Lecture by Morgaine Wood: "Life after the Listing"
Life after the Listing: The long sought-after World Heritage site and its effects on Christian Communities in Nagasaki.
A church in Nagasaki
At the 42nd World Heritage Committee Session (2018) hosted in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the "Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region" nomination was put to the committee and subsequently inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The nomination itself had gone through numerous rewrites and revisions before its successful inscription, and numerous proposed sites of interest (mostly churches) had languished on the tentative list for many years before being cut out altogether. The final result was nothing like the original proposal and an arguably unique nomination. This presentation will discuss the evolution of the nomination, how it affected local Christian communities along the way, and the (sometimes unintended) consequences that this World Heritage journey has had on heritage stakeholders in the region. I will conclude with a discussion on how the successful inscription of the 12 component sites that make up the Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region is anticipated to change the religious and commercial landscape, as expressed to me by members of the community during my fieldwork at the end of 2018.
Morgaine Wood is a PhD candidate at the University of Oslo. Her research is part of the project on Sacred Heritage at the University of Oslo, focusing on Japanese religious sites that are also centres of tourism and listed UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Specifically, she examines how mass tourism, World Heritage nomination processes and worship practices impact heritage management and the construction of heritage narratives, and the ways in which these are negotiated at institutional levels and on the ground.