Representing Representations in Mining: Cultural Heritage Assessment and Photography
(Anthropologica Pty Ltd)
Paper short abstract:
Heritage assessment that considers insights and traditional practices of those previously marginalised is a complex undertaking in mining contexts. Photography is a crucial tool in unravelling complexity. This paper discusses critical heritage and shaping contemporary practice using photography.
Paper long abstract:
The assessment of cultural heritage in mining contexts is a key component of what is loosely termed the 'Social License to Operate'. In this context, heritage assessment proves a complex undertaking as it intersects professional cultures which often are not predisposed to considerations of the 'seen and unseen'. If assessment goes beyond conventional archaeological method and embraces insights and traditions of those who have been marginalised in the past, complexity is increased. This paper posits that photography is a crucial tool in unravelling complexity in practice, but only if it is theorised as a tool for representation of complex meaning. Photography in this mode of practice is more than the "capture of an essence". It must be characterised, not as a function of representation, but as part of the process of representation of heritage itself and what this means for the relevant culture. With this in mind, the paper then discusses critical heritage and shaping contemporary practice using photography.
Critical Heritage and Photography