Centre for Critical Heritage Studies


Svalbard global seed vault (Photo credit: Rodney Harrison)


Successful Awards 2020-21

Successful Awards 2020-21

City of Women (London) - Memory Map

Leah Lovett (UCL Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis), Duncan Hay (UCL Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis), Montaz Marche (University of Birmingham)

City of Women NY
In partnership with Haymarket Books, Transport for London and the WOW Foundation, researchers from The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) are developing a digital interactive Memory Map and producing original content for City of Women (London). City of Women (London is a project to rename Transport for London underground stops after women and non-binary people and groups. The names included on the map have been nominated by the people of London and selected by the City of Women (London) leads, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Emma Watson and Rebecca Solnit. The City of Women project was conceived by Solnit to challenge the tendency for women to be erased through conventions of naming urban streets and infrastructures. The first iteration of City of Women took place in New York, led by Solnit and geographer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, and used the subway map to highlight the city’s notable female and non-binary figures. Using the Memory Mapper toolkit , developed within CASA, UCL will deliver an interactive digital map to enable the public to explore multimedia archival and narrative histories of London’s extraordinary women, non-binary people and groups.


Award £1840

Image: Detail of Rebecca Solnit, City of Women (New York), © Haymarket Books

100 histories of 100 worlds in 1 object: world cafes

Alice Stevenson (UCL Archaeology), Mirjam Brusius (German Historical Institute London) and Benjamina E. Dadzie (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge)

100 Histories
Our project aims to create a dynamic online platform for cross-disciplinary histories of museum artefacts (through blogposts, podcasts, and other formats) from subaltern groups with the ultimate goal of addressing broader questions that concern the role of museums in the multicultural societies of tomorrow. In developing this resource we have four outstanding questions: What do minoritized communities really need to tell their stories? (ii) how can they benefit from such a platform? (iii) how can museums respond? (iv) how can we better achieve and evaluate impact? This CCHS funded project addresses these questions through a series of online World Cafés to facilitate conversations between researchers, heritage and museum practitioners in the Global South. In addition to developing new resources for the project website, these cafes will inform the development of a larger funding bid.


Award £1800

Living through heritage: a forum on participation, performativity, and care

Helia Marçal (UCL History of Art), Rebecca Gordon (UCL History of Art) and Renata F. Peters (UCL Institute of Archaeology)

living through heritage
Urgent questions need to be asked of conservation: Is there a place to contest long-accepted boundaries between official and non-official heritage? How do cultures of neglect relate to the cultures of care, and what are the effects of official conservation policies on what may be considered as living heritage? And, more importantly, what roles does conservation play in the structures of power around heritage? 

Heritage, Participation, Performativity, Care aims to create possibilities for a constructive and compassionate exchange—one that is purposefully about communicating and creating affective (not necessarily productive) relations. We want to encourage new forms of discourse to counter institutional hegemony in relation to forms of performativity, living heritage, and participation. The event is situated online, not simply in mitigation of the global pandemic, but in acknowledgement of the need to have a geographically and culturally diverse exchange, and in recognition of the possibilities this format offers to people who want to participate and might not have the same possibilities to do so if the event was to happen in-person. 

The forum Heritage, Participation, Performativity, Care is a one-day online event taking place on 12th March 2021, 10:00 GMT. It seeks to explore processes of care and participation concerning living heritage and performative practices. 

Award £2000

ɛmti bag nɔ ba tinap* - Documenting the intangible with the diaspora and the homeland

Nenna Orie Chuku (UCL Department of Information Studies), in association with Krio Heritage Foundation

emti bag
Many Sierra Leonean diaspora organisations like the Krio Heritage Foundation were founded on the premise to create spaces and places for community gathering to celebrate, share and perverse their culture. As the established ways of in-person gatherings have halted and brought a different wave of dispersion, online spaces are increasingly used and explored to deliver these activities. With the use of digital practice, how are Sierra Leonean Krio cultures and heritage being reimagined and recreated in these digital spaces? How do they maintain connections with the online and offline spaces? How can the spatiality of those in the diaspora to those in the homeland be considered?



Award £845

Image: Hughesdarren, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Milo cans were used in the Goombay (a West African music genre) by some Sierra Leonean Krios

Masking: Ecology, Crisis & Symbolism

Sophie Page (UCL History), Lucy Orta (University of the Arts, London) and Amita Murray (New College of the Humanities)

masking 1
Our project employs creative practice and history to encourage young people to look at their relationship with the natural world through a new lens and create their own stories about what we have lost and what we risk losing. Drawing and making masks are a method and medium to help restore proximity with nature, to imagine new playful species, and open up new narratives to overcome fear and crisis. Sophie Page and Lucy Orta have co-designed and produced The Lost Species Mask Kit, which contains pattern templates of mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects that were once abundant in Britain, alongside a selection of animals that were important in medieval lives and culture. It is accompanied by The Lost Species Handbook, an illustrated guide to 38 endangered, extinct, everyday and extraordinary animals that provides insights into UK species loss and the cultural meanings of animals that are disappearing from our collective imagination.
masking 2

The Masking project will be rolled out over 4-days (6-9 April), for ca. 100 year-12 students. Participants will style and photograph their mask at home, with guidance from professional instructors and Lucy. A webinar led by Sophie will help students create connections to local environments and history, for example, Stratford Langthorne Abbey and Epping forest. The novelist and short story writer Amita Murray will lead a creative writing workshop for students writing a manifesto to accompany their mask making that raises people’s awareness of the climate emergency, species extinction and biodiversity loss.

Award £2000


Images: (top) Wolf from the Lost Species Handbook; (bottom) Lost Species Mask Kit © Lucy Orta