Heritage is always about people. With the growth of the Critical Heritage Studies movement, new policy approaches such as the Faro Convention, and debates on decolonising and democraticising heritage-related disciplines such as archaeology and art history, the roles, needs and voices of diverse communities have become increasingly important. Participatory approaches to heritage consider the theoretical frameworks that influence the ways in which different groups and individuals choose to engage with different kinds of heritage, and inform the toolboxes that heritage professionals can deploy to reach new audiences and stakeholders. From citizen science approaches to heritage education to challenges around interpreting difficult and painful pasts, participatory approaches to heritage span all types of cultural and natural heritage and can apply from local to global scales.
Community archaeology excavation at Cultybraggan Prisoner of War camp, Scotland.
Image: Iain Banks.