Creative cuisine creating futures? Critical heritage in Southeast Asia. (16219)
Debates around the increasing utilisation of heritage as a lever of economic growth and geopolitical relations and the development of a critical movement within the discipline of heritage studies dominate contemporary heritage practice, renewing both the issue of cultural change and development as a key site of contestation within the heritage field and the long-standing fractious relationship between practitioners who focus on heritage as a technical enterprise and those who promote heritage as a method of social participation. This paper examines these tensions by way of an empirical study of a Southeast Asian-based vocational training restaurant project. The paper explores how the cultural, heritage and tourism landscapes of the vocational training restaurant sites intersect, and considers what this means in relation to the lives of the program’s stakeholders: whose livelihoods are being served? The paper questions the utility of the theory-driven approach pursued by the critical heritage studies movement if the broad field of heritage practice is to productively engage with the issues raised by the relationship between heritage and capital production in contemporary global society. Instead, the paper suggests a meshwork approach, considering interwoven rather than intersecting landscapes, will enable heritage practitioners to bring a critical perspective to applied heritage research – issues focused policy and practice.