The heritage of excluded groupsMarginale gruppers kulturarv
Displacement, movement and separation of people seem to be among the most prominent features of human existence. The dispersion of populations and cultures across many geographical regions and societies requires that previously solid and grounded notions are reconsidered from an angle of trans-nationalism and globalization. This goes, not the least for questions of heritage, of ownership of discourses of past and present which are important elements in present-day struggles over identity and belonging. Despite the fact that immigrants form a relatively large share of the population of most Western-European countries and hence contribute in a substantial manner to their economic and cultural development, these groups leave only very limited imprints on the official branding of heritage and heritages sites of the countries. The aim of the chapter is therefore to discuss the notion of heritage, and it's ability to capture and incorporate the multiple and often contradictory cultural practices of different groups of actors just as it seeks to point towards new paths that may enable scholars to transgress the rather static and confined view on local history, which often lies implicit in the heritage perspective. Parts of the booming literature on transnationalism and diaspora cultures are scrutinised to clarify how these approaches deal with material culture and heritage sites. In order to illustrate some of the fallacies and potentials encountered when trying to ‘unveil' the heritage of excluded or marginal groups, the article draws on a number of cases from Sweden, Germany, Denmark and other places and discusses how different actors are represented in the narratives of the places they inhabit. Furthermore it discusses how immigrants themselves perceive their position in specific sites. Finally we trace the formation of different migrant belongings in the cases and scrutinize the identity narratives through which they are stablilized.
Ashgate Research Companion To Heritage and Identity, 2008, p. 105-125