Review by Joe Flatman
I do not disagree with anything that Kalliopi Fouseki says in this book about the management of cultural heritage. As she summarises in its conclusion, ‘heritage as a thing and as a process is a dynamic, complex system… [comprising] non-linear, dynamic interrelationships between materials, values/meanings, place/space, senses/emotions, time, resources and skills/competencies that underpin the ways in which heritage emerges, shifts, declines, and revives over time’. Anyone involved in heritage management in the modern day will attest that they are engaged in the above; if they read the whole book, they are no more likely than me to disagree with anything it says, does, or recommends about working in urban, ‘everyday’, museum, ‘dissonant’, and performative spaces. These are the pleasures as well as perils of our world. But none of this is innovative. As such, the primary beneficiaries of Fouseki’s book will be undergraduate and postgraduate university students, the audience for whom it was clearly written. For them, this will be a useful primer on contemporary heritage management. For the rest of us, this book will do no harm, but reveals no surprises. It is, however, freely available as an Open Access e-book for the curious.
Heritage Dynamics: understanding and adapting to change in diverse heritage contexts
UCL Press, £25, and Open Access e-book