What is re-enactment and how does it relate to heritage? Re-enactments are a ubiquitous part of popular and memory culture and are of growing importance to heritage studies. As concept and practice, re-enactments encompass a wide range of forms: from the annual ‘Viking Moot’ festival in Denmark drawing thousands of participants and spectators, to the (re)staged war photography of An-My Lê, to the Titanic Memorial Cruise commemorating the centennial of the ill-fated voyage, to the symbolic retracing of the Berlin Wall across the city on 9 November 2014 to mark the 25th anniversary of its toppling.
Re-enactments involve the sensuousness of bodily experience and engagement, the exhilarating yet precarious combination of imagination with ‘historical fact’, in-the-moment negotiations between and within temporalities, and the compelling drive to re-make, or re-presence, the past. As such, re-enactments present a number of challenges to traditional understandings of heritage, including taken-for-granted assumptions regarding fixity, conservation, originality, ownership and authenticity. Using a variety of international, cross-disciplinary case studies, this volume explores re-enactment as practice, problem, and/or potential, in order to widen the scope of heritage thinking and analysis toward impermanence, performance, flux, innovation and creativity.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the International Journal of Heritage Studies.
1. Re-enacting the past: vivifying heritage ‘again’ Mads Daugbjerg, Rivka Syd Eisner and Britta Timm Knudsen
2. Re-enacting process: temporality, historicity and the Women’s Liberation Music Archive Deborah Withers
3. From a colonial reinvention to postcolonial heritage and a global commodity: performing and re-enacting Angkor Wat and the Royal Khmer Ballet Michael S. Falser
4. Patchworking the past: materiality, touch and the assembling of ‘experience’ in American Civil War re-enactment Mads Daugbjerg
5. Between narratives and lists: performing digital intangible heritage through global media Sheenagh Pietrobruno
6. Performing heritage (studies) at the Lord Mayor’s show Duncan Grewcock
7. The time travellers’ tools of the trade: some trends at Lejre Cornelius Holtorf
8. Drought and Rain: re-creations in Vietnamese, cross-border heritage Rivka Syd Eisner