Saturday, July 31, 2010

Heritage, Expo, Politics and Essay Papers

I have written my first essay for my course in Heritage Resource Management and I know it was merely supposed to be a summary of the information, but I can't do that. I havc always used the essay form to express my opinions.
But writing the essay sure made me think out the material, which is the point.

One of the articles traces the heritage field in Canada, which only really took off with Expo67, which showcased many innovative techniques in interpretation, so it says in the the article, by Christina Cameron.
No kidding. I'm a child of Expo. I went fifty times, I recall. I probably was a bit too young to appreciate it, at least on one level. I probably was just the right age to enjoy it. My online play, Looking for Mrs. Peel, begins during Expo. I'm sure Edith Nicholson went often (although she was living in Richmond). I know my mother in law, her niece, went: I have her Expo passport. She likely went with Edith and Flo.
Anyway, this article also explains that the first heritage sites in Canada were forts and such. The Citadels at Quebec and Halifax, etc. Then it evolved to more than just battlefields... Heritage buildings, waterways, railways, etc. Then in the 70's, with an increasing interest in 'social history' came heritage sites interpreting the early lives of aboriginals, the poor (industrial sites) and women.
Well, I know from all the efforts I made in vain to get backing for my Nicholson letters, that women's history is no longer a priority. (And never mind all the complexities of getting anglo Quebec history recognized as significant.) It's a minefield.
Indeed, from what I can see on the Heritage Canada website, the priorities now are Places of Faith (on an American model) getting young people up and working in the field and sustainable heritage, or heritage and the environment. All very predictable.
That means that the idea I had earlier, to trace the carbon footprint of Tighsolas, using their shopping diaries, probably is much more saleable.
It's such a politically complex thing, Heritage. It has the potential for promoting social cohesion or for tearing people apart.