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Challenge from within? On establishing ‘historical places of the Roma’ as a new matter of official heritage institutions

Conference contribution
Authors Ingrid Martins Holmberg
Published in Dahlin & Andersson In the flow – People, Media, Materialities, ACSIS conference 15-17 June 2015, Norrköping
Pages 28
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Conservation
Pages 28
Language en
Subject categories Other Humanities


28 IN THE FLOW Ingrid Martins Holmberg Challenge from within? On establishing ‘historical places of the Roma’ as a new matter of official heritage institutions In this paper I will present research findings from a project that has explored the Swedish official heritage institutions’ establishment of an entirely new matter: the ‘historical places of the Roma on Swedish grounds’. This particular inclusion brings forth a series of achievements that seem to amount to an antipode to some recent scholarly critique of, for example, the clinging of official heritage institutions to a normalizing ‘white-male-middle-class’ history, or of the persistent AHD privileging Eurocentric understandings of culture and temporality. This new matter inevitably brings into the scene a demand for new ways of conceiving and conceptualizing the heritage object itself. At the same time, it brings various frictions. As the institution meets subaltern subjects it realizes the necessity to transgress habitual practice and to development alternate approaches - approaches that challenge the notion of the heritage expert, but that moreover also challenge the principles of publicity. It remains a matter of perspective to determine whether or not this new matter implies a ‘full inclusion’, or if the ‘Roma historical places’ rather will remain a simple ‘add-on’ to the established list and will appear as heritage under the usual preconceptions. Nevertheless, the findings indicate that a major challenge to the heritage institution may come from within.

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