Imagine a Europe without The Colosseum, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, the Sagrada Família. We may be less familiar with the architectural heritage of Ukraine, from the modernist to the medieval, but it is irreplaceable and its future is presently uncertain.
Symbolic acts of war over centuries have damaged or completely destroyed places of civic pride and cultural meaning. Protection of human life is paramount but we also face the interrelated issue of losing an individual and collective sense of heritage, identity and humanity.
During times of adversity, how do we continue to engage, preserve cultural heritage, and tell stories of loss, hope and regeneration?
In this event we look to how sites and objects of Europe’s cultural heritage have vanished, are threatened – or, in some cases have been reconstructed. We take the long view on why destroying cultural heritage is an attack on humanity’s past and present.
Ticket sales include a £5 donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
“We must safeguard this cultural heritage as a testimony of the past but also as a vector of peace for the future.”
Unesco Director-General Audrey Azoulay
Owen Hatherley writes on culture and politics for various publications. He is the author of several books, including Militant Modernism (Zer0, 2009) Landscapes of Communism (Penguin, 2015) and Red Metropolis (Repeater, 2020). His most recent books are a collection of essays, Clean Living Under Difficult Circumstances (Verso 2021), and Modern Buildings in Britain: A Gazetteer (Penguin, 2022). He is a commissioning editor at Jacobin, the editor of The Alternative Guide to the London Boroughs (Open House, 2020), and the culture editor of Tribune.
More speakers to be announced.