Accepted paper:

Between integration and segregation. A dialectic view of the use of cultural heritage by the Bulgarian community in Valladolid.


Alberto Alonso-Ponga García (Universidad de Salamanca)

Paper short abstract:

Performance of Cultural Heritage among the migrants and locals is a source of meanings for the social life. It becomes a factor of urban transformation helping in the definition of the urban space; a dialectic process of integration and segregation where the identity of the community is defined.

Paper long abstract:

This paper will discuss the importance of the role of cultural heritage in the process of creation of identity discourses. Analyzing the case study of the Bulgarian community settled in Valladolid (Spain), it will be presented how cultural heritage becomes a source of the identity discourse of the community. Hence, the production of the cultural heritage becomes an important work among the group, encouraging the emergence of an internal hierarchy and the defining the right of participation and membership.

On one hand, Cultural Heritage also becomes an empowerment tool of the community facing other communities. Showing their own culture and rituals to the rest of the town, they are reinforcing their position, based on the symbolic value of the culture. Such process is strength related with the definition of the boundaries.

On the other hand, as far such identity discourse is established, a kind of segregation can be also observed. The performance of their own rituals can be seen as a way of pointing out the difference between the Bulgarian community and the locals. Therefore, cultural heritage reveals as a power method of identity production, which leads the community to a dialectic point between integration and segregation.

The new forms of cultural Heritage emerged from the interaction of the locals and the migrants contribute in a powerful way to the social production of the town. In such production, the social boundaries are redefined, offering as good point to understand the urban space and its meanings.

panel P34
Cidades em movimento: reconfigurações identitárias em espaços de mobilidade (PT/ES/EN)