Next Monday, Turkish urban planner Zeynep Günay of Istanbul Technical University will be giving an open lecture titled Heritage as Conflict, in which she will provide a critical commentary on the reimagining of heritage in the age of conflict through sophisticated conceptualisations of commemoration, monumentalisation and heritageisation.
Regarding the politicisation of heritage upon a process of continuous construction and destruction, historic urban landscapes can be used as medium to discuss the reformation of collective identities and memories within a contested space and a contested society. In a landscape “where past is not really past through the everyday politics of present” [Graham and Howard, 2008: 6], she will explore how heritage recalls a collective memory in creating and resolving conflict through the representation of mnemonics that are being selected, reimagined and packaged, and question the implications led by the global politics of monumentalisation and heritageisation in the rebuilding of space, economy and society.
Zeynep Günay is faculty member at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of Istanbul Technical University. She holds a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from the same university and her fields of research are cultural heritage, urban conservation theories and policies, conservation-led and culture-led regeneration, sustainable urban conservation impact assessment methodologies and culture and heritage industries. Through her scholarly works, she questions the vicious relationship between conservation vs. regeneration with reference to globalisation and the neoliberal planning agenda, and explores critical heritage studies including its conceptual framework based on identity, memory, heritage industry, heritageisation, inclusive conservation and right to the heritage. She has several international and national research and implementation projects including Prizren Municipal Development Plan under the supervision of UN-Habitat (2012) and the UNESCO supported Istanbul Historic Peninsula Conservation Project (2003), which was awarded by the European Union Prize for Culture Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards in 2004. She is a member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and national delegate and bureau representative of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISoCaRP).