Scientific article
Open access

Towards a critical anthropology of the (de)creative turn in heritage

Publication date2024
First online date2024

Heritage processes are today increasingly entangled with multiple forms and discourses of creativity. Connections between creativity and heritage form part of a new consensual authorised discourse, where creativity and (heritage) entrepreneurship are projected as mutually beneficial in a win-win scenario, while co-existing with ever-more visible practices of destruction and loss. Challenging the celebratory narrative, the article unpacks the less visible political, economic, cultural and social processes underpinning the heritage–creativity nexus. This is necessary in order to confront and analyse the domination of space, place and history in the context of depoliticised neoliberal forms of governance. Juxtaposing the contradictions of authorised heritage discourse within the hegemonic politics and profitability in the neoliberal creative economy, we propose a critical anthropological approach centred around the decreativity of contemporary practice

  • Heritage
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Neoliberalism
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
LARSEN, Peter Bille, GRAEZER BIDEAU, Florence. Towards a critical anthropology of the (de)creative turn in heritage. In: Anthropological theory, 2024. doi: 10.1177/1463499624122727
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Article (Published version) - ahead of print
ISSN of the journal1463-4996

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