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The World Heritage List: interview with Jasper Chalcraft

Jasper Chalcraft explains how the world heritage label evolved and provides insights from his research in Tanzania.

Jasper Chalcraft, from the University of Sussex, talks about the World Heritage list.

Jasper Chalcraft questions the role of the World Heritage list with regards to local communities. He points to two threats:

  • Branding strategies aimed at attracting tourists can be to the detriment of people living near the site.
  • Nationalist ideologies using the label to promote their particular view of the past.

In addition, he explains UNESCO’s attempt at broadening the framework in order to move beyond a Eurocentric view of heritage:

  • In 1992, with the introduction of the cultural landscape designation.
  • In 2003, with the inclusion of intangible practices within world heritage.

“Perhaps everything is heritage”

Jasper Chalcraft ends his talk with this provocative statement, suggesting that expanding the concept may dilute the meaning of the World Heritage list.

Do you think extending the understanding of what is heritage beyond built heritage is an effective way to establish a more inclusive heritage policy approach?

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Cultural Diversity and the City

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