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1 Landscapes as Heritage Critical Theory and the Anthropology of Heritage Landscapes is about the sociopolitical contexts of landscapes as heritage. Heritage landscapes, as defined here, include urban, Indigenous, and post-industrial landscapes, wildlife management and wilderness areas, archaeological sites, coastal and marine environments , community-conserved areas, land-trust preserves, and temple complexes .1 Landscapes figure prominently in people’s lives and imaginations. As places of memory and belonging, landscapes often transcend theoretical understandings : they hold knowledge, memories, histories, songs, traumas, and so on. As the opening vignette illustrated, landscapes are also sites of conflict and crisis, displacement and loss. Such “negative” or “difficult” heritage often emerges in the wake of genocide and war, diaspora, development, and environmental disasters (after Macdonald 2009; see also Stone and Sharpley 2008; Timothy 2011). The military interventions at the World Heritage sites of Timbuktu in Mali and the Temple of Preah Vihear in Cambodia provide extreme examples (see, e.g., Meskell 2016; Silverman 2011). But perhaps less well known and equally compelling is how the heritage landscapes of Matsushima in northern Japan, designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty, have since become a shrine to remember people lost in the 2011 Tohuku earthquake and tsunami. What these cases all share is how landscapes become more than the scene of enactment; they are also the means by which communities negotiate identity, nation-state boundaries, or sovereignty, or by which they come to terms with difficult events. This book seeks to examine such political dynamics, cultural processes, and “frictions” (after Tsing 2005). Landscapes are central to the business of heritage: they function as tourist attractions, entertainment venues, recreational playgrounds, respites and refuges , chronicles of historical events, and memorials and performance spaces. They also serve to legitimize identities and promote state and industry interests (see, e.g., Ringer 2013; Rojek and Urry 1997). As such, heritage landscapes are politically charged. In Rwanda, for example, the government heavily promotes Landscapes as Heritage / 5 its natural landscapes both to deflect attention from the national genocide and to draw Western travelers to witness these dark tourism sites (Bolin 2012). The genocide, when presented, is abstracted and simplified, occluding many of the key events and their impact on communities. This tactic is common. In a powerful anthropological and archaeological study of the town of Kimberley in South Africa, now a World Heritage site, Lindsay Weiss (2009) shows how the “big hole” left in the wake of the diamond rush was remade into a tourism site, where De Beers reinvented its own history and refashioned the mine as a tourist destination . She shows how the history of diamond mining “is delivered to a touring public according to the romantic registers of adventurisms and glitz, coolly overstepping the tens of thousands of laboring and broken bodies” (2009:40). Such historical abstractions require our attention. Shifting our focus away from why tourists travel to a particular place and attending instead to the culture of these sites should render more visible how such sites are engaged in subverting or occluding complex relationships and legacies that continue to play out in surprising ways. This book foregrounds heritage as a site of negotiations. Heritage is a global industry that engages a network of institutions, scientists, policy experts, agencies , and practitioners who influence policy issues at local, national, and international levels. In landscape contexts, experts may provide opinions in land rights and native title claims, bioprospecting contracts, biotechnology patents, water rights and sacred sites claims, ecosystem inventories, and nominations to the World Heritage list. Such negotiations are not only technical matters but also a “cultural practice, a form of cultural politics” (Logan et al. 2015:1). Take, for example, the World Heritage cultural landscape designation developed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and adopted by the World Heritage Committee in 1992. The designation proved to be an important corrective to address the overrepresentation of Western European sites and natural heritage properties and underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples’ heritage on the list (see Boer and Wiffen 2006; Cleere 2001; Fowler 2004). Yet, as I have argued elsewhere (Baird 2009), the designation also expanded what constitutes a landscape and positioned heritage managers as experts along the full heritage continuum—and in some cases, outside their expertise and qualifications. As such, ideas of heritage were largely determined through the agendas and recommendations of Western experts, international heritage agencies, and the nation-state and were reframed to fit specific World Heritage values (Baird 2009). Although disparities have changed...


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