Decolonizing Colonial Heritage : New Agendas, Actors and Practices in and beyond Europe book cover
1st Edition

Decolonizing Colonial Heritage
New Agendas, Actors and Practices in and beyond Europe

ISBN 9780367569600
Published October 7, 2021 by Routledge
344 Pages 38 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $32.00
was $160.00
USD $128.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Decolonizing Colonial Heritage explores how different agents practice the decolonization of European colonial heritage at European and extra-European locations. Assessing the impact of these practices, the book also explores what a new vision of Europe in the postcolonial present could look like.

Including contributions from academics, artists and heritage practitioners, the volume explores decolonial heritage practices in politics, contemporary history, diplomacy, museum practice, the visual arts and self-generated memorial expressions in public spaces. The comparative focus of the chapters includes examples of internal colonization in Europe and extends to former European colonies, among them Shanghai, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro. Examining practices in a range of different contexts, the book pays particular attention to sub-national actors whose work is opening up new futures through their engagement with decolonial heritage practices in the present. The volume also considers the challenges posed by applying decolonial thinking to existing understandings of colonial heritage.

Decolonizing Colonial Heritage examines the role of colonial heritage in European memory politics and heritage diplomacy. It will be of interest to academics and students working in the fields of heritage and memory studies, colonial and imperial history, European studies, sociology, cultural studies, development studies, museum studies, and contemporary art.

The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylor, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.


Table of Contents

Lists of figures

List of contributors



Introduction: by Britta Timm Knudsen, John Oldfield, Elizabeth Buettner and Elvan Zabunyan

Part I: Haunted Worlds: Ghosts of the Colonial Past

Chapter 1: Europe and Its Entangled Colonial Pasts: Europeanizing the ‘Imperial Turn’ by Elizabeth Buettner

Chapter 2: 1917, Brexit and Imperial Nostalgia: A Longing for the Future

by Christoffer Kølvraa


Chapter 3: Spectres of Cecil Rhodes at the University of Cape Town

by Nick Shepherd

Chapter 4: Decolonizing the Narrative of Portuguese Empire: Life Stories of African Presence, Heritage and Memory

by Cristiano Gianolla, Giuseppina Raggi and Lorena Sancho Querol


Chapter 5: Decolonizing Warsaw: The Multiple Afterlives of ‘Ali’

by Łukasz Bukowiecki


Part II: Contemporary Heritage Practices: New Agents, Urban Space Events, Intercultural Encounters

  1. Museums and curatorship
  2. Chapter 6: Curating Colonial Heritage in Amsterdam, Warsaw and Shanghai’s Museums: No Single Road to Decolonization

    by Csilla E. Ariese, Laura Pozzi and Joanna Wawrzyniak


    Chapter 7: The Influence of Western Colonial Culture on Shanghai: A Case Study of the ‘Modern Shanghai’ Exhibition at the Shanghai History Museum

    by Lu Jiansong




    Chapter 8: Decolonizing Contemporary Art Exhibitions: Okwui Enwezor (1963–2019), The Turning Point of Curatorship

    by Elvan Zabunyan


  3. Echoes of colonial heritage, visual culture and site-specific art


Chapter 9: Sensitive Memories at a World Heritage Site: Silencing and Resistance at the Valongo Wharf

by Márcia Chuva, Laila Bianchi Aguiar and Brenda Coelho Fonseca

Chapter 10: Traces of Contempt and Traces of Self-Esteem: Deconstructing our Toxic Colonial Legacy

by Dalila Mahdjoub

Chapter 11: Reframing the Colonial in Postcolonial Lisbon: Placemaking and the Aestheticization of Interculturality

by Paulo Peixoto and Claudino Ferreira

Chapter 12: Aesthetics and Colonial Heritage: An Interview with Artists Based in Marseille

by Badr El Hammami, Mohammed Laouli and Marine Schütz

Chapter 13: Enslaved Bodies, Entangled Sites and the Memory of Slavery in Cape Town: The Meeting of the Dead and the Living

by Meghna Singh

Part III: Imagining Decolonial Futures

Chapter 14: Decolonial Countervisuality

by Britta Timm Knudsen with Sorana Munsya, Benjamine Laini Lusalusa and Stephanie Collingwoode Williams

Chapter 15: New Diplomacy and Decolonial Heritage Practices

by Cristina E. Clopot, Casper Andersen and John Oldfield

Chapter 16: Decolonial Voices, Colonialism and the Limits of European Liberalism: The European Question Revisited

by Jan Ifversen


View More



Britta Timm Knudsen is Professor of Culture, Media and Experience Economy, School of Communication and Culture, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

John Oldfield is Professor of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull, UK.

Elizabeth Buettner is Professor of Modern History at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Elvan Zabunyan is Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of Rennes, France, and an art critic.