Who decides which stories about a city are remembered? How do interpretations of the past shape a city’s present and future? In this book, I discuss the challenges of citizens’ political participation and how the past of cities may be preserved without, however, guaranteeing places a future. The preservation of urban spaces can be selectively meaningful for communities or businesses. How a city interprets, resists, and consents to the functions and meanings that it has inherited and that it reinvents for itself is discussed with a focus on power and politics in Brazil. Looking at the Brazilian city of Ouro Preto, the limits of Brazil’s imagery of social harmony and participatory democracy amid continuous inequality is explored.
What did others think of the book?
“It is innovative in its methodological approach (owing to the author’s ethnographic study of historical memory), as well as how it highlights connections between postcolonial development, the role of the state, and discourses of public participation”
Jeff Garmany, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne.
“The close-grained ethnographic and historically grounded studies are immensely useful in adding real-world critiques to the burgeoning heritage and urban development policy context” Helle Jørgensen, University of Birmingham.
“This is a rich and sophisticated ethnography of the politics of memory in Ouro Preto written in an easy, flowing style. Drawing on diverse sources and bodies of literature – from heritage studies and political anthropology to in-depth interviews and ethnographic notes based on participant observation to literature and historical archives – this book is of great interest not only to anthropologists, heritage and urban studies specialists, but also to anyone interested in issues of participative democracy, grassroots politics and inequality in contemporary Brazil” Katerina Hatzikidi, University of Oxford and Graduate Institute Geneva; Urban History.
“This well-argued text, supplemented by numerous photographs, has important implications for historians, anthropologists, and preservationists alike” Choice.