Invited Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Dr Bryony  Onciul,

Senior Lecturer in Public History, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus

Bryony Onciul is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Exeter, and the Director of a new MA and MRes in International Heritage Management and Consultancy. She specialises in critical heritage, focusing on community engagement and the indigenisation and decolonisation of heritage and museology. Recently she has been researching the impact of climate change on heritage. Her last book is Museums, Heritage and Indigenous Voice: Decolonizing Engagement. She has worked on many grant funded research projects doing engaged research in Canada, UK and Oceania. She is the Founder and Chair of the UK Chapter of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies and an elected member of the international Association of Critical Heritage Studies Executive Board since 2016.


The Role of Community Engagement in Decolonising Heritage



Community engagement is an increasingly common approach in heritage management. Thoughtful collaboration can be a key step towards enriching the ways we conceptualise and practice heritage. It means more than just working with others, but reconsidering the frameworks that currently determine what is possible.

Based on my book Museums, Heritage and Indigenous Voice: Decolonizing Engagement and recent work, this paper explores the power relations in community engagementand proposes the need to think about these relations in terms of ‘engagement zones’. The paper will draw upon examples from Canada, where relations between Canadian heritage professionals and First Nations Indigenous communities can be politically charged, given the history of colonialism, recent acknowledgement of cultural genocide, and a call to action in 2015 to decolonise and indigenise heritage in Canada. This means working with the principles set out by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which state that indigenous communities have rights to access and control their heritage.

Using case studies, the paper will explore how heritage professions engage with communities, how power is negotiated within engagement zones, and how different cultural approaches can be utilised to address sensitive and difficult histories. The paper will then discuss the challenges of institutionalising change, and explore the post-engagement period, particularly how to negotiate the lasting legacies of co-created exhibitions.

Juanjo Pulido

UNDERGROUND Archaeology Heritage & People/SOPA Congress.

Degree in Art History from the University of Extremadura [Spain]. Professional archaeologist and heritage manager, he has participated in several research projects on the study of rock art in Extremadura and Portugal, and has worked and directed multiple archaeological projects in Castilla La Mancha, Andalusia and Extremadura. As co-responsible for the UNDERGROUND Archaeology Heritage & People group, he specializes in the design of projects related to community management of cultural heritage. In this sense, in 2012 he coordinated the MAILA PROJECT: social management of the Roman site of Los Barruecos, in Malpartida de Cáceres, and in 2013, he co-directed the CINETÍNERE Project: Traveling cinema for the social recovery of heritage in rural areas. In summer 2016, he participated as an international teacher in the VIII TAVI16 Vertical Workshop, Landscapes and Inclusive Territories: Challenges in the construction of urban-rural fabric, developed in the city of Bogotá, and organized by the University of La Gran Colombia. He is also a member of the SOPA Community: Ibero-American Network for the social management of heritage and the collective memory, secretary and co-creator of SOPA: International Congress for Heritage Socialization in Rural Areas, in which he also works in image and communication , and is coordinator of LA DESCOMMUNAL: Iberoamerican Magazine of Heritage and Community. Currently also part of the management team of the MASAV [Open Museum of the Sierras de Ávila and Valle Amblés], in the Province of Ávila, Spain.



Strategies for the development of participatory processes around rural heritage



This presentation aims to share tools that change the ways we relate to our culture: emancipating knowledge through the expansion of this knowledge and the co-creation of content and methodologies; approaching cultural heritage in a multiplicity of ways; enabling local agents to develop innovative and sustainable cultural and economic initiatives in each site, in a horizontal and bidirectional way. Raising these issues facilitates interested participation, since they can work from what people want to learn and teach, so that all the work to be done is through collective input. The need to approach communities where access to the redistribution of knowledge is complicated on a large scale, but more feasible on a small scale, allows generating new dynamics of heritage management, collective, participatory and mainly, integrating.



networks, community management, expanded heritage, memories, knowledge, rural

Dr Helen Stefanopoulou

Researchers in Schools

Helen Stefanopoulou attained her BA in Archaeology from the University of Southampton and her MA in Mediterranean Archaeology from the University of Bristol. Her doctoral research (University of Southampton) focused on the modern cultural biographies of Philopappou Hill and Plato’s Academy in Athens, Greece, through residential activism. Helen has designed and instructed a number of children’s enrichment programmes aimed at discovering the past and its importance in the present. She is currently participating in the ‘Researchers in Schools’ programme delivering university-style tutorials on Community Archaeology to secondary school pupils.


Whose park is it anyway?



Philopappou Hill and Plato’s Academy constitute two of the most extensive parks within central Athens—and perhaps the most contested in terms of their access, status, and their use and appropriation by neighbouring local communities. The parks’ dual function as recreational and archaeological spaces has brought to the fore a number of issues in recent years, primarily as a result of neoliberal governance, top-to-bottom, stagnated archaeological practices, and a lack of effective collaboration/communication between state services and local communities. As such, Philopappou Hill and Plato’s Academy feature prominently in reclamations made by residential movements in their effort to use, access, and protect the spaces. These movements take action on various levels—from mobilising against municipal and state authorities, to organising events and activities for community engagement as well as tending to the parks’ everyday needs. The particular communities are therefore dynamically engaging with archaeological heritage in diverse and creative grassroots activities—the crucial question still is, how can state and archaeological services participate in these whilst maintaining horizontality?

Eleni Tzirtzilaki,

Dr. Architect -Community Artist, Nomadic Architecture Network

EleniTzirtzilakiisanarchitectandcommunityartist. Shecreatesactivitiesthroughacomplexartwhichincludeswalking, poetry, painting, text and performance. She studied architecture in Florence and her PhD thesis (School of Architecture, NTUA) is entitled “Displaced Urban Nomads in Metropolises. Contemporary Issues on commuting in the city”(Nisos publ. 2008). In 2005 shecreatedtheNomadicArchitectureNetwork ( Much of her work can be found in the edited volume “Nomadic Architecture. Walking in Vulnerable Landscapes” (Futura 2018).A number of her activities relate to the peripatetic art, such as: “Procession on the traces of residence. Crossing Eleonas”, ” Water Girls Water Boys. Lost Paradise (in Kifissos)”,“A visit to the place. PartisanNitsa-Eleni Papayannakis”,”Revolution Bodies”. She was actively involved along with other artists in the occupation of the Embros theater, 2011-15. She recently adopted a feminist approach with an interest in gender violence, the home and how it transforms, history, the archives. “Home as a Fabric”, a project that Eleni has been working on for the past three years, mainly concerns women. It has been performed several times as a performance-workshop and ended with the silent walk in Sifnos. Her artwork “Memoria. Women in the Mountain” and its Public Readings at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rethymnoncommemorates and honours the women who became partisans in Western Crete during the Civil War.


Moving to the community. On the limits



The presentation examines the importance of community in relation to cultural heritage. How important is it? How does a community defend its cultural heritage? When does this happen? Where;At Platos Academy the community defended its place and memory against the construction of the Mall. Community action is based on co-feeling and is immediately effective. A strong community of artists was created around the occupation of the EmbrosTheater, 2011-15, and reenergized the abandoned theatre and former printing house, a particularly important building in downtown Athens.Resident communities can bring immediate results when activated. Hence, the artist mixes with the locals and creates action, while defending the community and the cultural heritage.

Dr. Aris Anagnostopoulos,

Honorary Lecturer University of Kent, HERITΛGE Public Director

Aris Anagnostopoulos holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent. He has trained as a historian at the University of Leicester. His post-doctoral work is in the interdisciplinary field of archaeological ethnography. His research interests focus on the politics and poetics of the material aspects of the past in the present; he has also published extensively on the creation of public space in early 20th century Crete. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork with several archaeological projects, including the Kalaureia Project in Poros, Greece, and Koutroulou Magoula at Neo Monastiri, Fthiotida, Greece. He has been the director and principal instructor of the Archaeological Ethnography Summer School in Gonies, Crete since 2014. He currently works as a public programs director with the Heritage Management Organization, holds a Honorary Lectureship at the University of Kent, and is teaching at the Heritage Management MA (Kent & AUEB) in Elefsina as well as the Anthropological Research Laboratory at Panteio University, Athens.

Dr. Eleni Stefanou,

Dr. Archaeologist-Museologist. Hellenic Open University, MSc Management of Cultural Organizations. HERITΛGE Public

Dr. Eleni Stefanou is an archaeologist – museologist (PhD, University of Southampton, UK). Since October 2008 she has been teaching at a number of Greek Universities on courses related to the theory and practice of museum studies, museum education, and management of cultural heritage, while also collaborating with diverse cultural and educational institutions on museum planning, educational design and community archaeology and heritage programs. From October 2013 she teaches as an Adjunct Lecturer at the postgraduate course Management of Cultural Organisations (MSc) of the Hellenic Open University. She has participated in many Greek and international conferences. Her publications and her research interests evolve around the ideological uses of the past in the present, as these are shaped through the fields of museology and cultural heritage, archaeological ethnography, community engagement, reception and interpretation studies, memory practices and education, i.e. the predominant fields that shape the intimate relationship of various social groups with the past.

Newsletter Sign-up