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Heritage in the making: Rural heritage and its mnemeiosis at Naxos island, Greece

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stelios Lekakis



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This paper explores and conceptualises the texture and values of rural heritage, by drawing on empirical evidence from Naxos island in Greece. Informed by landscape theory, it critically examines the character and significance of this composite past that is made up from an assemblage of tangible and intangible elements interwoven with the island's agricultural life as recently as the mid-20th century. The paper uses a mix of qualitative research methods for the co-creation of data with surrounding communities and follows a dialectical approach to analysis, whereby community discourses of rurality are situated within a broader historical context that encourages reflection on the role of ideology and socio-economic relations in heritage reception and interpretation. Most notably, the study shows that the dominant imagined discourses are antagonised by autobiographical counter-narratives that transform meanings and associative values at local level. As it is argued, the man-made and natural components of the islands' rural landscape form together a heritage ‘in the making’, a process of bottom-up heritage designation by the surrounding communities, an act of ‘mnemeiosis’ outside the official narrative and cultural management practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lekakis S, Dragouni M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Rural Studies

Year: 2020

Volume: 77

Pages: 84-92

Print publication date: 01/07/2020

Online publication date: 25/05/2020

Acceptance date: 14/04/2020

Date deposited: 02/08/2019

ISSN (print): 0743-0167

ISSN (electronic): 1873-1392

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.04.021


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Funder referenceFunder name
AH/P014453/1Arts & Humanities Research Council-AHRC (formerly AHRB)