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The Thematic Symposium on “Heritage at Risk: connecting the Tangible and Intangible” was Held
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From November 16th to 19th, 2020, the USAR Thematic Symposium on “Heritage at Risk: connecting the Tangible and Intangible”, co-organized by Nazarbayev University and the UASR Heritage Sub-Alliance, was held successfully.


Gultas Kurmanbay, leading scholar in Nazarbayev University, and Claudia Chang, professor of Anthropology Emerita, were the co-chairs of the symposium. The symposium focused on lasted four days, with webinars on the first three days and a discussion of student video presentations.

Experts, from home and abroad, including the Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, University of Liverpool, UK, University of Glasgow, UK, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, Institute of Archeology of the REBPUBLIC OF Kazakhastan, University of Chicago, USA, Liverpool School of Architecture, UK, UNESCO Silk Road Serial Tranational Nomination, State University of New York, USA, discussed on topics of “Creating Connections: Current Heritage Scholarship in the Silk Road Region”, “Protecting Resources at Risk: Global Practices in Heritage Management”.

On the first day, first of all, Lei Yanjun, Deputy Secretary General, Secretariat of University Alliance of the Silk Road, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation and Exchanges congratulated the opening of the Symposium.Perter Hommel, Lecturer in Archaeomaterials from University of Liverpool, UK, gave a speech on “Hearth and Home: Promoting the Identification, Investigation and Protection of Prehistoric Settlement Landscapes in Southern Siberia”. Gavin Slade, Associate Professor from Nazarbyev University, Kazakhstan, reported “in the Gulag’s Shoadow: Places and Practices of Remembering and Forgetting Penal Trauma in Kazakhstan”. After a break, Guillaume Tiberghien, Lecturer in Tourism Management/Marketing, University of Glasgow, UK, made a speech on “Kazakhstani Heritage and Politics of Authenticity in Tourism: Opportunities and Challenges”. Then Lina Liu, Associate Professor from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, delivered a speech on “Trans-Eurasian Exchanges: A Look from Inside Kazakhstan”. Nikolai Tsyrempilov, Associate Professor from Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, gave a speech on “Visualizing Sacred Geography of Kazakhstan: Overview of an Interdisciplinary Project Based at NU”.

Assistant Professor from Nazarbayev University, Eva-Marie Dubuisson, made a speech on “Creating a Website Dedicated to Archaeology in Kazakhstan”. Researcher from Institute of Archeology of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Natalya Voyakina, gave a talk on “Heritage Management in Kazakhstan-Rationfication and Implementation of the Convention”. Deputy-Director for Science and External Relations from International Network of the Silk Roads UNESCO Programme delivered a speech on “Current Problems of the Enhancement of the Heritage of the Great Silk Road in Kazakhstan and the UNESCO Silk Roads Programme”. Binqing Zhai, Professor from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, gave a lecture on “Conservation of HanChang’an Capital Heritage Site and the Impact to Local Indigenous Lives” after a break. Professor from Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, Andrey Filchenko, gave a speech on “Contemporary Pratices of Language Documentation as Cultural Heritage Preservation”. Director from University of Chicago, Gil Stein, talked on “Preserving Cultural Heritage Along the Silk Road”. Jeffery Altschul, Founder from Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis talked on “Building a Furture without losing the Past: The Challenging of Cultural Heritage Management”.

When it came to November 18th, a roundtable discussion was raised among panelists made up of experts from Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, Liverpool School of Architecture, UK, UNESCO Silk Road Serial Transnational Nomination, State University of New York, USA, and North Kazakhstan Region on the Future of Heritage Management in the Silk Road Region.

On the last day, videos from student presenters from National University of Sciences & Technology, Pakistan, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Russia, Benha University, Egypt were shown to the experts. After Q & A session, awards were presented to the student panelists.


This webinar provided a platform for global specialists to exchange ideas and co-work for future management of heritage. It received favorable comments from the participants, who held the opinion that this seminar had a positive impact on promoting the future protection and management of heritage in the Silk Road Region.

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