European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal EFHA World

The Day After: Fashion and the Politics of Heritage

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a few notes on EFHA 5th International Conference

A week ago, at the London College of Fashion, we had our EFHA 5th international conference. It was a two-days full of engaging discussions and food for thought that attracted more than 140 fashion scholars and practitioners from across Europe and the United States.

The conference, titled “Fashion and the Politics of Heritage”, was conceived to reflect on the liaisons between fashion, heritage and the many definitions of politics, and it was a moment for academics and practitioners to get together and exchange critical positions, ideas and practices, contextualizing the role of politics in their research or in their everyday activities. The conference was divided into five sections: 

  1. Questioning Heritage and Fashion 
  2. Fashion, Heritage and National Identities
  3. Working with heritage / Tales From the Fashion Archive 
  4. Working with heritage / the Museum Perspective
  5. Queering Grounds / Queer Heritage between Academia and the Museum

As we expected, the sessions opened up a series of themes as how many definitions of heritage, fashion and politics are possible; what personal biographies – of people and of brands – tell us about the role fashion history has in studying political issues; what does it mean to manage archives of brands that are still active; what definition of politics museums use when evaluating the artifact in their storages and on display; how queer histories manifest through objects, influencing the construction of events and exhibitions. 

Given the high scientific value of the conference and the many requests to access the proceedings and presentations given by our speakers, we are working hard to turn the recordings into a podcast. The podcast will be ready in a few weeks and the link will be shared with all subscribers of our newsletter. There is still time to subscribe to EFHA newsletter here.