnational approach to heritage result in the retreat of national memories? Taking into account the current debate on the concept of European cultural heritage, I propose to question the impact on national memories of a European approach to heritage. The analysis will focus on the European Heritage Label action and, notably, on the case of Sagres Promontory for this site represents an ideal example of European Union's attempt to conciliate national and European narratives.