European Capitals of Culture - Manufacturing Futures Through Heritage
(University of Hull)
Paper short abstract:
This paper will investigate the mobilisation of the past through the European Capitals of Culture programme in the case of Valletta (Malta). It will consider the narratives presented in the candidacy and the current programme to emphasise Europeanness and a vision for the future focused on heritage.
Paper long abstract:
This paper will present an analysis on the heritage activities of one of the current European Capital of Culture 2018, Valletta, Malta. Not so long ago described as 'ambivalent Europeans' (Mitchell 2001), the Maltese have fully embraced this year's title, emphasising their Europeanness through a rich programme of cultural activities. This investigation will be based on an ethnographically-informed methodology that includes discourse analysis of key texts such as the European Capitals of Culture bid text, as well as participant observation and interviews, will reflect on the interplay of temporalities and the reframing of heritage narratives in the development of this programme (Hudson et al. 2017, Lähdesmäki 2014b). This analysis will consider the way in which the past wass mobilised in their original candidacy and their unfolding cultural programme this year. Perceived as a means of refashioning city identities (Sassatelli 2002) but also a powerful source of regeneration (Meekes, Buda and De Roo 2017), the paper will further reflect the hopes for the future that organisers and participants espouse. This analysis will also consider the integration or absence of migrant heritage in this vision for Malta's heritage future.
Encounters between past and future: ethnographic approaches on urban renovation, redevelopment, gentrification and heritagization