British Academy Award for Preserving the Disappearing Cultural Heritage of Post-War Iraq
Researchers from Leeds are partners in a pioneering international collaboration looking at preserving the cultural heritage of Mosul in Iraq.
Dr Gehan Selim from the School of Civil Engineering (Co-PI) will join an interdisciplinary team of academics on a new project, funded by The British Academy under the call ‘Heritage, Dignity and Violence’ as part of the £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).
The project, led by the Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage at Nottingham Trent University, is an international collaboration in response to the sustainable development goals of UNESCO’s “Revive the spirit of Mosul”. The team involves specialists from the fields of archaeology, architecture, cultural heritage, museums, urban planning, digital technology and history from the UK and Iraq.
This is a timely project that investigates the aftermath of severe destruction of Mosul’s heritage assets and displacement of its communities to preserve its long-lived heritage of arts, folklore, crafts and festivals which is quickly disappearing.
Dr Selim says ‘this is a timely project that investigates the aftermath of severe destruction of Mosul’s heritage assets and displacement of its communities to preserve its long-lived heritage of arts, folklore, crafts and festivals which is quickly disappearing’.
The project aims to implement a strategic approach to revive local traditions and reactivate the cultural heritage of the Old City through memorialization, preservation, and dissemination of shared heritage as a catalyst for sustainable socio- economic mobilization of the heritage economy.
She added that ‘we will initiate conversations between different sects and ethnicities through local cultural hubs, ran by affected communities, as a means to preserve and communicate shared heritage and to work towards sustainable peace. Through community engagement and co-creation workshops with displaced communities, this project will help to build understanding of human and cultural contexts of damaged post-war historic cities in Iraq.
The project builds on ongoing partnerships with the Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage at Nottingham Trent University and Durham University, both high profile academic institutions in the field of Virtual Reality and Digital Heritage in the UK. We will also collaborate with two pioneering schools of Architecture in Iraq, University of Mosul and University of Wasit, in addition to the Iraqi Municipality.