York: Living with History – an unofffical public inquiry

Here’s the call for our new project – York: Living with History… we’ve got our first Live Inquiry Drop In tonight, 5-7pm, York Explore Library. Come along to see where we’ve got to so far in our Inquiry and to find out how to contribute your wisdom and ideas.

So far we’ve made progress on… Mapping York’s decision makers and potentially using Stonebow the the Castle area as our Inquiry case studies.


Call for Citizen Journalists and Citizen Historians

‘York attractions see ‘record’ rise in visitor numbers’ BBC News, 3 December 2014

‘We cannot deny real poverty lives here’, York Press, 17th July 2013

York is a ‘northern tiger’ (Council Leader James Alexander), York Labour Party News, 21st November 2013

‘‘It’s not grim up north’: York named best and most beautiful British city’, Mail Online, 5th July 2011

‘York most expensive northern city in which to buy a home’, The Press, 15th October, 2012

‘Heritage’ often lurks behind York’s headlines. But how are decisions about how to manage York’s history and heritage made? Who makes these decisions and what factors influence their decision-making? What is the relationship between heritage, tourism, ‘economic development’ and poverty? How does the medieval beauty of York affect the cost of housing? What kinds of histories of York are not often publically recognized? How might richer understandings of York’s past help us work together to imagine York’s future?

We are a group of researchers, heritage practitioners and activists who want to understand more how decisions about heritage are made in York and about how those decisions affect the lives of people who live in York. We want to build this as an open inquiry with other people with similar interests so we are are on the hunt for people of all ages who live in York – no matter for how long (a week or a lifetime) – to help uncover and tell untold stories and untold histories:

Citizen journalists: to tell untold stories of heritage decision making in York and how ‘heritage’ affects the people who live in York. How are decisions about ‘heritage’ made in York? Who makes them and where? What evidence and theories do they use to help them make these decisions? What would be democratic heritage decision making?

Citizen historians: to tell untold histories of York. Which histories of York don’t make it into the guide books? From gay liberation to life working on the Railways. From documenting the changes on Acomb Front Street or Bishopthorpe Road to running punk gigs or folk sessions in 1970s and 1980s. Which histories might help us reimagine our city? What kinds of richer understandings of the past might help us collectively make decisions about our city’s future?

If you’re interested in getting involved, write to Helen Graham.

Contact details: h.graham@leeds.ac.uk / http://livingwithhistory.wordpress.com/ 07855 790347

‘York: Living with History?’ is coordinated by York Civic Trust, York’s Alternative History and the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage at University of Leeds and is part of a wider research project ‘How should decisions about heritage be made?’ which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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