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Co-creating the future of heritage in-the-making: Empirical evidence from community deliberation at Naxos Island, Greece

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stelios Lekakis


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Although participatory heritage has become a ‘buzzword’ of cultural policy, it remains a challenging field for related practice. Set at Naxos Island, Greece, the research presented in this article forms part of a bigger project exploring the values and meaning-making processes in rural landscape, currently at risk of neglect and over-tourism. Here, we test the usability of the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) as a tool for allowing citizens to deliberate and devise community desirable actions for the protection and invigoration of rural monuments. As we discuss, apart from enriching our participatory ‘toolbox’, NGT can offer some insight into bottom-up processes of valuing the past and producing its historicity. Furthermore, our workshop participants initiate a dialogue, wherein they advocate for ‘hands-on’ solutions, which although fit largely with standard heritage management practice, are rearranged in alternative hierarchies; an atypical organisation of actions that reflects community aspirations to preserve a yet unsettled type of heritage that is currently ‘in-the-making’. This supports our main theoretical argument that participatory approaches shall not be treated instrumentally but positioned as part of a wider prefigurative politics project to resist dominant conservative and positivist processes of heritagisation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dragouni M, Lekakis S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Heritage Studies

Year: 2023

Volume: 29

Issue: 4

Pages: 294-313

Online publication date: 25/02/2023

Acceptance date: 13/02/2023

ISSN (print): 1352-7258

ISSN (electronic): 1470-3610

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2023.2181376


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