Yezidi shrine of Mame Reshan after its destruction by the Islamic State, 2019 © Levi Clancy, via Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain.
Blue Shield International knows that cultural heritage can define who people are, but also, of course – and not infrequently contentiously – who they are not, which can place people at risk of harm. That means that protection of cultural heritage and the protection of people are linked. Cultural heritage destruction, whether deliberate or unintentional, can have profound impacts on affected people, exacerbating the impact of any particular emergency and increasing other humanitarian needs.
This 4-part video series has been developed to demonstrate the links between cultural heritage protection and the humanitarian ecosystem, to explain why cultural heritage protection is important to people affected by crisis and why it should be considered a humanitarian issue, and to explore why and how it might be included in humanitarian response. The videos:
- Briefly explain what cultural heritage is and why and how it’s enshrined in international law;
- Provide an overview of the Blue Shield movement, its origins in international humanitarian law, its mission, goals and work in practice;
- Briefly introduce the importance of cultural heritage protection to crisis affected people and how this impacts an overall humanitarian response; and
- Outline how the humanitarian ecosystem can support cultural heritage protection, thereby delivering a more inclusive and effective response, contributing to durable solutions and building the capacity of affected communities to meet their own needs.
Each video in this series will be presented by a different person connected to Blue Shield from around the world, showing the global impact of this vital issue:
- Professor Nigel Pollard of Swansea University in the UK, Blue Shield United Kingdom
- Professor Peter Stone, President of the Blue Shield and the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace at Newcastle University
- María José Romero Torres, part of Casa K’ojom Cultural Rescue Centre team, Blue Shield Guatemala
- Fatima FALL NIANG, Director of the Centre for Research and Documentation of Sénégal (CRDS) Gaston Berger Université, Chair of ICOM Senegal, Blue Shield Senegal
Blue Shield is committed to diversity and inclusion of our members around the world. However, some viewers may wish to turn on the captions in YouTube (in English).
1. What is the Blue Shield
3. Cultural Heritage Protection, Destruction and its Impact on Crisis-Affected People
4. Why and How Can the Humanitarian Ecosystem Support Cultural Heritage Protection?
This series is supported by Swansea University, and has been researched and developed by Jennifer Price-Jones, the Humanitarian Consultant for Blue Shield International.
Blue Shield International is based at, and is supported by Newcastle University, which also holds the UNESCO Chair for Cultural Property Protection and Peace.