Interpretation is…Learning Humility

For the stakeholder engagement conference I’m organising at my current site in September, I invited a member of the community to give the closing presentation.  I was very keen to ensure it isn’t just the ‘professionals’ talking about involving stakeholders and communities in interpretation, and reporting how well – or not – this worked.  I … Continue reading Interpretation is…Learning Humility

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Dirt and all? Or: That’s what good interpretation is for

As far as J. Geraint Jenkins is concerned, the Welsh efforts to present the nation’s industrial heritage (!) are mostly doomed.  The reason is that sites, and coalmines in particular, are just not grimy enough.  He also points out that much fabric has been lost, leaving the remaining structures without the all-important context.  In presenting … Continue reading Dirt and all? Or: That’s what good interpretation is for

Interpreting a Sense of Place

About a year ago, I blogged about the sense of place I experienced when visiting a May festival in Germany.  At the time, I identified two ingredients to ‘a sense of place’: a ‘symbol’ and the ‘activity’ around it.  A few months later, I highlighted that in my opinion, an inclusive significance assessment will uncover … Continue reading Interpreting a Sense of Place

Understanding stakeholders (and their view of significance)

Two weeks ago I presented a paper on stakeholders to the online conference of Interpretation Canada.  I shared with delegates how I go about trying to understand the main stakeholders of a project. Step 1: Who are the main stakeholders? My first step is to identify who the main stakeholders are to begin with. I … Continue reading Understanding stakeholders (and their view of significance)

Interpretation as a living social practice

A few years ago, when I first started to study heritage interpretation at uni, we were asked to write a paper on 'The origins, purposes and developments of interpretation.' For me, the obvious starting point was oral history.  Oral cultures pass on and continue their traditions through the stories and songs they share: in my … Continue reading Interpretation as a living social practice

Significance, Significance – Why it’s so important

I've just returned from an excellent conference - the National Workshop of the US-American National Association for Interpretation.  I've picked up many good ideas that I will certainly blog about, but today I want to reflect on the responses I got to my own paper. I presented some of the research I've recently completed into … Continue reading Significance, Significance – Why it’s so important

Beware the generic, or: That’s what significance assessments are for

I recently had a very interesting chat with a colleague who is working on educational programmes.  They covered a whole range of topics that may be of interest to teachers and so encourage them to bring pupils on site.  I admired their ideas for a broad variety of possible projects, and yet one thing remained … Continue reading Beware the generic, or: That’s what significance assessments are for