Session 05

Dark Heritage (from below)
Chairs: Claudio Minca (Macquarie University) & Hamzah Bin Muzaini (National University of Singapore)

Inspired by the work of Laurajanne Smith and Iain Robertson (see also Muzaini and Minca, 2018) this session intends to critically explore how alternative forms of 'heritage from below' are performed by groups and individuals in sites charged with historical and political meaning. It also invites interventions focused on personal, often ephemeral, individual experiences of institutional heritage sites, together with alternative ways in which groups of individuals 'socialize' such sites often diverting if not even transgressing their official meaning. Contributions addressing the practices related to the visit of sites marked by a difficult or dark past are particularly welcomed. Many sites of past death and suffering have become today major tourist attractions: the question of what is legitimate for visitors do to and not to do in those sites, and the political meaning of their practices-on-site are key elements to appreciate the complexity and the inherently contested nature of any contemporary spatial re-enactment of difficult past events.