Centre for Critical Heritage Studies


Syrian Heritage in Motion Network

21 January 2022

The first workshop was organised in Barcelona on 14 January 2022 with Syrian refugees from Aleppo, Rakka and Homs at the IMF CSIC Research Institute...

SHIMoN website banner

Syrian Heritage in Motion Network (SHIMoN) is a project initiated by Dr Alda Terracciano as part of her contribution to the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies cross-cluster research strand on Waste/Wasted Heritage during 2020. Her original proposal to the Embracing the Archive research cluster at UCL focused on ways to unpack the concept of "waste as post-war heritage ground" in relation to the refugee’s condition, echoing T. S. Eliot’s verses from the poem The Waste Land “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish?” Her collaboration with the centre co-leader Jonathan Westin at the University of Gothenburg, has helped the project to engage with partners in Sweden, Germany, Spain, and Belgium, and the current plan is to expand the network to other countries. 

The aim of the SHIMoN network is to further develop interdisciplinary and intersectional collaborations for future research, heritage, and artistic activities, and to use immersive technologies and co-creation of non-official archives to empower refugee communities in the process of identifying cultural rooting and shared values in the process of re-building their lived heritage in new foreign lands. The network will achieve this by producing new research questions and models that can challenge aesthetics and heritage canons, re-imagining the future of heritage and art with refugee communities. 

To achieve this important aim, the Network is organising a series of workshops with Syrian refugees in Barcelona, London, Berlin, and Lund to explore how Syrian cultural practices have been brought to Europe and the UK, their connections to material heritage, and their impact on refugees' well-being and sense of home. The workshops are designed as convivial gatherings, bringing people together to share memories and discuss the role that heritage can play in the lives of those who left Syria during the war. 

Workshop in Barcelona 14 January 2022 

Barcelona workshop 14 Jan 2022
The first workshop was organised in Barcelona on 14 January 2022 with Syrian refugees from Aleppo, Rakka and Homs at the IMF CSIC Research Institute and in a nearby restaurant. The workshop was delivered by Isber Sabrine and Alda Terracciano and gave participants the opportunity to ask questions about the SHIMoN initiative, share their experiences as refugees in Europe, and how heritage how matters to them. The information they shared will be used to design creative activities for the second part of the workshop and for a future comparative study on Syrian Heritage in Europe and the UK. 


Photo:  Courtesy of Alda Terracciano,SHIMoN workshop in Barcelona (2022)