About

Summary of Project 

Whose Heritage Matters? Mapping, Making and Mobilising Heritage Values for Sustainable Livelihoods in Cape Town and Kisumu’ is a co-produced action research project which brings stakeholders together to map heritage values and develop creative interventions for sustainable development.

Project Aims

Whose Heritage Matters has three aims:

To understand how tangible and intangible cultural heritage values can be mobilised to support policy and practice interventions for sustainable livelihoods in Cape Town and Kisumu.

To critically explore what international targets and agendas for cultural heritage and sustainable development mean in the context of real urban challenges, and how they might be implemented and developed.

To map heritage values and develop creative interventions to harness tangible and intangible heritage for sustainable development

Project Approach

Our study will directly enable collaboration between British and African cultural heritage researchers to critically explore what international targets and agendas for cultural heritage and sustainable development mean in the context of real urban challenges, and how they might be implemented and developed. Exploring heritage meanings, mapping heritage, making heritage, learning together and mobilising heritage in the context of secondary African cities are central elements of our programme of work, designed to promote awareness of and action on alternative approaches to economic development.

Our approach is mindful of the structural inequalities inherent in undertaking this form of research. Our programme of work has developed collaboratively between partners in South Africa, Kenya and the UK, underpinned by the desire to avoid neo-colonialism in research.

Project Outcomes and Outputs

There are five main outcomes we would like to achieve through our project. Our primary outcome is to collectively generate an evidence base which can inform and shape local cultural and urban development policies. This will inform a locally owned and generated forward plan to support activities beyond the grant. In the process, we hope to achieve three further outcomes: first to indirectly contribute to the protection and safeguarding of tangible and intangible cultural heritage; second to directly support heritage activities which can generate incomes for local women involved; and finally, to ‘speak back’ to international targets and agendas around the implementation of the SDGs

Our outputs are designed to help achieve these outcomes. They include research reports and traditional briefings and articles; but also visual guides, maps, photographs and heritage interventions – such as walks, festivals or exhibitions.