After Heritage
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After Heritage

Critical Perspectives on Heritage from Below

Edited by Hamzah Muzaini and Claudio Minca

Focusing on the practices and politics of heritage-making at the individual and the local level, this book uses a wide array of international case studies to argue for their potential not only to disrupt but also to complement formal heritage-making in public spaces. Providing a much-needed clarion call to reinsert the individual as well as the transient into more collective heritage processes and practices, this strong contribution to the field of Critical Heritage Studies offers insight into benefits of the ‘heritage from below approach’ for researchers, policy makers and practitioners.
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Chapter 7: Stolpersteine and memory in the streetscape

Danielle Drozdzewski

Abstract

The Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) are small bronze plaques embedded in the pavements of many German cities – they are a purposefully implicit part of the everyday streetscape. Each stone recalls the fate of one person under Fascism; locating this individual’s history at the location of their last known residence in the city. This chapter draws from research conducted in Mitte, Berlin. A key research aim was to observe how the design and spatial orientation of the stones affect their interpretation as sites of memory. Combining participant observation, videography and vox pop interviews, the author examines how the stones ‘exist’ as part of an already heavily memorialised landscape where they are often unnoticed, stepped on, stepped over, or dirtied by a constant stream of foot traffic. The Berliners interviewed identified the small-scale, community-led and individualised aspects of the Stolpersteine project as giving the Stolpersteine a distinct place in the heritage landscape.

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