The goal of this article is to present some of the ways in which the cultural heritage can be used in conflict resolution and to which results, as well as to outline challenges. My method has been to read previous research concerning how the cultural heritage can be used in conflict resolution. I have also read the reports and articles available from the projects that I have deemed relevant. I have studied research projects, global organizations as well as smaller and more regional NGOs. This study shows that there are many ways in which the cultural heritage can be used as a resource in conflict resolution. However, for it to work one need also be aware of the various ways in which it can be misused. If those for whom a project is created are considered passive targets of a particular message concerning the past, the risk of losing control of that message will increase. The various meanings of the past as well as the people targeted, are not static but constantly in movement. I therefore argue that a process- oriented approach, preferably through dialogue and participation, would be a way to avoid a static presentation. This method could try to present history from as many perspectives as possible and begin with a focus on the local places and consider the inherently intangible aspects of heritage, to make it relatable, and from there highlight wider issues. Furthermore, the people planning it must be ready to get their own opinions about the heritage challenged by different perceptions, and in so doing, the inherently dissonant aspects of heritage should be seen as a resource rather than as a disturbance.


The article was first publiced in Cadernos do LEPAARQ, v. XVII, n. 34, Julho-Dezembro, 2020