Cracking the cultural code: living heritage in a UK city of culture
Máiréad Nic Craith (Heriot-Watt University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper explores the layering and re-shaping of the narrative of Colmcille/Columba in Derry/Londonderry in anticipation of the inaugural UK City of Culture. It contextualises the emergence of a fresh narrative which sought to re-define the city as a common heritage space for a previously divided people.
Paper long abstract:
In 2013, Derry/Londonderry became the inaugural UK City of Culture. Given tensions between national and unionist versions of history, the title generated considerable debate on the location of Derry/Londonderry's culture within a UK and/or Irish context. All this had implications for the trans-national character of Columba/Colmcille who had been appropriated by competing secular and religious versions of history in the past and who featured prominently in the year-long celebrations. This paper explores the layering and cultural appropriation of the narrative of Columba/Colmcille over the centuries and the re-shaping of his narrative in anticipation of the year of UK City of Culture. It contextualises the emergence of a fresh narrative in the new political context which sought to re-define the city as a common heritage space for a previously divided people.
Re-membering transnational living heritages