I am working on the heritage conservation practice in Algeria. The aim of my research is to formulate best practice advice for the heritage conservation in the country, based on evidence collected from interviews undertaken among a wide spectrum of individuals composing the present Algerian society.
My research first looks into creating a historiography to document the origins and evolution of the heritage conservation legislation and practice in Algeria, starting from the early colonial period to present day, influenced by the French classical views on Algeria, to establish the diagnosis of the lack of effectiveness of heritage valuation today.
It then aims at collecting evidence to support a new conservation philosophy based on the social valuation of the people who experience their heritage and to whom it belongs, in order to decolonize the present conservation practice inherited from French neoclassicists like Viollet-le-Duc and Prosper Mérimée, present in Algeria in particular and in formerly colonized countries in general, that silences indiginous voices to the benefit of a colonial and imperialist agenda.
Samir is an Algerian historical sociologist. His background is in architecture and town planning, during which he has studied multiple issues related to identity and memory, including notions around heritage construction and human interrelationships related to their common history. He is particularly interested in how people decided what was their heritage and what wasn’t.
His research interests are in heritage values, more precisely how local people who experience historic sites where they live or interact do so, in an attempt to better understand the social valuation of heritage and explore more solutions for a sustainable heritage valuation and conservation. He interrogates whether, other than nationalism, other factors could allow for an effective heritage practice, like religion and environment.
Academic year 2020 - 2021:
Academic year 2021 - 2022: