Carrie Patterson, Chair
Associate Professor of Art
Office Staff: 240-895-4225
Alumni Where are they now?
Matthew Fishel (studio art, 2001) completed an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. Originally interested in painting, Matthew has expanded his practice to include animation, video, installation, and digital imaging. He is a frequent contributor to RedStarKGB, an ongoing collaboration of filmmakers in Baltimore. His own film, "A Short Film Regarding Possibilities", was selected by the Maryland Film Festival in 2006. See his work at http://www.matthewfishel.com
Lo que es de todos, es de nadie: An Examination of UNESCO World Heritage and the Ancient Maya Cities of Palenque and Calakmul, Mexico
Abstract: The natural and built environments serve as physical and perceptible representations of the activities, rituals, and events that are performed within their boundaries. Humans designate spaces for the actions that are performed within them, and this designation of meaning creates place. Over time, however, the meaning of a place changes depending on who uses or inhabits it, or on what activities are performed within it. Through the World Heritage Programme, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is one institution that has the capacity to shape and change the meaning of a place. UNESCO designates sites throughout the world as “culturally and naturally significant” and bestows upon these places the title of “World Heritage site.” When this happens, sites that were once meaningful and culturally significant to members of the surrounding indigenous populations become internationally significant. This study approaches the pre-Columbian cities of Palenque and Calakmul in Mexico as two places representative of ancient Maya culture that have achieved World Heritage Status through the efforts of the Mexican government and UNESCO. Through this process, a cultural heritage that was once accessible to very few has become very public. As the sites of Palenque and Calakmul have achieved World Heritage Status, accessibility to these once sacred and privileged places for members of the surrounding indigenous populations has changed. This study examines the impact of UNESCO and the World Heritage Programme on these indigenous peoples who reside among or near the ruins of these once thriving Maya centers. It asks the questions, “What happens to a community when private places representative of their cultural heritage are transformed into public spaces through the World Heritage Programme?” As the World Heritage Programme designates sites as internationally significant, it also imbues them with new meanings, and cultural heritage that once belonged to very few becomes the property of all peoples of the world.