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Heritage practitioner-scholar Krupa Rajangam talks to host Pavan Srinath about how a noble effort like heritage conservation can end up displacing and inflicting everyday violence on people living in heritage zones. Krupa talks about how the World Heritage Site of Hampi has existed before, during and after the Vijayanagara period – and the region is home to over 60,000 residents today. Can modern-day residents of Hampi receive justice and rights, while heritage is also simultaneously conserved?
Krupa Rajangam is a conservation architect with 20 years field-based conservation experience. As a doctoral scholar at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, she has just submitted her thesis on heritage as a form of governance, based on ethnographic engagement with Hampi. This episode also features perspectives from Ms. Ramya (name changed), a resident of Virupapura Gaddi near Hampi.)
Krupa is Founder-Director of the Bangalore-based socially-engaged heritage collaborative Saythu that is led by conservation professionals. The group aims to promote conservation as an integrated inclusive social process, by bridging theory (academy), practice (field), and peoples’ lived experiences, through various initiatives, projects, and teaching-learning engagements.
More by Krupa Rajangam:
- BIC Streams: Glorious Past, Glorious Future? Video livestream with Krupa and other heritage practitioners. [Video, August 2020]
- Hampi: Need for an Inclusive and Integrated Approach to Heritage Conservation-Management [Book Chapter in World Heritage Watch Report 2020]
- A bureaucracy of care in managing Hampi World Heritage Site [Article, Journal of Social Archeology, 2019]
- Constructing heritage, shaping tourism: festivals and local heritage governance at Hampi World Heritage Site [Book Chapter in Creating Heritage for Tourism, 2018]
- Best Laid Plans: Research design and field in a study of crafts of the Hampi region [Article, Craft Design, 2017]
Read more on conservation and conflict at Hampi:
- Hampi Bazaar Demolition I: How Heritage Divides Experts and Inhabitants [Morgan Campbell, EPW, 2015]
- Hampi Bazaar Demolition II: How Maps Alienate People [Morgan Campbell, EPW, 2015]
- Hampi Living Heritage [Dedicated Blog]
- Demolitions at Hampi [Eric Russel, The Hindu, 2017]
Read more on heritage and conservation from across the world:
- States of Conservation: Protection, Politics, and Pacting within UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee [Lynn Meskell, Anthropological Quarterly, 2014]
- The Production and Reproduction of a Monument: the Many Lives of the Sanchi Stupa. [Tapati Guha-Thakurta, South Asian Studies, 2013]
- The Capacity to Aspire: Culture and the Terms of Recognition [Arjun Appadurai, Book Chapter, 2004]
- Spatial Cleansing: Monumental Vacuity and the Idea of the West. [Michael Herzfeld, Journal of Material Culture, 2006]