Heritage views through urban exploration: the case of ‘Abandoned Berlin’

Arboleda, P. (2016) Heritage views through urban exploration: the case of ‘Abandoned Berlin’. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 22(5), pp. 368-381. (doi:10.1080/13527258.2016.1153497)

172210.pdf - Accepted Version



This article frames the practice of urban exploration and its interest towards abandoned places from a heritage perspective. It is argued that most urban explorers prioritise the excitement of trespassing and the creation of their own narratives over the historic importance of the sites they explore. These ‘performative’ explorers avoid deliberate attention that may lead to vandalism or touristification – an alternative way of ‘preserving by not preserving’ that celebrates decay and assumes the sites’ progressive loss. To achieve this, they prefer not to disclose exact locations, creating a divergence towards a minority of practitioners who prefer to collect data on history and current state of conservation to make it public. Attention is paid to these ‘communicative’ explorers, whose documentation renders abandoned places visible, opening further debates about a more inclusive preservation and memorialisation. By distinguishing both heritage views, the objective of this article is to contribute to the enlargement of Heritage Studies by incorporating urban exploration as a space for reflection between loss and bottom-up preservation and interpretation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Arboleda, Dr Pablo
Authors: Arboleda, P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:International Journal of Heritage Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1470-3610
Published Online:02 March 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Pablo Arboleda
First Published:First published in International Journal of Heritage Studies 22(5):368-381
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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