Lucas Lixinski | Post-apocalyptic cultural heritage
The way we consume cultures and identities will lead to the destruction of our heritage as we know it.
The World Heritage List has 1,154 sites on it. Every year, new locations are added, but sites are seldom removed. We have an uncanny capacity to collect things – in our homes, in museums, on heritage lists… but we rarely stop to question what it means for something to be elevated to heritage status and whether that classification should be permanent. While the protection of natural environments and artefacts from forgotten civilisations are of the utmost cultural significance, perhaps we should better interrogate the motives of the gate keepers to what is considered worthy. Are we destined to continue growing these bloated heritage lists until they lose all meaning, or can we learn to let go to make room for the new?
To access a transcript of this podcast please head here.
This talk was a part of Unthinkable, an event of short talks in the 2022 Festival of Dangerous Ideas.
Dr Lucas Lixinski is a Professor in the Faculty of Law & Justice, UNSW Sydney. His work analyses how the law shapes identity via cultural heritage protections. His latest book, Legalized Identities, argues that cultural heritage law helps us redefine our societies in the aftermath of a war or dictatorship in deeper ways than we usually acknowledge. The book also argues that racist monuments to the past should not remain unchanged.