Intramuros Learning Sessions episode no. 40


If you believe that history is only written with pen and paper, think again. Bombs and bulldozers were and are as much part of history-writing and often proved much more effective in the long-run. Since the dawn of history, built heritage has been extremely political: Be it to claim ancient lands, to justify the oppression of one group by another, or to establish the dominance of one religion over another. Whether the fight is over power, religion, race, or class, built heritage since ancient times has been extremely contentious and remains such to this day. Drawing examples from all over the globe, Erik Akpedonu takes us on a journey through heritage history and illustrates how built heritage has been deliberately destroyed, and reconstructed again and again in the name of political ideologies, nationalism, religion, class struggle, political correctness, historical revisionism, justification of dictatorship and oppression, and many more. Concluding with a discussion how such politicizing of heritage has delayed the rebuilding of Intramuros for more than three decades, the talk illustrates that built heritage is never neutral, but is subject to many often conflicting interpretations.

  • Guest speaker: Erik Akpedonu
  • Moderator: Rancho Arcilla

About the Speaker: Erik Akpedonu

Erik Akpedonu teaches Art Appreciation/Architectural History and Philippine Colonial Art & Architecture at the Ateneo de Manila University.

He studied Architecture at the Lippe University of Applied Sciences in Detmold, Germany. As Research Associate at the Ateneo`s Institute of Philippine Culture, Erik Akpedonu has been conducting extensive surveys of historic Filipino architecture in Bohol, and in Metro Manila as Project Manager of the Architectural Heritage of Manila Project, 1571-1960.

He has published extensively on architecture, urbanism, culture, and heritage, and is co-author of Casa Boholana: Vintage Houses of Bohol (2011).

About the Intramuros Learning Sessions

The Intramuros Learning Sessions (ILS) is the educational webinar series of the Intramuros Administration (IA). The IA is an attached national government agency under the Department of Tourism. 

Topics are interdisciplinary and cover themes related to Intramuros and Manila studies, Philippine studies, as well as cultural heritage studies. Pursuant to IA’s charter, the ILS aims to contribute to the strengthening of the Filipino’s national identity and sense of belonging and pride.

For inquiries contact us at [email protected]

See Previous ILS Episode
Manila’s Tourism and Cultural Development Plan
See Next ILS Episode
Tala-Talaan: Documenting the Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando, Pampanga Towards a Safeguarding Plan of an Intangible Cultural Heritage

Check out our previous ILS episodes here

For more information contact the Center for Intramuros Studies via [email protected]
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