Archive for the ‘World Heritage’ Category

On not being in Bonn

Juli 1, 2015

The world of heritage is circling around Bonn at the moment, with the World Heritage Committee (WHC) honoring the city by meeting there this year. The World Heritage Committee is the main decision making body to UNESCOs 1972 Convention on Preserving and Safeguarding Natural and Cultural Heritage. Hence, whoever considers themselves to be a heritage professional or professional in spe is trying to either physically be in Bonn this week or at least watch the livestream provided by the WHC. For us it is THE event of the year and I would be lying if I would say I did not envy anyone who is either participating, volunteering or just observing. It is the perfect opportunity to get first hand insights on how the WHC works and functions, how they take their decisions and of course to network. Following the live stream you can see all these people “famous” in the world of heritage. And the inspiring opening speeches by the Director General and even Mutti Merkel’s video message (although the latter was more or less the disappointing rephrasal of the 1972 Convention’s objectives in German).

However, although I do never want to see ever again hate envy everyone making this amazing experience at the moment, it does have its upsides for those being left behind. We decided to make it the most memorable week of the year, so we could counter every professional and awesome memory they share, with one of our own, which so far works out perfectly.

A huge part of the meeting is highly political and can be very frustrating. Endless discussions on amendments that sometimes circle around one tiny phrase or even word until everyone can agree. (Not to mention that after it is agreed upon the whole discussions starts over for the french version…) Also, I must admit I am not very good at networking anyway, so why not leave it to some of the most amazing and committed people I know who really deserve this opportunity and worked so hard for it. It is hard for everyone to admit that other people excel at something you would also wish to shine, but to accept your flaws is the first step to improvement. I know this sounds cheesy. However, you need to reflect on your actions and realise wrong doings to observe the qualities you admire in others and try to pick up on some of those.

So all in all I guess it is a good thing that with the current heat wave I am not sitting in a climatised conference center, but on the sunny balcony, eating ice cream (those of you who know me well will realise this is an euphemism for working at the store and finishing papers, while juggling with Master Thesis literature) and watching the life stream for only the parts I can endure and actually want to follow. Starting on Friday the new nominations will be discussed so if you are interested to get an insight on the proceedings take your laptop to the lake and watch the session their 😉