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On the Taste of the Regions

Culinary Praxis, European Politics and Spatial Culture – A Research Outline

Bernhard Tschofen

Regional culinary 'specialities' are usually considered as indicative of the culture of specific areas, of their traditions and ways of life. Only recently has research begun to focus on the processes that constitute regional food cultures. This article traces the use of 'culinary heritage' as a concept in regional practices and European politics, developing an analysis of how everyday food practices are transformed first into cultural heritage, and then into cultural property. It then presents a comparative ethnographic project aiming at a cultural analysis of procedures involved in the EU food quality assurance system. In conclusion, the article proposes perspectives that may help fill the gaps in research identified in this context.

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Mary N. Taylor

Since the early 1990s, language used to speak of cultural practices once thought of as "folklore" has become increasingly standardized around the term intangible heritage. Supranational intangible heritage policies promote a contradictory package that aims to preserve local identity and cultural diversity while promoting democratic values and economic development. Such efforts may contribute to the deployment of language that stresses mutual exclusivity and incommensurability, with important consequences for individual and group access to resources. This article examines these tensions with ethnographic attention to a Hungarian folk revival movement, illuminating how local histories of "heritage protection" meet with the global norm of heritage governance in complicated ways. I suggest the paradoxical predicament that both "liberal" notions of diversity and ethno-national boundaries are co-produced through a number of processes in late capitalism, most notably connected to changing relations of property and citizenship regimes.

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Heritage

Renovation, Relocation, Remediation, and Repositioning Museums

Mary Bouquet

This article examines the changing relationship between museums and heritage using a number of Dutch cases. It argues that if heritage was once defined as being museological in character, this order of precedence is under revision as museums themselves are recursively transformed by heritage dynamics. Such dynamics include the display of renovation work-in-progress; the enhancement of historical collections by relocation to prominent new sites and buildings; the transformation of old industrial sites into new art and public spaces; and a mutual reinforcement between the urban landscape setting and the institutions that compose it by virtual means. Postcolonial heritage practices worldwide enfold museums in a further set of transformatory dynamics: these include claims on cultural property that was removed in colonial times, but also the strategic transformation of cultural property into heritage for didactic purposes. Museums are subject to the recursive dynamics of heritage, which are turning them inside out.

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Introduction

Owning culture

Deema Kaneff and Alexander D. King

'Culture' has become a powerful political symbol and economic resource in the information age, where the development of the service economy (including tourism) provides new opportunities to marginal groups and new challenges to dominant ones. In this introduction the authors explore a number of themes that are developed further in the following articles: the way in which 'culture' is produced, possessed and often transformed into a commodity for the market; the role of such reified culture in relations of power and inequality; the ownership of culture as a tool of identity and nation building. While to date such an interest has been largely limited to indigenous populations, here the discussion is taken a step further by focusing on the relevancy of owning culture in the Eurasian context. This allows us to expand our understanding of cultural property: as a tool available to any group seeking confirmation of an identity perceived to be under threat or as an instrument in the negotiation of a group's position vis-à-vis wider power structures.

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Jens Kreinath and Refika Sariönder

the Alevi Semah Ritual as Intangible Heritage .” International Journal of Cultural Property 20 ( 4 ): 381 - 405 . Babcock , Barbara A. 1980 . “ Reflexivity: Definitions and Discriminations .” Semiotica 30 ( 1 - 2 ): 1 - 14 . Bozkurt