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From ruins to rubble. On heritage and destruction.

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Date & location

From 11:00am CET




Isidora Stankovic

Postdoc leader Cultural Heritage


ZOOM Passcode: 351718

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The online lecture 'From ruins to rubble. On heritage and destruction.' is given in the framework of the Una Europa PhD Workshop: Heritage Hybridisations: Concepts, Scales and Spaces by researcher, Alfredo González-Ruibal (Institute of Heritage Sciences, Spain). The lecture will be introduced by PhD Virginia de Diego.

From ruins to rubble. On heritage and destruction.

Destruction is inherent to the production of heritage and can even be considered an element of added value: patina, for instance, is a subtle form of biogeochemical destruction, whereas crumbling abbeys or castles can attract more visitors than standing ones. There is, however, a risk in romanticizing destruction.

In this talk, Prof. González-Ruibal will be examining its different modalities – from mere alteration to utter devastation – and the political economies that produce them. He will reflect on what it means to live in an age characterized by systematic destruction of life and matter in a gigantic scale and what this implies in our temporal imagination and in how we value the past. He is particularly interested in the annihilation of memory in modern cities, which is often presented as compatible with the celebration of cultural heritage.

Alfredo González-Ruibal

Alfredo González-Ruibal is a researcher at the Institute of Heritage Sciences in Spain specializing in the archaeology of the contemporary past and African archaeology. For over two decades, he has been interested in the negative side of modernity and he has studied phenomena such as dictatorship, colonialism and conflict. He has conducted fieldwork in Spain, Ethiopia, Somaliland, Equatorial Guinea and Brazil and he is now working on a long-term approach to the state in the Horn of Africa and on the legacy of dictatorship in Spain. He is also interested in the ethics, politics and aesthetics of archaeology. Recent books include An Archaeology of the Contemporary Era (Routledge, 2019) and The Archaeology of the Spanish Civil War (Routledge, 2020).

Virginia de Diego

Virginia de Diego is a Visual Artist, Curator and Doctor cum Laude in Fine Arts (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) with her thesis “The Ruin as a Replica. The Protocontemporary moment”. Nowadays she combines her work as a professor (Universidad de Comillas, Istituto Europeo di Design, Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto) with her artistic work and her curating practice at her gallery PRESENTE, based in the city of Porto (Portugal).