Reworlding world heritage: emergent properties of 'kinservation'

Sutcliffe, Daisy (2018) Reworlding world heritage: emergent properties of 'kinservation'. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Programme is forty-six years old this year, is one of UNESCO’s most successful programmes, and has been at the forefront of global conservation efforts for much of that time, changing how we think about the world around us. However, there are many contradictions in the programme. In this thesis I draw attention to some of these and what work they, and the programme, does. I look at the history of the organization and how this has impacted a programme that is claimed to be for all people for all time. The League of Nations was developed as part of peace-keeping efforts following World War One and collapsed during World War Two to be replaced with UNESCO when the war ended. As such, the World Heritage Programme was a geopolitical project that developed primarily in western Europe and the USA, and drew on these cultures to imagine the world and attempt to bring peace to it. The world that was imagined was broken down into categories such as nature opposed to culture, and tangible as opposed to intangible; and administrable territories with clear borders. I argue that this has worked to maintain a hierarchical colonial world order that has shaped the concept and practice of conservation by imagining a separate, vulnerable world that needs protection, and that humans are removed from and can control. I counter this imaginary by arguing for a ‘vibrant’ earth that has its own trajectory, and that rather than being orderly, fixed and hierarchical, is chaotic, creative and collaborative. Here humans are one form of life on the planet rather than sitting at the pinnacle of evolution. In this world I argue rather than conservation, it is ‘kinservation’ that is needed in which all life is imagined as family, echoing many indigenous cultures including the Kitchwa-speaking peoples in Ecuador. I draw on the ability of artists and arts organizations to reimagine this world, and by doing so, bring it into being.

The thesis begins by outlining the key ideas and concepts that inform my thesis, pivoting around the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, before turning to methodology and how this can address these imaginaries. I then introduce the field of geopolitics, and how more recent thinking has worked to pluralize the field. The empirical section of the thesis starts by exploring the history of UNESCO, and is then divided into three chapters that outline first how worlds can be congealed and stratified over time, how eruptions can break through the strata, and finally how the arts can mediate this process. The final chapter outlines how World Heritage can be re-worlded and re-worded.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: UNESCO, world heritage, Galapagos, geophilosophy, geography, conservation, heritage, neo-colonialism, arts, creativity, congealments, Holey Space, Deleuze.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Dixon, Professor Deborah
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Dr Daisy Sutcliffe
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-41006
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2019 14:18
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2019 10:01

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