ECHOES <br>European Colonial Heritage Modalities in Entangled

European Colonial Heritage Modalities in Entangled Cities

February 1, 2018 to July 31, 2021
42 months

ECHOES addresses a pressing dilemma at the heart of contemporary Europe: the fact that while the history of empires and colonialism undoubtedly constitutes a shared European past, this past remains strangely silent in official narratives about Europe’s ‘heritage’; those things it values enough to save for future generations. We argue that the EU urgently needs not just to acknowledge this dilemma but to reflexively and progressively include it at the heart of its identity. ‘Europeanising’ difficult colonial heritage is becoming all the more necessary today as the EU operates in increasingly global contexts, relationships and geographies, where its ongoing ‘deficit’ towards accepting colonialism as a part of European history collides with the palpable ‘surplus’ of colonial memory in much of the outside world with which Europe grows ever more entangled. ECHOES therefore proposes that the memory of colonialism needs to find its place in contemporary European heritage debates. Drawing on the proven expertise of a team of leading international scholars, ECHOES will show that it is through exploring the creative activities and engagements with colonial legacy in European and non-European cities still imbued with manifold traces of the colonial past that one can identify new forms of progressive heritage practice. Through a facilitation of horizontal science diplomacy between cities and the creation of new links and partnerships with artists, museums and civic groups, ECHOES will foster new futureoriented forms of intercultural dialogues based on de-colonial understandings of colonial relations. When lifted to a European level this science diplomacy will contribute to a rethinking of existing tensions between Europe and its global neighbours.


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under agreed No 770248


University of Hull (UK) - coordinating institution

Aarhus University (DEN)

University of Amsterdam (NL)

University of Warsaw (PL)

University of Rennes 2 (FR)


Partner institutions:

Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil

University of Cape Town, South Africa

colonial heritage, intercultural dialogue, history and memory, museums, heritage practice
Funding Entity
European Commission