EASA2014: Collaboration, Intimacy & Revolution

(P032)

Exploring the complexity of heritage practices through cooperation

Location M-213
Date and Start Time 03 August, 2014 at 09:00

Convenor

Jurij Fikfak (Research Center ) email
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Short Abstract

This panel will explore the extent to which the concepts of collaboration and cooperation can aid to explore the nuances and complexities of everyday life linked to heritage sites and protected areas.

Long Abstract

This panel will explore the extent to which the concepts of collaboration and cooperation can aid to explore the nuances and complexities of everyday life linked to heritage sites and protected areas. Researchers have in the last decades made significant strides in researching heritage as social process, shedding light on the existing diversity not only of heritage actors or stakeholders but of understandings of heritage itself. However, this diversity has often been employed as a counterpoint to normative understandings of heritage that anthropologists often address from the perspective of those written out of it. The fact of divsersity or difference -- compounded with the reality of hegemony and the exercise of power -- has been often equated with or invoked in a bipolar frame of conflict. The aim of this panel is to point to the limits of such a frame and to ask whether the concepts of collaboration and cooperation can open up new analytical and methodological spaces for researching multiplicity in heritage practice. Focusing on collaboration and/or cooperation does not imply idealizing diversity nor turning a blind eye to inequality, hierarchies, structurally conditioned sites of tension, ambiguity or power. We are interested in discussing how a nuanced approach to cooperation can aid us in studying the introduction of new forms of management at heritage sites (such as community inclusion projects), tracing shifts in configurations of power in heritage landscapes and their implications for existing stakeholders, and the potential and limits of voice for heritage actors in diverse contexts.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

"Heimat & Herrschaft" revisited: heritage futures and the case of Scottish independence

Author: Ullrich Kockel (Heriot-Watt University)  email

Short Abstract

Taking an interactive model of contrary cultural change as its starting point, the paper explores the heritage implications of a "yes" vote in the Scottish referendum from the perspective of a co-created independent nation state in a post-nationalist Europe.

Long Abstract

The dialectic of "Heimat" and "Herrschaft" has been postulated as the driving force behind regional development and the evolution of heritage (Kockel 1988). This paper takes the model a step further and considers its application in a contemporary politico-anthropological context. Rather than taking the two forces as confrontational, as originally postulated, their co-creative potential is assessed with particular reference to the current debate on Scottish independence. In an allegedly post-nationalist Europe, the rise of micro-nationalisms has been much commented on. Where a putative nation such as Scotland finds itself at the crossroads of nation-statehood, the spectre of alternative / conflicting potential heritages arises. The paper looks at how the protagonists in the debate, seeing themselves as opponents, actually collaborate in co-creating heritage futures that can confuse and disorientate the electorate, to the point where either side votes contrary to its own best interest.

Authenticating traditionality as a part of the social process

Author: Mateja Habinc (University of Ljubljana; Faculty of Arts)  email

Short Abstract

Since 1950s the Tourist association of Bohinj has organized three events, presented as traditional. What the association has conceptualised with that expression and how this was influenced by social processes will be presented through strategies of authenticating traditionality of the events.

Long Abstract

Tourist association of Bohinj is an organizer of The Cows' ball, the Village serenade and the Country wedding, the three events considered as presenting traditions of the area and thus contributing an important share to its cultural identity, the way it is presented to the tourists. However, the organizers' perception of tradition changed in time which happened also because an association tried to take into account broader, professional understandings of heritage, tradition and traditionality. This transmission of concepts can best be identified when analysing organizers' strategies of authenticating traditionality. Since the beginnings of the events in the 1950s the traditionality of the events was ascribed to their (imagined) persistence as well as to the (in)tangible culture they present. Back then the most authentic presentation of the traditional (in)tangible culture was conceived as mostly staged performance, designed also with a help of a (semi-)professional, while in time a nationally widespread event model was also adopted, having included a "real" civil and religious wedding ceremony as a part of an event. Nevertheless the texts of the plays were also shortened in time and made more amusing, mostly textual aspects of the events were considered as those which contribute most to the authenticity of the events. Only lately temporal and spatial contexts of the (in)tangible culture were also taken into account while social aspects of (in)tangible culture, the performance of the events itself and their staged mode are still left aside.

Back to grass-roots: performance and resistance in the heritage site

Author: Felicia Hughes-Freeland (SOAS)  email

Short Abstract

This paper explores how collaboration and cooperation are being used to challenge a top-down approach to intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in a festival in Indonesia, and revisits the theoretical chacterization of ICH.

Long Abstract

Intangible Cultural Heritage is a contested concept. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (2004) has argued that intangible culture is 'metacultural production' which undermines underlying knowledge by transforming the role of performance makers, the fundamental conductions for cultural production and reproduction, and the speed of time. This has contributed to a lively and diverse range of critical scholarship (Smith and Akagawa 2009).

This paper engages with Kirshenblatt-Gimblett critique with reference the Five Mountains festival, which is associated with one of Indonesia's two oldest UNESCO world heritage cultural sites, the Borobudur temple compound. This is research in progress and the latest phase of longitudinal research in Indonesia that started in the 1980s. By analysing performance as emergent and collaborative, and prioritising the dynamics of socialisation and interaction in the processes of performance making, it is possible to avoid frequent top-down approaches that invoke state cultural policy or heritage site management issues. Recognising the use of 'grass-roots' by performance practitioners allows us to gain insight into heritage itself as inherently processual and creative, with cooperation and negotiation at its heart.

Heritage as collaboration

Author: Katarzyna Puzon (CARMAH, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)  email

Short Abstract

This paper examines the impact of the ideas of collaboration and cooperation on heritage practices in the Lebanese context. By investigating the activities of the Modern Heritage Observatory it attempts to move beyond their understanding as mere acts of resistance.

Long Abstract

The discourse on heritage has revived in recent years in Lebanon along with the emergence of manifold initiatives and heritage associations which began to proffer the idea of heritage as 'the rightful legacy'. In the aftermath of the civil war (1975-1990) the socio-spatial transformations of the capital, in particular the radical intervention in Beirut's historic core, attracted mixed reactions and many concerns were voiced by city residents, social activists, architects and urban planners. Some of them argued that heritage had fallen victim to urban development, yet, needless to say, this critique can assuredly be viewed as part of the struggle for identity in a post-war condition wherein the conception of heritage began to gradually shift from a matter of family legacy to its understanding as a more collective phenomenon.

This paper intends to explore heritage practices in post-war Beirut. More specifically, it focuses on the activities of Modern Observatory Heritage (MoHO) which acts as a network working for the preservation of the modern cultural heritage. By avoiding treating conflict and collaboration as an opposing pair, I analyse the complexities and contradictions of collaboration in the field of heritage in a post-war context.

Heritage practices in the region of Polish Spisz

Author: Janusz Baranski (Jagiellonian University)  email

Short Abstract

The subject of the presentation is multiplicity of heritage practices in the region of Polish Spisz. The findings contribute to the development of new forms of collaboration and cooperation between various heritage actors which also means new forms of heritage management.

Long Abstract

The subject of the presentation is heritage as social process in the region of Polish Spisz connected, to a large extent, with the political system changes over the past twenty years. Spisz is a southern borderland area with a heterogeneous national identity, with the diversity of heritage actors, including anthropologists who often impose normative understandings of heritage. Cultural change is in fact happening, and its dynamism seems to be stimulated by a bipolar frame of dispute that can be observed in at least three cultural fields: Polishness and Slovakness, globalisation and the revitalisation of localness, minority local cultural activists /anthropologists and the views of the majority of inhabitants. A special role in heritage discourse is played by aesthetics - adaptations of cultural foreign forms, musealisation of traditional forms and the latest non-traditional work that draws on regional mythology. The period under discussion is characterised by new phenomena in globalisation, glocalisation, heterogenisation, syncretisation, new traditionalisms and diasporic forms of life or medialisation, which are the product of relatively intense changes taking place in the cultural space. The findings open up new analytical and methodological spaces for researching multiplicity in heritage practice in contemporary regional/local identity politics, as well as may contribute to develop forms of collaboration and cooperation between various heritage actors which means new forms of heritage management.

Memovoice: participative approaches to community-based conceptions of heritage in the Dolomites

Author: Emanuel Valentin (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)  email

Short Abstract

In 2009, UNESCO inscribes the Dolomites on its World Natural Heritage List without mentioning the Ladin minority living in these mountain landscapes. As anthropologist of Ladin descent I am currently facing these shortcomings in a project which combines "indigenous" and "collaborative" anthropology.

Long Abstract

In 2009, nine geomorphological sites of the Dolomites have been inscribed on UNESCO's World Natural Heritage List (WNHL.), which had a big impact on the attractiveness of these sites not only for research but also for tourism. But this inscription does not mention at all, that the Dolomites are constituted by mountain landscapes which are predominantly inhabited by the Ladins, a Raetoroman speaking minority in Northern Italy, even if it was the high degree of isolation given by the Dolomitic mountain environment which determined the survival of these communities as linguistic enclaves in the transitional zone between the Italian and German speaking areas. On the contrary, Ladin communities and their emic perspectives have been apparently ignored in this heritagization process.

As anthropologist of Ladin descent, I am currently facing these shortcomings in a research project which combines "indigenous" and "collaborative" anthropology. By following a participative and community-based approach I want to shed light on the existing tension between an elitist top-down and a popular bottom-up definition of "heritage". The development of a community-based sustainable heritage management which should first of all be defined by the population and which is shared between civil society and public institutions is at the centre of the project. In this paper, I will present the on-going research process and give some first insights in the applied methodology constituted by "Memoryvoice", a term I have coined inspired by the "Photovoice" method, and the creation of a "Participative Digital Archive".

Negotiating conflicts, mediating solutions in a national park

Author: Jurij Fikfak (Research Center )  email

Short Abstract

The paper analyzes the strategies of negotiating the conflicts as well as intensive collaboration between different stakeholders that arise in the daily practices of heritage production, representation, and commercialization in Triglav national park.

Long Abstract

The paper analyzes different strategies of negotiating the conflicts that arise in the daily practices of heritage production, representation, preservation, commercialization and promotion in Triglav national park. However, heritage practices do not necessarily result in conflict: instead, one can also witness moments of creative collaboration, alliance, synergy and revitalization.

Our goal is to identify and analyze existing strategies of negotiation and conflict resolution that have been developed in order to deal with the conflicts in the politics of heritage management at the level of practice. We examine these strategies and the social actors who implement them through an analysis of the interaction between the major actors - stakeholders of the park linked to heritage protection in chosen cases of conflict, and the forms of communication they employ. In researching this issue we focus on the specific role of the Triglav national park Public Institution in negotiating conflicts of interest among heritage stakeholders in the park. We place our analytical emphasis on the activities, duties and organization of the TNP Public Institution as the central actor in the politics of heritage protection as well as special agencies, providing mediation between different stakeholders.

Producing a heritage site through collaboration between archaeology, heritage management, and tourism in the case of Patara, southern Turkey

Author: Eisuke Tanaka (Fukuoka Jo Gakuin University)  email

Short Abstract

Focusing on the case of Patara, south Turkey, this paper explores how a ‘heritage’ site is produced through collaborations of diverse commitments of stakeholders (archaeology, heritage administration, tourism and the local community etc.) to the idea of protection.

Long Abstract

Recent discussions concerning heritage have pointed out the production and reproduction of normative discourse of heritage at the expense of local narratives of the past. They have also shown that anthropological and archaeological practices themselves have been implicated in the construction of such dominant heritage discourse. However, it is worth noting that actors and stakeholders (experts, government officials, locals etc.) commonly show their commitments to the notion of protection although what it means to protect heritage are different for these people. In other words, claiming control over things marked as 'heritage' assumes the idea that such objects should be protected.

This paper explores how the idea of protection works in the production of heritage using the concept of collaboration. It particularly examines the ways in which commitments of different stakeholders to the idea of protection work together to constitute material remains of the past as a 'heritage' site. In doing so, the paper specifically focuses on the case of Patara, south Turkey. In Patara, tourism and archaeological excavation arrived almost at the same time, which produced tension between archaeologists and the locals who wanted to promote tourism. However, as the ancient city remains emerged out of the sand through excavations and the following restoration works, the relationship between archaeologists and the locals also changed. Analysing the production of Patara as a 'heritage' site, this paper attempts to suggest how the notion of protection works as a common ground for collaboration between archaeology, heritage administration, tourism and the local community.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.