People of the croft: Visualising land, heritage and identity

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This short photographic essay emerges from the recognition that identity, landscapes and heritage landscapes in particular are rarely configured and conceptualised wholly linguistically. An affective and emotional charge can involve visual and tactile metaphors and mnemonics. This essay therefore
attempts to capture aspects of this visuality and material mnemonics while recognising the constraints imposed by the written word and the need to ask our interviewees to articulate the ‘material thing’ which most spoke to them of their ‘croft’. The heritage landscape that is the focus of this article
is that of crofting agriculture in the Scottish Highlands. What emerges between the word and the image is a strong sense of inheritance from the past validated by and made meaningful by work practices and deriving from a very particular land, task and seascape. Together, this constitutes a heritage from below and a sense of localised identity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural Geographies
Early online date17 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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