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Accueil > Wageningen Environmental Research, the Netherlands, ProPeace Learning Lab, 16 – 20 January 2017

Wageningen Environmental Research, the Netherlands, ProPeace Learning Lab, 16 – 20 January 2017

During an intensive programme of a week the ProPEACE network gathered in Wageningen, the Netherlands, to exchange lectures, discuss its contents, and participate and actively contribute to site visits. By means of an introductory lecture and a shared lunch the ProPEACE network became acquainted with the Wageningen UR chair group Cultural Geography.


The methodology of the learning lab consists of a combination of theoretical lectures, guest lectures and active field visits: this resulted in an oscillating discussion on theory, epistemology, policies, practices, innovations and activism. This was deemed a necessary step towards more mutual understanding and more focus.

Each day a combination was made of an excursion and various lectures. Each lecture lasted approximately 20 minutes, followed up by a plenary discussion of 20 minutes. During the excursions the site holders were given the opportunity to pose questions or address dilemmas to the ProPEACE network. They have been asked to prepare such issues in advance. This resulted in very lively discussions, in which practical matters and theoretical reflections could cross-fertilize. As a result several heritage initiatives became part of the ProPEACE network on an informal basis.

During the site visits the following issues (among others) were discussed:

  • Heritage in the making; heritage in the periphery, local heritage activism
  • Heritage and nature management
  • Uncomfortable and contested heritage of black pages in history
  • Heritage as a primary bottom up private initiative
  • Heritage tourism management, balancing the public and private interests


During the lectures the following issues (among others) were discussed

  • Epistemic relations of heritage and culture
  • Heritage inclusivity and heritage exclusivity
  • Heritage diplomacy
  • Heritage and Brexit
  • What makes a tourist good or bad?

In between a few guest lectures were given on heritage innovations in Amsterdam and on digital heritage.


The overall learning outcomes can be specified as follows:

  • Shared understanding of the concept of European Heritage, although there remained much to discuss;
  • Intensive exchange of views how heritage and culture should be conceived, leading to a better understanding, based on various theoretical considerations;
  • Discussions on the reasons why heritage is created by some in society increased the mutual understanding of the interplay of politics and civil society;
  • Examples from practice learned how European heritage is a matter of strategy and organisation
  • Views from outside Europe were extremely useful for achieving a higher level of reflexivity on European culture and its heritage;