Heritage Studies and the Memory of the World: Concluding Reflections
This chapter provides reflections on the role MoW could play in the context of Heritage Studies, enlarging its scope. It starts by problematizing the lack of visibility of the Memory of the World Programme (MoW) in Heritage Studies, and in the “mainstream heritage discourse”, which have centred on the two most popular UNESCO normative tools for heritage: The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, respectively. Arguing that MoW should take its rightful place among other heritage concepts, the chapter provides examples in support. They show that MoW has the potential to broaden our understanding of the intersections between heritage and human rights, of the dichotomy tangible-intangible and of the notion of community involvement. At the same time, also MoW would benefit from being anchored in Heritage Studies, where, through theorization, a scientifically grounded justification could emerge for why documentary heritage is worth our efforts.