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Governing Heritage Dissonance: Promises and Realities of Selected Cultural Policies

By Visnja Kisic, European Cultural Foundation, Amsterdam, 2017, 328 pages, ISBN: 9789062820702

The European Cultural Foundation has recently published Governing Heritage Dissonance: Promises and Realities of Selected Cultural Policies, a book by Visnja Kisic resulting from the winning project of the 2013 edition of the Cultural Policy Research Award, created in 2004 by European Cultural Foundation, which honours young and talented researchers (up to 35 years old) addressing topics of European relevance in the field of applied and comparative cultural policy. The author is a researcher, lecturer and manager in the field of heritage management, interpretation and policy, with special focus on heritage, community engagement and mediation.

Drawing on illuminating case studies from South East Europe, Kisic connects heritage studies and cultural policies with issues of difference, conflict and reconciliation, prompting us to rethink how we approach the past and deal with diversities between cultures, nations and generations at a time of increasing fragmentation across Europe. Her timely analysis suggests ways of approaching our common heritage that could open up avenues to a better design for Europe's common future. The research departs from the notion of 'dissonant heritage', as a discord or lack of agreement in the way the past is represented and interpreted by different actors, but suggests the use of 'heritage dissonance' instead, which acknowledges that any heritage has dissonance as a quality, and that its meanings are contingent. Among the case studies examined in the research are sites proposed for the World Heritage List, travelling exhibitions, museums and archives, coming from different countries in South East Europe.

For more information or to obtain the book, please visit: www.culturalfoundation.eu/library/cpra-2013