The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation
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Ms Britt Baillie

Nationality: Denmark

Year: 2007

Subject Area: Social Sciences

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As a current Wingate Scholar, the research for my PhD provisionally entitled: THE WOUNDED CHURCH: WAR, DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF VUKOVAR’S RELIGIOUS CULTURAL HERITAGE is still ongoing. My scholarship enabled me to undertake five months of participant observation and interviews in the ethnically ‘divided’ town of Vukovar, Croatia. Cultural heritage – especially historic churches – became enmeshed in the process of ethnic cleansing during the 1991-1995 conflict in the Balkans. The salience of these sites has not diminished during their subsequent reconstruction. What and how to conserve are questions built upon a complex network of power relations centered on the object – a state highlighted in an environment where churches serve as ethnic markers. Buildings are designed to impact people, both intellectually and emotionally. Reconstruction is therefore an ‘impact (re)making process’ through which new social relations are negotiated and represented. The process and finished product therefore, shape the social life of the post-conflict city.