Governing Heritage, Creating Legacies

Workshop in Exeter, 18-19 April 2023

A wonderful two days with participants from heritage institutions, museum professionals, universities, artistic and activist communities, and data activists.


Heritage (and patrimoine, in French), as a concept and practice, is hemmed in by law on one side and kinship on the other. Closely related to ‘inheritance’, it suggests valuable property that can be owned, enjoyed and transferred inter-generationally, and is protected by rules and institutions. When heritage gains official status, such rules are fully or partially determined, enforced and adjudicated by state institutions and their violation can lead to civil and criminal penalties. What can be inherited necessarily suggests exclusivity – property moves along bloodlines, assumes affinity and evokes affect or emotions.