Lessons from a debate on the National Trust

On 11th November 2020, there was a short debate in the UK House of Commons on the future of the National Trust in England and Wales. It is worth analysing in particular the contributions of the debate’s initiator. They make for a textbook lesson on history vs. heritage, the power structures of hegemonies, and why … Continue reading Lessons from a debate on the National Trust

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Agonistic (Third) Spaces: Now more important than ever

Last week I came out of my personal, Corona pandemic-induced paralysis by presenting a paper at the Interpret Europe web conference. My topic was agonistic (third) spaces, and in preparing the presentation, I felt that creating such spaces is now more important than perhaps ever before.   I have already blogged about agonistic interpretation and … Continue reading Agonistic (Third) Spaces: Now more important than ever

Aesthetic Value is not an Excuse, Or: Why (Art) Museums Need Democracy

A couple of weeks ago, DIE ZEIT published an article on democracy in art museums. The article accepts that a museum is ‘a political space’ [1] and that there is validity in arguments calling for greater democracy and diversity therein [2]. However, the article asserts, these developments ‘almost inevitably endanger the freedom of art’ [3] … Continue reading Aesthetic Value is not an Excuse, Or: Why (Art) Museums Need Democracy

Approaching Interpretive Planning Agonistically

At work, we are getting ready for a major redevelopment of our local history museum. It is a good opportunity to think more about what an agonistic approach to interpretive planning might entail. Most of it is not revolutionary; in one way or another much of this has been or is being discussed if not … Continue reading Approaching Interpretive Planning Agonistically

Interpretation in a Post-Factual World

A couple of weeks ago, the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (Society for the German Language) declared ‘post-factual’ as word of the year 2016. As we enter into 2017, the post-factual approach to reality and politics appears set to continue. So I want to consider what this might mean for heritage interpretation.   Accepted interpretive philosophy … Continue reading Interpretation in a Post-Factual World