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Conference from 26 to 29 April 2023 at the Georgian National Museum: "Collaboration In Times Of Crisis: Preserving Natural And Cultural Heritage"

24.02.2023
Rathgen-Forschungslabor

From 26 to 29 April 2023, the international conference "Collaboration In Times Of Crisis: Preserving Natural And Cultural Heritage" will be held at the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi, Georgia. The conference is prepared by the Georgian National Museum in collaboration with the “Culture in Crisis Programme” of the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Centre for Study and Promotion of Natural and Cultural Heritage of Georgia, and the Rathgen-Forschungslabor of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Rathgen Research Laboratory of the National Museums in Berlin – Prussian Cultural Heritage).

Collaboration In Times Of Crisis: Preserving Natural And Cultural Heritage
The Georgian National Museum
26 to 29 April 2023

Conference Concept

The conference will explore the value of collaboration when working to preserve natural and cultural heritage; before, during and after times of crisis. We seek to bring together those with a shared interest in the protection of heritage, from various backgrounds, disciplines, and approaches.

Conflict, criminal activities, and the impacts of the climate crisis - alongside fundamental changes to social, political, and economic systems - have long represented a serious threat to both natural and cultural heritage. Understanding the potential impacts of complex and dynamic situations, managing various risks, as well actively addressing threats are all necessary stages in their successful protection. Rarely are these things, we can do alone.

The regions of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Middle East have for many years experienced periods of turbulent instability and in some cases direct conflict and war. Most recently, on 6 February 2023, a devastating earthquake was massively hitting Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus, killing tens of thousands and affecting millions in the region and beyond. Before, during and after times of crisis, the role heritage can play in supporting communities, fostering cohesion, and creating development opportunities becomes more relevant than ever. As remedies to intolerance and animosity, intercultural and interreligious dialogue can serve as valuable assets in the promotion of peace in the aftermath of crisis globally.

Through the conference, we will explore key thematic areas, including:

  • The value of networks and alternative frameworks for cooperation
  • The civic role of museums and heritage organisations before, during and after crisis.
  • Partnership beyond traditional boundaries of working – with particular reference to engagement with humanitarian organisations, the media and the military.

By developing new academic and professional partnerships through the convening of the conference, we hope to construct a network of individuals and organizations working in Georgia and the surrounding region who are unified in their resolve to protect cultural and natural heritage under threat. Through discussion and the sharing of expertise across a variety of professional backgrounds we hope to combat the global threat to heritage using a multi-disciplinary approach, engaging from community to governmental level. As an outcome, we expect the conference to make a significant contribution to national and international efforts to enhance crisis prevention and emergency response in the field of cultural and natural heritage. Alongside the conference, capacity-building opportunities for regional heritage professionals will be developed. These will include areas of training such as risk assessment, emergency planning and crisis management.

Conference Programme

The conference programme (PDF, 271 KB) is available for download.

Join us Online

The conference organisers are pleased to be able to offer a live-streaming service for both days of the conference (27 and 28 April). To sign up, click the links below:

Register to Attend Online (Day 1 of 2)

Register to Attend Online (Day 2 of 2)

In-person attendance to the conference is limited, with priority offered to heritage professionals working in the region. If you would like to attend, please register your interest by emailing cultureincrisis[at]vam.ac.uk.

Participation and Contribution

If the concept of this conference meets with your interest, if you want to participate or even contribute, please get in touch with the organizing committee through rf[at]smb.spk-berlin.de.

A limited amount of travel stipends is available for applicants from low-middle income economies.

Projected Itinerary

Wednesday, 26 April 2023: Arrival of organisers and speakers (welcome reception)

Thursday, 27 April 2023: Conference Day 1

Friday, 28 April 2023: Conference Day 2

Saturday, 29 April 2023: Excursion (TBD)

Support

This conference is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Georgia, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (UK) and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Germany.