History vs. Heritage. A dilemma in Western countries
Our heritage and its expression in the form of statues or street names has been brought into focus due to the increase of cases of police brutality in the United States and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. The connection between history and heritage, sometimes controversial, seems to be a confusing subject under societal eyes.
To understand why statues fall, we need to first understand why they were erected, what their underlying symbolic values are, as well as their role in perpetuating certain beliefs. Only when this is clear, we will be able to understand why our heritage could lead to misinterpretation and conflictive readings. This reflection will also leave an open door for Western countries to thoroughly analyse the roots of their identity.
Mikel Herrán Subiñas is a PhD student in Archaeology by the University of Leicester (UK). His doctoral thesis “Islamicisation and the transforming lives of women in Early Medieval Iberia” investigates activities associated to domestic spaces, and how they shaped Andalusi societies during the Medieval era. He dedicates his free time to develop his YouTube channel “PutoMikel”, where he engages the public with History and Archaeology.