Accepted Paper:

The predicaments of participatory heritage: the Vaneesterenmuseum in Amsterdam West  

Authors:

Chiara De Cesari (University of Amsterdam)
Anne Beeksma (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC))

Paper short abstract:

By looking at the modernist heritage of multicultural Amsterdam West and particularly at the project of the Van Eestermuseum, this paper examines the ambivalence of participatory policies and the ways in which they draw people into their own government.

Paper long abstract:

How does heritagization articulate with forms of neoliberal, distributed governmentality? This paper reflects on a specific deployment in Amsterdam West of what is the hegemonic discourse of cultural heritage policy since the 1990s, and on its tensions and predicaments. This transnational discourse conceives of heritage and culture as resources to be mobilized for other, non-cultural purposes, and particularly for promoting tourism-led socio-economic development and for solving a number of social ills. Secondly, this discourse fundamentally delegitimizes the role of the state in favor of a broader social "involvement" or "participation" of what is variously called the "people" or the "citizens" or the "local communities" and/or in favor of various kinds of "public-private partnerships". In so doing, cultural policy has appropriated the language and forms of grassroots organizing and turned them into governmental devices. By looking at the modernist heritage of multicultural Amsterdam West and particularly at the project of the Van Eestermuseum, this paper will examine the ambivalence of participatory policies and the ways in which they draw people into their own government.

Panel Heri03
Imperatives of participation in the heritage regime: statecraft, crisis, and creative alternatives (Cultural Heritage and Property Working Group)