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Performing Heritage

Performing Heritage
Art of Exhibit Walks

First Edition
  • Navina Jafa - Director, Indian Cultural Heritage Research
Critical Acclaim

September 2012 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
Centred in academic theory in the area of exhibiting culture, this book seeks to explore the art and politics of cultural representation. While thus far this discussion has been restricted to the closed spaces of museums, exhibitions, cultural festivals and the like, here, this densely interdisciplinary problematic is approached through the unique and increasingly popular medium of Heritage Walks.

Focusing on the idea of the living exhibit, the author employs her decades-long career in the field of academic cultural tourism and the performing arts to develop a uniquely critical frame and methodology for engaging with cultures in a dynamic and performative manner. The book argues that heritage walks are necessarily creative and academically invested, and can be an effective medium for rethinking the disciplines of history, sociology and conservation and the challenges they face in contemporary post-colonial India.

Through an acutely experiential account, the author bridges the gap between applied and academic theory in the fields of visual anthropology, museology, heritage conservation and cultural studies among others, providing the much needed scholarship in studies of living heritage.

Foreword Richard Kurin
Debating and Speculating Heritage

Functionality, Designing and Executing Walking Tours

Making of a Study Leader

Walking Tours: Aspects of Economics and Culture

Walking Exhibits as Brokering Culture


Performing Heritage situates the entire gamut of the theory and practice of walking tours in a well-argued, accessible format….[the book] serves to promote heritage walks as a respectable and lucrative profession, if it is done with academic rigour and a commitment to the celebration of heritage.

Himal South Asian

Performing Heritage examines heritage walks as an artistic narrative involving culture, history and people.

The New Indian Express

A pioneering work on the technique and art of cultural representation through the medium of heritage walks! 

The Hindu

[The book] elaborates on the art of preserving and presenting heritage.... the book is written in simple language, sans academic jargon.


The Pioneer, 29 September 2012

A wordy read but with interesting perspectives and examples taken from the city's historical sites.


Presenting heritage in an artistic way! 

The Asian Age

The cover of the book, with the Ugrasen ki Baoli on it, ensures a depth and history that is well preserved in the pages, but with a remarkable energy — that of history in motion, as one walks and talks and gets to be an active part of the process rather than be a static, silent spectator.

The Press Trust of India

This is not just another run-of-the-mill heritage walk guidebook, but a “work on the technique and art of cultural representation through the medium of heritage walks as experiential academic tool”

The Financial Express

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ISBN: 9788132106999