Updating the past: Modern(ist) heritage and (trans)national identities

Principal researcher: Marta Prista

Research group: Practices and Politics of Culture


Heritage | Modernism | Europe | Mediterranean | Lusophony

Funding Institution

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)



Start date


End date



DL 57/2016/CP1349/CT0001


The modernist past marked by a quest for an alternative modernity to modernisation is nowadays rescued by politics of memory and cultural practices in local, national and international arenas. Extoling values of modernity and difficult memories of totalitarian histories, modernism’s recent time and universalist project challenges heritage conceptions and uses. Notwithstanding, previous research suggested that the modernist heritage is mobilising and being mobilised in the reconfiguration of historic and cultural transnational imaginaries, enabling identities to repositioning in centre-periphery relations, with strategic and symbolic purposes and impacts in political, economic, cultural and social spheres. This projects aims to examine how modernism is being construed as past in the (re)imagining of such histories, cultures and values at local, national and transnational scales, through its spatialisation in architectural heritage. Approaching the topic setting of from Portugal will allow to unfold the research in the analysis of different post-colonial imaginaries and their negotiation: Europe, the Mediterranean and the Portuguese speaking countries community