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Living with Violent Heritage: Contests and Coexistence in Post-War Sri Lanka

How do marginalised, minority and displaced groups experience and respond to violent heritage?

The Living with Violent Heritage exchange (LiVHERe) provides new multidisciplinary insights into the relationship between heritage and conflict in the increasingly fraught setting of post-war Sri Lanka. Here, cultural and natural heritage have become weaponised tools of symbolic (and sometimes material) violence, inflaming inter-ethnic tensions and rupturing social cohesion in ways that policy makers and stakeholders have yet to address. Long-standing ethno-nationalist contests have driven this process, but so have new post-war players and influences, including big business, international tourism, the Sri Lankan army and the UN. This project focuses on how marginalised, minority and displaced groups experience and respond to such violent heritage. LiVHERe seeks to also widen understanding of the capacity of heritage to function as a mechanism for peace, truth and reconciliation, especially when deployed at a grassroots level. 

Research TeamDr Mark Frost, University of Essex; Dr Nirmal Dewasiri, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; Professor Tim Clifton Winter, University of Western Australia; Dr Anoma Darshani Pieris, University of Melbourne, Australia 

Project part of

International

We foster international collaboration in the humanities and social sciences, and promote the sharing of international perspectives on global challenges.