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Egypt’s dispersed heritage: Multi-directional storytelling through comic art

Abd el-Gawad, H; Stevenson, A; (2021) Egypt’s dispersed heritage: Multi-directional storytelling through comic art. Journal of Social Archaeology , 21 (1) pp. 121-145. 10.1177/1469605321992929. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper responds to a need to address the colonial history of collections of Egyptian archaeology and to find new ways in which Egyptian audiences can assume greater agency in such a process. The ‘Egypt’s Dispersed Heritage’ project presents a model of engagement whereby foreign museum collections become the inspiration for Egyptians to express their own feelings about the removal of their heritage abroad using idioms and traditional storytelling of cultural relevance to them. A series of online comics confronting contentious heritage issues, including the display of mummified human remains, eugenics, looting and destruction, is discussed. It is argued that this approach is not only more relatable for Egyptian communities, but moreover provides space for the development of grass-roots critique of heritage practices, both in the UK and in Egypt. Museums have a responsibility to take on board these critiques, curating not just objects but relationships forged amongst them in historical and contemporary society.

Type: Article
Title: Egypt’s dispersed heritage: Multi-directional storytelling through comic art
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1469605321992929
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1469605321992929
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 by SAGE Publications. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Keywords: Decolonization, contact zone, museum, Egyptian archaeology, storytelling, Egyptian heritage, comics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122214
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