Heritage Repertoires for Inclusive and Sustainable Development in Egypt and Beyond

This project examines the significance of immaterial cultural heritage for understanding people’s identities and coping strategies in violent settings, drawing on the Coptic population of Upper Egypt as a case study of a marginalised, faith-based minority.
Project status

This project builds on the Coptic Culture Conservation Collective's existing database of stories, legends, social practices and oral histories from Coptic communities in Upper Egypt. It aims to cross-fertilise heritage studies, digital archiving and development research to build local development capacity and to make development practice heritage-aware. The research team is working to bring heritage researchers, digital archivists and development policy actors in conversation with each other to explore the role of heritage repertoires contributing to inclusive societies among religious and ethnic minorities facing violent contexts at national, regional and global levels.

The project’s relevance lies in understanding how making development more “heritage-aware” can expose sources of intersecting inequalities that are not conventionally understood when heritage is overlooked. The research team is also seeking to understand, in a gender-sensitive manner, how people render meaning to their existence, purpose and status through heritage repertoires, when facing overlapping/intersecting inequalities set against a context of the regionalisation of the targeting of Copts by ISIS, deep historical community-level prejudice and exposure to violence. It also aims to interrogate the role of heritage repertoires in relation to building social solidarity across religious faultines.

Principal Investigator: Professor Mariz Tadros, Institute of Development Studies 

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