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Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

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Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

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Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

Ross Dowling and David Newsome present an original, substantial and much-needed contribution to the field which will further our understanding of geotourism in theory and practice. This Handbook defines, characterises and explores the subject through a range of international perspectives and case studies, identifying geotourism as a rapidly emerging form of urban and regional sustainable development.
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Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

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Meghann Ormond

Closed adoptions – where birth and adoption records are legally sealed to obscure adoptees’ biological parentage – were once the norm in many Western Anglophone countries. Grassroots resistance to closed adoption relied upon the belief that deprivation of knowledge of their true biological origins could lead to psychological trauma among adoptees. In this chapter, the author reflects on her own mother’s sense of deprivation, her desire for a coherent origin story and her consequent process of cobbling together disparate analogue, digital and biotechnical fragments of legally, religiously, scientifically, commercially and familiarly authorised and authorising heritages from among diverse resources rendered intelligible, relevant and truthful by societal and (bio)technological transformations over time. In so doing, the author calls attention to complicated power relations in everyday personal heritage practices that challenge the simplistic pitting of ‘heritage from below’ (Iain Robertson, Heritage from Below, 2012) against ‘Authorised Heritage Discourse’ (AHD) (Laurajane Smith, Uses of Heritage, 2006).

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After Heritage

Critical Perspectives on Heritage from Below

Edited by Hamzah Muzaini and Claudio Minca

Focusing on the practices and politics of heritage-making at the individual and the local level, this book uses a wide array of international case studies to argue for their potential not only to disrupt but also to complement formal heritage-making in public spaces. Providing a much-needed clarion call to reinsert the individual as well as the transient into more collective heritage processes and practices, this strong contribution to the field of Critical Heritage Studies offers insight into benefits of the ‘heritage from below approach’ for researchers, policy makers and practitioners.
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Iain J.M. Robertson

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Ana Aceska and Claudio Minca

Since the Bosnian Wars (1992–95), the city of Mostar has been divided into two sides, East and West, which are dominated, respectively, by residents commonly defined as Bosniaks (Muslims) and Bosnian Croats (Catholics). The Yugoslavian war has left an indelible mark on the physical space of the city, leaving behind ruined residential areas, destroyed religious objects, bombed statues and empty squares. As such, Mostar has become the most challenging (and expensive) Bosnian project undertaken by many state and non-state actors, who aimed at rebuilding and reuniting the war-torn city. This chapter focuses on the ways in which non-institutional actors constructed a different idea of cultural heritage in contrast to the over-politicized idea of heritage that was dominant in the state narratives after the wars. It looks in particular at one exemplary case: the Bruce Lee statue, erected in 2004 by the members of the local non-profit Mostar Urban Movement, in order to promote the figure of this Chinese-American Hollywood martial arts movie star, whose films were very popular among the youth in the last decades of Yugoslavia. They envisioned the statue as a symbol of common values and shared taste among individuals of all different ethnic and religious backgrounds in Mostar and, as such, as a symbol of togetherness and community in the divided city. Despite the fact that the statue was welcomed by many city dwellers from both sides, it had a very short fate – a few days after being erected, the monument was vandalized and, consequently, removed. The chapter thus reflects on the ways in which and through which heritage from below is produced and practised by local actors in this context. More specifically, the following questions are asked: What makes the ‘heritage from below’ so vulnerable and unsustainable in contested cities? In what ways and contexts can ‘heritage from below’ be better mobilized for reconciliatory existence in contested cities?

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Richard Carter-White

The sites of former Nazi death camps have become established as important places of European heritage. While previous research has revealed how the experiences of visitors to these sites are powerfully mediated and scripted by museum authorities, recent work has demonstrated the capacity of visitor photography to facilitate a more active encounter with sites of Holocaust heritage. This chapter extends the analysis of visitor photography at former death camp sites by turning to the ‘participatory culture’ of digital media, through which such images are shared and recontextualized. Focusing on the photograph-sharing platform Instagram, the chapter critically examines both the photographic practices of visitors and the digital mediations that exceed the agency of individual users. The author argue that the capacity of social media to host unexpected juxtapositions of photographic context exceeds any simple binary of heritage from above or below, resulting in an ambivalent ‘democratization’ of heritage.

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Jamie Gillen

In Vietnam, the motorbike presents a paradox: it is the fundamental mode of transportation throughout the country yet it is also a relatively recent entrant into the country’s transport market. It is one of the country’s most important signs of class, mobility and identity yet it is already being replaced in stature by the automobile. It is a representation of timelessness and newness; it is both the cornerstone of Vietnamese mobility and rejected as being out of date. This chapter considers the construction of heritage in Vietnam against the tensions inherent to the motorbike through a framework of ‘aspirational heritage’. The author challenges the idea that heritage is something with a strong historical dimension and instead focuses on the ways in which heritage is constructed in the present and shapes the future. In imagining and practicing the motorbike as something basic to ‘Vietnameseness’, though also fleeting to that identity, the author argues that heritage ‘from below’ demonstrates the arbitrary temporalities and memory-making machinery at play in conventional understandings of heritage.