Scotland's heritage investments in India: acts of cultural diplomacy and identity building

Clarke, Amy (2014) Scotland's heritage investments in India: acts of cultural diplomacy and identity building. Scottish Affairs, 23 2: 234-249. doi:10.3366/scot.2014.0019

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Author Clarke, Amy
Title Scotland's heritage investments in India: acts of cultural diplomacy and identity building
Journal name Scottish Affairs   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0966-0356
Publication date 2014-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3366/scot.2014.0019
Volume 23
Issue 2
Start page 234
End page 249
Total pages 16
Place of publication Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Since 2008 the Scottish government and heritage authorities have been engaged in several projects and partnerships in India aimed at conserving colonial-era heritage and providing assistance to Indian authorities in the preservation of Indian heritage. These projects range from the recording and rejuvenation of the Scottish Cemetery in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) to the documentation of Rani Ki Vav, a significant Hindu stepwell, as part of the ‘Scottish 10’ project. These investments are notable for two reasons: typically, international involvement in a country's heritage would come in the form of a non-state actor such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) rather than another nation-state. Furthermore, as many of the sites in India of interest to the Scots were established during the colonial period and exist as a direct result of British rule, the Scottish involvement in their preservation runs the risk of attracting claims of cultural colonialism. These challenges have been effectively neutralised through the selection of projects that emphasise the positive contributions made by Scots in India, and through the positioning of these projects as acts of altruism and of the celebration of shared collective histories. This article will discuss the motives behind Scottish investment in heritage sites in India, demonstrating both the way that heritage can be engaged with at a bi-lateral level as an act of cultural diplomacy as well as the way heritage can be used to promote the perception of a specific version of national identity.
Keyword Cultural diplomacy
Built heritage
Scottish 10
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: ATCH (Architecture Theory History Criticism) Publications
Official 2015 Collection
School of Architecture Publications
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Created: Tue, 15 Jul 2014, 13:02:40 EST by Amy Clarke on behalf of School of Architecture