Moved by the Tears of Others: Emotion Networking in the Heritage Sphere

There is no heritage without emotional sharing and clashing. 'Moved by the tears of others: emotion networking in the heritage sphere' explores the involvement of divergent emotions in heritage making by discussing the debate series of Imagine IC and the Reinwardt Academy and zooming in on the commemoration of slavery and imagery of 'Black Pete' in the Netherlands. Rana, Willemsen and Dibbits introduce 'emotion networking' as a methodology to approach present-day heritage production. How do emotions and heritage relate?

Authors: J. Rana, M. Willemsen & H. C. Dibbits.

According to researchers Rana, Willemsen and Dibbits, heritage making (with 'emotion networking' in mind) comes down to an active, continuous and multi-perspective invitation to discuss an item’s meaning. Rather than only involving like-minded members of communities, heritage workers must consider everyone with an emotion about a heritage item. 

Opting for a different approach, the researchers argue for an active quest for alternative voices (to be confronted with each other in conversation) and the exploration and visualisation of these different voices. This is what the organisation Imagine IC (based in Amsterdam South-East) and the Reinwardt Academy (Amsterdam University of the Arts) have been working on in several settings. Over the course of five events, new methodologies for approaching intangible heritage were investigated in the series 'Intangible Heritage with Pop'.

In addition to providing an overview of various theoretical perspectives and a methodological approach, this essay also offers guidelines for developing strategies for gathering museum collections. 

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