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Participatory heritage in a gentrifying neighbourhood: Amsterdam's Van Eesteren Museum as affective space of negotiations

AuthorsBeeksma, Anne ; De Cesari, Chiara
Neighbourhood museums
Local government
State-led gentrification
Heritage of modernism
Issue Date2019
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationInternational Journal of Heritage Studies 25(9): 974-991 (2019)
AbstractIn this article we analyse the Van Eesteren Museum as a technique of local governmentality. This small but growing institution aims to preserve and showcase the modernist urban planning and architecture of the disadvantaged Amsterdam neighbourhood of Slotermeer. Built on volunteers, residents¿ participation played a crucial role in its creation and still does in its day-to-day operation. While many see the museum as a bottom-up project, upon closer inspection, this participatory heritage project appears more ambivalent, effectively functioning as a platform for mediating conflicting interests and agendas in an urban context that is heavily shaped by local and national policies of urban renewal. This neighbourhood museum responds to a specific Dutch policy of state-led gentrification aimed at promoting social control while actually (unintentionally) producing social cleavages. Only a very specific and rather homogenous group of residents volunteer for the museum, other residents with more diverse backgrounds do not really participate. While the Van Eesteren Museum is rooted in this specific Dutch context, we argue that it points to the relevance of heritage to a new rationality of decentralised local governance based on producing `caring¿ and `feeling¿ citizens.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2018.1509230
Identifiersdoi: 10.1080/13527258.2018.1509230
e-issn: 1470-3610
issn: 1352-7258
Appears in Collections:(INCIPIT) Artículos
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