CBRL joined the Cultural Corridors of Peace (CCP) project from April 2019 until the end of January 2020 with the purpose of organising a ‘regional Bedouin gathering’ in Jordan to include Lebanese, Palestinian and Jordanian representatives. CBRL joined as a partner to host partner meetings in preparation for the gathering, oversee local management in Jordan for the event itself, and, through its networks, invite Jordanian Bedouin to participate.
Location: Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine
Project director(s): Inherit (Institute for Heritage and Sustainable Human Development), part of York Archaeological Trust (YAT), in partnership with CBRL Amman.
Lead institutions and funding:
- Inherit (Institute for Heritage and Sustainable Human Development), part of York Archaeological Trust (YAT)
- American University of Beirut (AUB)
- Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL)
- Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University
- British Council Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport
CBRL joined the Cultural Corridors of Peace (CCP) project led by York Archaeological Trust’s (YAT) Institute for Heritage and Sustainable Human Development (Inherit) in partnership with the American University of Beirut (AUB) from April 2019 until the end of January 2020. The CCP project is funded by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund (CPF), in partnership with the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. Inherit and AUB’s original and primary focus is with Bedouin communities from the Bekaa in Lebanon to document, archive, and safeguard their living memory and tangible heritage. In 2019, the project expanded to include collaboration with another CPF-funded project led by Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations designed to protect Bedouin lived cultural heritage in the occupied Palestinian territories through engagement with young people from the South Hebron Hills. The new phase’s purpose was to organise a ‘regional Bedouin gathering’ in Jordan to include Lebanese, Palestinian and Jordanian representatives. CBRL joined as a partner to host partner meetings in preparation for the gathering, oversee local management in Jordan for the event itself, and, through its networks, invite Jordanian Bedouin to participate.
During the last 100 years, nations and borders have come into existence that have disrupted the traditional mobile pastoral lifeway of the Bedouin, alongside sedentarisation, the impacts of conflicts, and massive economic transformations. The regional gathering was conceived to support Bedouin communities divided by borders today to come together to document and celebrate their cultural heritage. Significantly, the CCP’s broader aim is to “enable the Bedouin to voice to say who they are and the type of future they seek for their children, as well as for the children and grandchildren of Bedouin who no longer live the lifeway of their forebears, to connect with their heritage and to work for social justice and equal opportunities for these communities”.
An exhibition to celebrate Bedouin cultural heritage following the regional gathering had been planned to take place in the Levant, but political uncertainties meant the the exhibition was transferred to London, with Bedouin representatives invited to attend from all three groups. The exhibition, No Future Without Past, took place at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, over 10 days in January 2020, with an opening with all in attendance the day before. Covering all the floors of the venue, through art, photography, film and audio the exhibition was designed as an interactive experience to celebrate contemporary Bedouin tangible and intangible cultural heritage and raise awareness of their concerns.
The Cultural Corridors of Peace project provides a timely opportunity to address the heritage and needs of contemporary Bedouin whose lives have been vastly altered by the geopolitical changes of recent history. An online archive of photographs, film, interviews and further information is available at the project website.
Palmer, Carol. 2019. Cultural Corridors of Peace – safeguarding Bedouin cultural heritage in the 21st century (CBRL website research blog).
Palmer, Carol. 2021. ‘Cultural Corridors of Peace’ and a regional Bedouin gathering. Bulletin of the Council for British Research in the Levant 2020, p 26-27.
Published:13 December 2021