A building in the Fouad Boutros corridor in Beirut damaged in the 2020 blast that decimated the city. (photo by Yasmine Dagher, courtesy the World Monuments Fund)

Africatown near Mobile, Alabama, Benghazi’s Historic City Center in Libya, and heritage buildings that were affected by the 2020 blast in Beirut are among 25 at-risk sites listed in the 2022 World Monuments Watch (WMW) released today, March 1.

The biennial list, issued by the World Monuments Fund (WMF), highlights threatened cultural, historical, and geographical sites across the globe. In this edition, the WMW listed four thematic areas that describe challenges shared by many communities globally: climate change, underrepresentation, imbalanced tourism, and crisis recovery. 

Benghazi Historic City Center in Libya in 2020 (photo by Salwa Burgeia, courtesy the World Monuments Fund)

Hurst Castle, a coastal fort built under Henry VIII’s reign along the English Channel, recently suffered the collapse of its east wing and extensive cracks in its west wing due to rising waters and increasingly tempestuous storms wrought by climate change. The National Trust, Britain’s national heritage conservation agency, has warned that as many as 17% of British sites could be gravely endangered by climate change in the next 40 years.

Meanwhile, the Mosque City of Bagerhat in Bangladesh, a town filled with 15th-century mosques, roads, bridges, and freshwater tanks, is endangered by frequent flooding. The historic site is located in a country that ranks among the most severely impacted by the climate crisis.

The traditional territory of the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas threatened by natural resource extraction and desecration of ancestral lands requires formal legal recognition to ensure its future (photo by Rebekah Hinojosa, courtesy the World Monuments Fund)

Garcia Pasture in Texas, the archaeological site of a pre-Columbian village with a profusion of rock art, ruins, and human burial alongside natural treasures like wildlife and plant life, has long been neglected by federal authorities who refuse to recognize the Carrizo/Comecrudo Indigenous people as a tribe. To add insult to injury, because members of the tribe are not legally granted Indigenous status, they lack essential land and cultural protections that would safeguard their heritage.

In a virtual event today, Lynn Meskell, anthropologist and WMW election panel jurist, described Garcia Pasture and other locations as “sites of trauma which many national authorities would perhaps remain silent on.”

Below is the full list of sites included on the 2022 World Monuments Watch list:

  • Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Training Home in Kinchela, Australia
  • La Maison du Peuple, Ouagadougou in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • Mosque City of Bagerhat in Bagerhat, Bangladesh
  • Lamanai in Indian Church Village, Belize
  • Monte Alegre State Park in Brazil
  • Fortified Manors of Yongtai in Fujian, China
  • Abydos in Egypt
  • Hurst Castle in Lymington, United Kingdom
  • Asante Traditional Buildings near Kumasi, Ashanti Region, Ghana
  • Sumba Island in Indonesia
  • Tiretta Bazaar in Kolkata, India
  • Cultural Landscape of the Bunong People in Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia
  • Heritage Buildings of Beirut in Lebanon
  • Benghazi Historic City Center in Benghazi, Libya
  • Koagannu Mosques and Cemetery in Maldives
  • Teotihuacan in San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico
  • Hitis (Water Fountains) of the Kathmandu Valley in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
  • Tomb of Jahangir in Lahore, Pakistan
  • Yanacancha-Huaquis Cultural Landscape in Miraflores District, Peru
  • Alcântara and Rocha do Conde de Óbidos Marine Stations (Almada Negreiros Murals) in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Fabric Synagogue and Jewish Heritage of Timișoara in Timișoara, Romania
  • Nuri in Sudan
  • Africatown in Mobile, Alabama, United States
  • Garcia Pasture in Brownville, Texas, United States
  • Soqotra Archipelago in Yemen

Jasmine Liu is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she studied anthropology and mathematics at Stanford University.