Mobility and migration generates a tension between mobile people and place-bound and place-making heritage geographies. We aim to explore this tension by linking pilgrims and tourists, immigrants and emigrants to spectacular heritage, anticipatory heritage and heritage of absence.
Heritage often refers to specific sites, objects and practices that are imagined as place-bound, while people are not: they move as pilgrims, tourists or migrants, while making localized heritage claims. As temporary and intermittent travelers, pilgrims and tourists are drawn to spectacular heritage in Debordian sense, i.e. sacred and/or picturesque heritage, as visitors and spectators. Immigrants to Europe leave their spatial heritage environment behind to settle in a place that is increasingly characterized in terms of "European Judeo-Christian heritage." Many immigrants are eager to make their new place their own by creating "anticipatory heritage [which] relates to the ways that societies seek to construct the future memory of their time" (Stengs 2018). Such heritage may involve replicas of cult objects and practices and architectural styles mirroring heritage and religion at home. The heritage of many emigrants from (specific places in) Europe, on the other hand, is celebrated in their absence; the heritage of absence denotes the absenting moment through the heritagization of disappearing cultural practices and/or of their heritage constituencies; or through the exclusion of particular groups from more encompassing, inclusive heritage denominations, as in the celebration of Jewish or Moorish heritage in their absence (Salemink 2017). Oftentimes, such heritagizations involve religious or secular forms of sacralization.
This panel investigates the connection between heritagization as localizing, place-making and sacralizing practice and the formation of heritage geographies against the backdrop of different forms of mobility - pilgrimage, tourism, migration - in terms of spectacular heritage, anticipatory heritage and the heritage of absence.