Migrating Heritage, Networks and Networking: Europe and Islamic Heritage
This chapter discusses three aspects of the project: its historical background, the challenging institutional and political contexts, and the deliberate choice of a collaborative process which placed networking at its heart. Historians needed for their knowledge of immigration history were dismissed after the creation of the Ministry of Immigration and National Identity. The new department for networking and partnerships represents, and is in charge of, the operational connectivity between the central venue and the network, at regional, national and European levels. Collaboration between a national institution and a very large network requires regulation, equality of treatment and clear procedures, from decision making to the realisation process. More than anything, inclusion in national heritage gives the strongest symbolic sign of the recognition of migrants' participation in the history of France. The intensively collaborative process between the partners in the Cité's network has brought both consensus and opposition, worrying at times but mostly allowing new opportunities for interregional initiatives.