Keywords:Digital Heritage, Cultural Conflicts
Digital technology rapidly permeated all aspects of human existence in the majority of the world during the early twenty-first century, concurrently reshaping social understanding of the present and interpretations of the past. Indeed, the process has reconditioned age-old social communication and expression practices, while opening up inventive spaces for information organisation, data preservation, as well as for the creation and distribution of knowledge, beliefs and cultural values. The commercialisation of the Internet in the 1990s, coupled with the simultaneous emergence of the World Wide Web, have played a particularly significant role in the development and popularisation of public digital cultures (Gere 2008: 207-224). However, relying as such on digital technology for their exposure, sustainability and expansion, digital cultures were not as conspicuous back then as they turned out to be, especially in the 2010s when social media platforms, augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and smart communication devices rose to prominence and became integrated across the otherwise discontinuous geographies dominated by technologically-advanced nations. Since then, it has hardly been possible not to be conscious of how digital cultures have re-energised well-established cultural memories and legacies, on the one hand, and perpetuated innovative cultural dispositions, on the other. In doing so, digital technology, and perhaps digital cultures more specifically, have adapted a set of recognised traditional identities to the social pressures and political demands of life in the twenty-first century. At the same time, they have given expression to otherwise marginalised, non-conformist, and even contentious identities.
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