Digital heritage in a Melanesian context: authenticity, integrity and ancestrality from the other side of the digital divide

Were, Graeme (2015) Digital heritage in a Melanesian context: authenticity, integrity and ancestrality from the other side of the digital divide. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 21 2: 153-165. doi:10.1080/13527258.2013.842607


Author Were, Graeme
Title Digital heritage in a Melanesian context: authenticity, integrity and ancestrality from the other side of the digital divide
Journal name International Journal of Heritage Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1352-7258
1470-3610
Publication date 2015
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13527258.2013.842607
Open Access Status
Volume 21
Issue 2
Start page 153
End page 165
Total pages 13
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract This article examines how digital heritage, in the form of 3D digital objects, fits into particular discourses around identity, ancestrality and cultural transmission in Melanesia. Through an ethnographic analysis of digital heritage use amongst the Nalik community in New Ireland (Papua New Guinea), it demonstrates how digital heritage is understood not in terms of deceit and a loss of authenticity, but instead, towards an understanding of authenticity in terms of completeness and integrity. A notion of completeness and integrity, I argue, has the effect of creating an authentic experience of the past for Nalik communities by bringing back museum objects ('old' objects) that have been dispersed amongst museums and heritage institutions worldwide. In tracing out the operations and effects of how a Melanesian community engages with 3D digital objects, this article offers unique ethnographic insights into digital heritage in ways that challenge widely-held assumptions about the heightened value placed on the original object over its digital counterpart. © 2014
Keyword Digital heritage
Authenticity
Restitution
Cultural revival
Melanesia
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 22 January 2014.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Communication and Arts Publications
 
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