A Critical Analysis
Chapter 5: Leashing the dogs of war
A Critical Analysis
To some extent, we feel astonished when we watch ISIS jihadists destroying ancient museums in Mosul, although we remain indifferent to the loss of human lives in Syria. This dichotomy exhibits that we over-valorize heritage and cultural consumption over other cultural values. This chapter reveals that one of the successes of capitalist society imposed as the only available economic system was related to perpetuating the ideological core of colonialism. In so doing, we must confess that heritage and the colonial state were inextricably intertwined. Today, the notion of heritage expresses a repressed violence which is waiting to be liberated. At the time heritage and museums cultivated the spirit of thinkers, writers or even students, less attention was paid to their intersections with warfare. What is important to discuss is the role played by museums in such a process. This chapter reminds us of the inter-link between wars and authenticity –heritage – in a way that defies the current specialized literature. Once conflict remains dormant, the emotional activity of museums is lower than at times when war effaced entire cities, bringing calamities, hunger and suffering. Anthropologically speaking, museums enhance social cohesion, but in-group loyalty which, if not correctly regulated, may lead to pathological forms of chauvinism and ethnocentrism
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