HomeMaking heritage in Ethiopia

HomeMaking heritage in Ethiopia

Making heritage in Ethiopia

Faire le patrimoine en Éthiopie

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Published on Friday, September 11, 2015


Annales d’Éthiopie, the academic journal of the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies (Addis Ababa), launches a call for papers for its issue 31 (2016) about "Making heritage in Ethiopia".



Heritage is an important aspect of contemporary Ethiopia. Material or “intangible”, it is part of development policies, and it is deeply linked with the will to increase the Ethiopian touristic potential. It is now a repeated key concept when dealing with environmental conservation issues, with concerns regarding the management of paleontological or archaeological sites, and with the preservation, revival or enhancement of popular and especially rural cultures. Public, private, local, regional or national heritage-related projects often imply different actors and institutions at various scales, from small communities and administrations to international organizations. They have an impact on the relations between people and their environment, especially when the space (productive, sacred or filled by people with any particular meaning) is supplemented by a natural or landscape “remarkable” dimension. They change the relations with the cultural legacy and the cultural practices themselves. Thus they create networks of power and influence which spread different representations of spaces and cultural facts. Heritage is therefore a particularly relevant entry to analyze the social, political and economic dynamics which have built and are still building the Ethiopian cultural, social and political landscape. The aim of this special issue of Annales d’Éthiopie is to study these dynamics in a multidisciplinary perspective, and to foster empirical data collection and critical analysis.

There is a strong need to document the diffusion in time and space of the “heritage” notion in Ethiopia. Heritage is an imported concept that has been re-appropriated and often superimposed to preexisting practices of selective conservation and valorization of the traces of the past, or flora and fauna. These practices have been little studied up to now. Attention should be drawn on the actors and the institutions that have initiated and administrated the Ethiopian heritage in a context of political independence, through the 20th and 21th centuries. Their practices as well as the representations they produced and spread in Ethiopia and outside of the country have to be carefully studied since they have shaped are still framing the Ethiopian heritage policies. Contributions dealing with the relations between heritage-making and political dynamics, from the initial process of Ethiopian nation-building to the construction of the ethno-federal Ethiopian republic, are particularly welcome. In the contemporary context, the emergence of claims based on the enhancement of “local heritage” appears particularly interesting.

Natural or cultural conservation policies must not be analyzed without a careful attention to the daily experience of people who live in or with it. The conflicts or negotiations that could occur in heritage-transformed places, for example, tell us a lot about the contemporary Ethiopian society: relations between social classes, between the State, its regions and the citizens, and between the city and the rural areas. The development of tourism and the international recognition related to heritage – for example through the Unesco world heritage lists – give Ethiopians reflected and modified representations of themselves. The spread of these representations and their use in the country sometimes confront local memory. It raises the question of the relations between Ethiopian development policies and memory – including material and intangible traces of the past. Another interesting aspect is the slow development of a sense of heritage, especially among the intellectuals, who draw the attention to disappearing aspects of Ethiopian past or “traditions” that have been poorly considered by administrations until now (such as the old urban buildings and landscapes). This new phenomenon has to be analyzed, since it may (or not) prefigure future reorientations of Ethiopian heritage policies.

Papers discussing the following topics with a historical, social, political, spatial and/or comparative approach are welcome:

  • Vernacular and institutional practices of conservation
  • Analysis of the trajectories, practices, and networks of the actors of the Ethiopian heritage.
  • Heritage and identity, nation/nations-building
  • Institutional heritage, development and memory
  • Changes in configuration and/or hybridizations of practices and representations related to heritage

Submission guidelines

  • Deadline for abstract submission: October 19th 2015 (1000 signs, English or French)

  • Acceptance will be notified to authors in the beginning of November 2015.
  • Deadline for full article submission: February 1st 2016 (max. 50 000 signs, English or French)

Please send your abstracts by email to the following address: secretariat.scientifique@cfee.cnrs.fr

Editors for the special issue

  • Guillaume Blanc,
  • Marie Bridonneau
  • Thomas Guindeuil


Annales d’Éthiopie is a multidisciplinary academic peer-reviewed journal with an international scientific committee, published by the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies (CFEE) and De Boccard, with the support of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and under the patronage of the Ethiopian Authority for Research and Conservation and the Cultural Heritage and of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It covers all scientific fields, from the natural sciences (paleontology and earth sciences) to the humanities and social sciences and publishes articles on Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Submissions, in English or in French, are anonymously evaluated by two external referees. Articles published in French are accompanied by an English short version. The journal, launched in 1955, is currently engaged in the creation of a systematic online archiving system, available for consultation one year after the publication of paper copies.


  • CFEE, Ambassade de France P.O. Box 5554
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


  • Monday, October 19, 2015


  • Éthiopie, Ethiopia, patrimoine, heritage, développement, development, tourisme, tourism, mémoire, memory, institution, musée, museum, conservation, environnement, environment


  • Thomas Guindeuil
    courriel : t [dot] guindeuil [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Thomas Guindeuil
    courriel : t [dot] guindeuil [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Making heritage in Ethiopia », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, September 11, 2015, https://calenda.org/338795

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