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New PhD project on Egyptian cultural heritage

Wesam Mohamed is working on "Community Participation in Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis: understanding and learning from the 'Egyptian Revolution'"

13.02.2019 | Mark Sedgwick

Evidence for sporadic looting/protecting of antiquities in Egypt during the Arab Spring indicates that communities play a central, if unexpected, part in responding to social crises regarding cultural heritage. Various responses to violent conflict indicate that a number of communities have (dis)connected from their heritage. Wesam Mohamed's PhD will investigate what the public view as ‘their’ heritage in contrast to global perceptions of Egypt’s heritage. It is premised on how identity connects to heritage and whether this can instil an impetus to protect in crisis situations and political instability. It will explore concepts of identity, community, ownership and the value of heritage in the eyes of local communities. Using co-curated exhibitions and workshops it will assess how pre-emptive policies can shape the public’s attitude towards heritage. The case-studies will create best practice for community engagement as a means of enhancing identity and protecting the heritage resource. 

Wesam Mohamed is doing her PhD in the Department of Archeology and Heritage Studies. She previously worked as an archaeologist at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. She holds a Masters’ degree in Museums Studies from Helwan University, Diploma in History of Art and a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology from Cairo University. She has participated in a number of collaborative projects, including a working experience with the British Museum and Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

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