Drawing upon international case studies, and building upon Iain J.M. Robertson’s work on ‘heritage from below’, After Heritage sheds critical light on heritage-making and heritagescapes that are, more frequently than not, located in virtual, less conspicuous and more everyday spaces.
The book considers the highly personal, often ephemeral, individual – vis-à-vis collective – experiences of (in)formal ways the past has been folded into contemporary societies. In doing so, it unravels the merits of examining more intimate materializations of heritage not only as a check against, but also complementary to, what Laurajanne Smith refers to as ‘Authorized Heritage Discourses’. It also argues against the tendency to romanticize the fleeting and largely obscured means through which alternative forms of heritage-making are produced, performed and patronized. Ultimately, this book provides a clarion call to reinsert the individual and the transient into collective heritage processes.
Researchers in human and cultural geography, heritage studies and tourism studies will find this strong contribution to the developing field of Critical Heritage Studies an insightful read. Policy makers and heritage practitioners will also develop a deeper understanding of how heritage practices may benefit from the ‘heritage from below’ approach.