Accepted Paper:

Punks and drunks: counter mapping homelessness in Bristol  


Rachael Kiddey (University of York)

Paper short abstract:

Mapping contemporary Bristol with homeless people reveals a culture left purposefully unrecorded; systematically and repeatedly made invisible. Ideas raised include how traditional functions of heritage i.e. to pass on established ‘truths’ and model desirable lifestyles jar with experiences borne by homeless people and how the ‘treasure trove’ attitude to artefacts prevents the dirty, insanitary and illegal from being considered ‘heritage’. Counter mapping reveals long legacies of ‘places of exclusion’ within Bristol.

Paper long abstract:

Central Bristol features a wealth of traditional heritage including the place from which John Cabot sailed, the Matthew and a plethora of architecture dating to the city's richest years as a global maritime hub. Surrounding these sites are 'gap sites' and 'development opportunities', squats, hostels, bandstands and bushes known to homeless people as shelter, places to 'work', drink and take drugs and places to 'skipper'(sleep). Interpretation of Bristol's historic landscape has never previously included the experience of homeless people. Faro recognises 'the role of cultural heritage in the construction of a peaceful and democratic society, and in the processes of sustainable development and the promotion of cultural diversity'. The use of counter mapping aids the inclusion of silent voices, enriching the wider understanding of the built environment, patterns that form within it and how these impact on society.

Panel S03
Who needs experts? Counter mapping cultural heritage