The Newsletter 69 Autumn 2014

Heritage beyond the boundaries: a manifesto

Joshua ChanIan DullGiulia Di PietroAdèle EspositoSara GuagniniAbby Hsian-huan HuangIsaura van Den BergRita Wittek

The notions of ‘heritage’, nowadays shared worldwide, were originally shaped following European cultural backgrounds and are mainly based on material authenticity, aesthetic qualities, and historical and artistic values. Disseminated on an international scale, first by the colonial powers, then by organizations such as UNESCO, and appropriated and reassembled by local agents, these notions deeply influence the way heritage is currently defined and managed on the global level. An emergent thinking developed by researchers, but also by international organizations, institutions, and practitioners in the field of critical heritage studies has recently started to call into question the dominant paradigms that influence heritage recognition, and to evaluate the relevance of these paradigms outside Europe, in particular in postcolonial contexts. We have observed that the current avenues of inquiry in heritage studies are keen on producing well-argued critiques of institutional heritage practices, but show some difficulties in proposing positive and forwardlooking approaches for dealing with heritage in contemporary societies.

Read the complete manifesto in the attached document on the right.