Accepted paper:

Heritage, ecology and authenticity in the Catalan Pyrenees

Authors:

Juan Frigolé (Universidad de Barcelona)
Camila del Mármol (Universitat de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

The aim of this paper is to discuss the production of discourses of heritage, ecology and authenticity as technologies of the capitalistic system of governance, and their potentiality to produce common values and identities. It is based on data gathered through long term ethnographic fieldwork focusing on recently emerging service economies in the Catalan Pyrenees.

Paper long abstract:

The aim of this paper is to discuss the production of discourses of heritage, ecology and authenticity in the Catalan Pyrenees, which has undergone deep changes in the last decades. It will focus more specifically on a valley that has recently seen a progressive substitution of former agricultural and livestock production sectors by service economies including tourism, property development and public service. The emergence of this new economy implied a reorganisation of the social structure, as well as of forms and styles of life within this valley. It was accompanied by a process of societal crisis and depopulation. We will argue that discourses of heritage, ecology and authenticity can be thought of as technologies of the capitalistic system of governance that has accompanied the development of a new productive system. In this sense, the creation of a natural park, museums, the revalorization of heritage, etc. is preceded by the production of such discourses. These elements allowed the implementation of a new economic system based on tourism and the construction of second residences in the villages. The cultural production is in the core of this new economy. But it's not just about economy, but of political economy. We will explore how these discourses were developed, taking into account not just the official production of its meanings but also how they have been adopted, contested and rejected by the local population.

panel W033
Anthropology of policies and ideology of capitalism in the EU