Constructing Destruction: Heritage Narratives in the Tsunami City, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Constructing Destruction

Heritage Narratives in the Tsunami City, 1st Edition

By Trinidad Rico


136 pages

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Large-scale disasters mobilize heritage professionals to a narrative of heritage-at-risk and a standardized set of processes to counter that risk. Trinidad Rico’s critical ethnography analyses heritage practices in the aftermath of the tsunami that swamped Banda Aceh, Indonesia, in 2004 and the post-destruction narratives that accompanied it, showing the sociocultural, historical, and political agendas these discourses raise. Countering the typical Western ideology and practice of ameliorating heritage-at-risk were local, post-colonial trajectories that permitted the community to construct its own meaning of heritage. This book documents the emergence of local heritage places, practices, and debates countering the globalized versions embraced by the heritage professions offering a critical paradigm for post-destruction planning and practice that incorporates alternative models of heritage. Constructing Deconstruction will be of value to scholars, professionals, and advanced students in Heritage Studies, Anthropology, Geography, and Disaster Studies.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Introduction: The Problem with Destruction

 From destruction to construction

  Structure of this volume

1. Khas Aceh

 View from the deck of the tsunami ship

 Heritage as history or heritage as witness

2. Heritage Narratives in the Tsunami City

 From Serambbi Mekkah to ‘tsunami city’

 Heritage history

 Anti-heritage history

 Disaster legacies

3. The Construction of Destruction

 Risk cartographies

 Heritage and destruction

 Risk value

 Asia ‘at risk’

 Indonesian heritage

4. An Ethnography of ‘Heritage at Risk’

 Heritage ethnography

 Ruins and ruiners

 True water

 Islamization of catastrophe

 Time and timeliness

5. Destruction Alternatives

 Reclaiming post-heritage

 Situating vernacular subjects

 Heritage alterity: theory vs. practice

Epilogue: ‘Then and Now’

Notes and References


About the Author

About the Author

Trinidad Rico is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Texas A&M University at Qatar, and Honorary Lecturer at UCL. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University, an MA in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Stanford University, an MA in Principles of Conservation from UCL, and a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. Her areas of research include ethnographic heritage, critical heritage studies and risk, the construction of Islamic materiality, and cosmopolitanism and the vernacularization of discourses and expertise. Her recent work focuses on the construction and operation of vulnerability in cultural heritage discourses and methods in Indonesia, and the mobilization of Islamic values in heritage making in Indonesia and the Arabian Peninsula. She is co-editor of Heritage Keywords: Rhetoric and Redescription in Cultural Heritage (University Press of Colorado, 2015) and Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula (Ashgate, 2014).

About the Series

UCL Institute of Archaeology Critical Cultural Heritage Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology