In her influential book Uses of Heritage (2006), archaeologist Laurajane Smith introduced the term ‘authorized heritage discourse’ (AHD) to describe the western heritage practice which since the late nineteenth century has developed towards a dominant position as a ‘universalizing’ discourse of our own time, and “privileging monumentality and grand scale, innate artefact/site significance tied to time depth, scientific/aesthetic expert judgement, social consensus and nation building”.
Rather heritage can be seen as a process, a performance (Crouch, 2010), an act of communication (Dicks, 2000) and a set of relationships with the past undertaken at certain sites and places. In this sense, all heritage is intangible.
Spatial aspects of cultural heritage:
(1)Interrelatedness of places and people;
(2) Landscape and its composite ‘scapes’, e.g. urban heritage-scape;
(3) Interrelatedness of virtual and real space; and
(4) Fluid spaces emerging from growing mobility of individuals enabled by ICT.
Crouch, David, “The Perpetual Performance and Emergence of Heritage”, in Waterton, E., Watson S. (eds.), Culture, Heritage and Representation. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010: 57–71.
Dicks, Bella, Heritage, Place and Community. University of Wales Press, 2000.
Smith, Laurajane, Uses of Heritage. New York: Routledge, 2006.