Kulturális örökség és történelem
Gábor Sonkoly: Defining the Relationship between Cultural Heritage and Historical Studies
The definition of cultural heritage and historical studies is of fundamental importance, especially after the significant degree of institutionalization of the former in recent decades, which has encroached not only upon historical studies, but upon the interpretive and research fields of all humanities and social sciences. This intervention does not take place along the traditional development curve of the formation of new disciplines, as was the case in previous crises in historiography – instead of manifesting as an academic paradigm shift, it is a response to current political and social needs. In order to create a manageable framework to study the history of heritage, the paper first draws up three regimes which, rather than following one another sequentially, were integrated into one another during the twentieth century, resulting in today’s complex discourse of cultural heritage. Applying fuzzy logic in this case is a new approach to grasp the disintegration of the traditional science/non-science dichotomy through the comparative analysis of the institutionalization of cultural heritage studies and public history in the US, the UK, France and Germany. The western examples will be followed by describing the delayed – but all the more intense – emergence and subsequent institutionalization of Hungarian cultural heritage concept. The reception of this concept is a clear indicator of how far the given country has come in processing its past, how a given political system facilitates or pathologizes this process, and how involved historical studies are in the socialization of reflexivity.
Tamás Fejérdy: The World Heritage as Cultural Heritage Lab
Among others, UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention has a mission as a heritage lab. It is an efficient tool to detect problems and develop solutions, which in turn can be applied to all heritage values recognized on local, national and regional levels. The adoption and adaptation of these solutions increase the potential and efficiency of their preservation as well as their appropriate, sustainable, and sustained use. The lessons learned concern management planning, financing models, and long-term thinking, which are underpinned by professional support and control. Challenges include the complex and often contradictory relationship between research and development and the “heritagization process.” Communities, professional and other types of bodies can attribute heritage value to nearly everything. An important question is whether priority should be given to the preservation of existing values or the “reproduction” of heritage. Approaching the question of the “same” and the “alike” from the angle of authenticity is a false interpretation, which deems the conditions present in one cultural region automatically applicable to another. The global implementation of heritagization generates the appreciation of heritage on a local level, which the local communities attempt to “monetize” on the “global” market. The question is how heritage can be preserved “very” authentically without hampering the possibility to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities. Where does the boundary lie between living heritage and touristic attraction? The same question applies to the problem of reconstructing elements of built heritage. The aim of the convention is to safeguard the shared heritage of humanity in ways which improve the quality of life for local communities. The most significant results of this lab are the requirements and tools developed for the implementation of the convention, including the criteria of authenticity and integrity; the requirements concerning management, maintenance and monitoring prescribed to ensure the successful management of a word heritage site; and the dissemination of a networked heritage approach.
Eszter György: Sites of Memory and Oblivion: Romany Heritage in Hungary
What does Romany heritage mean in Hungary today? Can the “minority heritage” definitions and theories prevalent in international (especially English-language) scholarship be used for the preservation of Hungarian Romany culture, and for practices of its institutionalization? Where is the cultural heritage of the largest minority in Hungary kept, and what are the sites whose nonexistence (they either never existed or ceased to exist) and marginalization serve forgetting rather than memory. The study seeks answers to these questions through a summary of the general state and perception of European Romany culture, followed by an overview charting the possibilities of preserving and managing the Hungarian Romany heritage. After the description of European Romany museums, the study presents the long-standing trials and tribulations of the Hungarian Romany museum, as well as case studies of two smaller-scale Romany heritage collections, which can be best described as “participatory heritage,” created and managed by the active participation of local communities.
Anna Csicsics: Fortress in District VIII: The Heritage of the Ganz-MÁVAG Community in Budapest
The so-called MÁVAG community, situated in Budapest’s eighth district, was originally built by the Machine Manufacturing Plant of the Hungarian Royal State Railways between 1908 and 1910. The fortress-like building complex served residential as well as communal functions, especially in the community hall, where the company hosted its cultural events. After its nationalization, the centre assumed the Ganz name and from that point on it functioned as a cultural centre. After the change of regime the community lost all its ties with the factory that created it, the residential building is now a joint property townhouse and the cultural centre operates as the headquarters of a religious denomination. At the same time, new interpretations of the past have appeared in the memory of the site in order to demonstrate it value. The study examines the process of a place turning into a heritage site, especially industrial heritage, through the case study of the Ganz-MÁVAG community. The brief overview of built and intellectual environment as well as the process of heritagization is complemented by portraits of discourse-shaping actors and a study of the institutional framework of security. The discussion also revisits the memory of Fekete Lyuk (Black Hole), the iconic underground club operating on the premises around the time of the regime change, films that were shot at the site, and social practices appearing in connection with its heritage aspects. Finally, the community’s history is used to shed light on the relationship between cultural and industrial heritage.
Péter György: Shameful Heritage – Ghastly Exhibitions (Other Cultures, Other Bodies, and Invisible Individuals)
The study presents three historically, politically, geographically and linguistically interrelated case studies, examining the strategies of representing “differences between races,” in close connection with intentions to legitimize racial hatred and open racism. Plastercast masks of the living and dead were used as self-evident exhibits to visualise “racial differences”. National Socialist anthropologist Eugen Fischer’s 1909 racist study – assuming a scientific identity and methodology – of the so-called Basters of German South West Africa (offspring of married or cohabiting German men and local women), was continued by Hans Lichtenecker’s 1931 “field research” in Namibia. In the latter was a German artist, who made masks of the faces of local residents, including Basters. He also captured audio recordings. In 2009, anthropologists, historians and museologists had the opportunity to critically reconsider these events through the medium of exhibitions organised by Anette Hoffmann. In 1942, the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna, which also maintained intimate relations with the fields of biological and physical anthropology – devoted to scientifically legitimize the Third Reich’s racist policy – commissioned Jewish death masks from the Posen concentration camp. Once the masks were found after long decades, they were on display only once in the Jewish Museum of Vienna in 1997 – the present study evokes, and thus interprets, the spirit of this radical exhibition. Finally, the third case study is the Romany research conducted in the University of Tübingen’s openly nazi anthropological laboratory, where Sophie Erhardt made masks of German Romany (i.e. Sinti) faces. Since 2004 these have been exhibited in the medical history display of the Sachsenhause concentration camp. The history of the exhibition presented from the angle of various intersections is expected to shed light on the dark side of cultural heritage whose study can inform significant conclusions that reach far beyond the scope of microhistorical case studies. The dark side of cultural heritage must concern us to the same extent as all those objects, texts, and traditions that we are proud of.