Heghnar Watenpaugh on survivor objects
Heghnar Watenpaugh has just published a new article — “Survivor Objects: Cultural Heritage in and out of the Middle East” — in the International Journal of Middle East Studies with Cambridge Press.
In her article, Watenpaugh contends that artifacts that have experienced atrocities, even genocide, and survived, acquire the power to recall the horrors of the past, and to recollect the absent persons, things, and places that were lost. They symbolize violence, but also survival and resilience. Material objects that have endured looting, mutilation, displacement, and separation from the communities where they functioned as sacred relics, liturgical aids, or prized artworks form a special category. They are survivor objects.