Accepted Paper:

Collectors of memorie(s): heritage and resistance in the new rurality  

Author:

Marta Farré Ribes (Sevilla University )

Paper short abstract:

With the destruction of the traditional agrarian model, rural collection initiatives are emerging as a strategy of cultural survival; they reveal the social desire for permanence, in the symbolic aspect, for values associated with a culture overwhelmed by modernity.

Paper long abstract:

Collection initiatives in a rural area of Catalonia (Spain), where old yards, wine-cellars, stables and entire communities are transformed into "reservoirs of memories", are emerging as localised strategies of "cultural survival". With heritage as a tool for cultural resistance, they are being developed in response to the changes dictated by an urban, industrial and technified socio-economic model.

Starting from the privacy of the home, a complex investigation of this phenomenon not only shows that the initiatives are not limited to the private sphere, it also ties them to the transfer processes of memories that are part of the community's mechanisms of creative continuity.

Within the neoliberal context, the initiatives demonstrate the need for continuity, in memory, of a culture in extinction. With the destruction of the traditional agrarian model, they reveal the social desire for permanence, in the symbolic aspect, of those values associated with a culture overwhelmed by modernity.

Furthermore, collecting raises the issue of what we name "personal expressions of heritage", a standpoint from which we produce an intersubjective interpretation of the processes of constructing heritage that is removed from holism and objectification. The broadening of the concept of cultural heritage allows us to refer to a living and plural heritage and from these initiatives we reflect on the role of the custody of heritage when people and collectives appropriate what has always been theirs: the ability to decide their own future.

Panel Rur001
Ethnography of rural spaces: between utopia and neoliberalism