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Logo: Cultural heritage as a resource?
Logo Leibniz Universität Hannover
Logo: Cultural heritage as a resource?
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Sub-project 2 - Rural Heritage

Constructions and reflections of cultural heritage apart from urban agglomerations. Rural heritage in the Hanoverian Wendland.

Direction: apl. Prof. Dr. Detlef Schmiechen-Ackermann, Institute for the Teaching of Democracy/ Department of History, Hannover

Assistant: Jenny Hagemann, M. A.

The fear of a ‘loss of culture‘ due to migration and rural structural change is widely spread. Contrary to that, in the Hanoverian Wendland numerous participants and initiatives meet and use elements of the alleged rural cultural heritage out of individual, group-specific and sociopolitical motives to merge them with their own horizon of expectations. The construction of history as cultural heritage takes place in various constellations in this extraordinary rural region of Lower-Saxony since the 1970s. It is shaped by external, especially urban, influences.

Using the Hanoverian Wendland (county of Lüchow-Dannenberg) as an example, the study explores how the engaged and sometimes ambivalent commitment of local participants (e.g. local government, artists, farmers, entrepreneurs, civil society actors) transformed rural patterns of cultural heritage with contemporary societal mindsets into a regional rural heritage of the present.

The study processes those typical site characteristics in an analytical way to analyze the partially overlaying construction and accommodation processes of cultural heritage as well as the interaction of divergent participants. The key question is therefore, which innovative and traditional patterns of immigrants from urban subcultures developed exogenous potential in this rural area.

In conjunction with sub-project 1, a complementary template for the valorization of cultural heritage in urban areas is being developed. Furthermore, it offers an approach to explore cultural practices and semantics as an expression of regional identities. In addition, links to investigations of cultural heritage patterns in social environments and formation processes are provided, which first of all highlight diversity and are able to promote exclusion, but also suggest identity and inclusion.