To date, over 100 such sites in 60 countries have been identified. These include sites that people still call home, or sites in disrepair, as well as museums, memorials, and cemeteries. Data has also been collected on which of these sites have received World Heritage designation (although none have received it specifically for leprosy/Hansen’s disease heritage) or national recognition from their governments, often related to leprosy/Hansen’s disease heritage.
photo: Qui Hoa, Vietnam
Form a Cultural Heritage Network
The Coalition is forming a cultural heritage network composed of individuals and organizations in the leprosy/Hansen’s disease field, as well as institutions working in cultural heritage, to promote the value of leprosy/Hansen’s disease heritage sites around the world. photo: 2016 World Forum Presenters (from left): Patricia Devia Kuhnlenz, Agua de Dios/IDEA Colombia; Deirdre Prins-Solani, Education, Culture and Heritage Specialist, South Africa; Valerie Monson, Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, Hawai'i; Shu-yi Pearl Wang, Chinese Cultural University, Taiwan. Courtesy Juan Kuhnlenz
Promote the Memory of People Who Have Lived at Heritage Sites
The Coalition works with individuals and organizations to recognize current and promote new ways to preserve and promote the memory of the people who have lived at heritage sites. This will ensure that they are included in their country’s history, as well as show how their experiences can promote social change. We are doing this through hosting, participating in and presenting at conferences and meetings on heritage, human rights and memory; conducting oral history; identifying and commemorating artists, musicians, and poets and their creative works; and researching and recognizing other ways memory has been preserved including publications, museums and monuments.
photo: Francisco Guerrero (left), a resident of Fontilles, Spain, is interviewed by Jose Ramiréz, Jr. as part of the Oral History Project. Courtesy Magdalena Ramirez
Apply for Serial Transnational World Heritage Status
For identified, qualified sites, Serial Transnational World Heritage status will be pursued. Sites established since the second half of the 19th century, rich in tangible and intangible culture, and whose governments have taken efforts to document and preserve their history, will initially be evaluated.
For example, in Japan and the Philippines, the history of leprosy is told in modern high quality museums and other interpretive sites, located in the environments and buildings once used for hospitalization and segregation. In Hawaii, South Africa, Greece and Malaysia leprosy/Hansen’s disease heritage sites including Kalaupapa, Robben Island, Spinalonga, and Sungai Buloh have been carefully conserved and are now protected by their governments.
photo: Spinalonga, Greece by Henry Law
Conduct heritage assessment
A tool to collect comprehensive information on leprosy/Hansen’s diseae heritage sites has been developed. Information includes when the site was established, number of buildings and condition, conservation efforts, noteworthy efforts of individuals who lived there, material culture and intangible cultural heritage. This will be used to inventory sites around the world, as well as for assessment for World Heritage status.
photo: list of names of 357 buried in Bungarun Cemetary, Australia, courtesy of The Department of Indigenous Affairs
Support Efforts of Residents of Heritage Sites to Remain in Their Homes
In several locations, such as Lo Sheng in Taiwan and Sungai Buloh in Malaysia, residents are striving to save their historic communities from demolition, so they may live out their lives in these places that have become their homes. Coalition members have already been actively involved in supporting the efforts of Lo Sheng residents. The Coalition will offer a broader forum to increase awareness of these situations.
photo: Yu-Chan Tung Hsu in her garden, Lo Sheng, Taiwan
Restore Family Ties
Because the history of leprosy is often a history of separation and broken family ties, access to the history of leprosy helps restore these ties. Experiences from Norway, Hawai'i Brazil and the Philippines show that this need increases as the social stigma decreases, and will exist for generations to come. The successes of different countries to foster the restoration of family ties will be identified and promoted.
Increase Awareness of Leprosy/Hansen’s Disease Heritage Sites Worldwide
As only a relatively few sites will be eligible for World Heritage status, leprosy/Hansen’s disease heritage sites and the lives and memories of the people who lived there, will be presented through an on-line forum that identifies sites and promotes a dialog among individuals and institutions committed to recognizing this important history.
Identify Opportunities for International Participation and Partnership
There are many ways that this significant history can be shared with new and varied audiences, including partnering with groups who share similar histories of exclusion and resistance. Such opportunities will be continuously explored and communicated.
Permission must be granted for use of any photo or quote on this web site.
International Secretariat International Coalition of Historic Sites of Exclusion and Resistance c/o International Association for Integration, Dignity, and Economic Advancement, IDEA P.O. Box 651 36 Fall Street Seneca Falls, NY 13148 USA (315) 568-5838 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org