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|Heritage and the ‘Heartland’: Architectural and urban heritage in the discourse and practice of the populist far right
Blokker J.M. Heritage and the ‘Heartland’: Architectural and urban heritage in the discourse and practice of the populist far right,Journal of European Studies 52 3-4
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|The role of architectural heritage in the discourse and practice of the populist far right is examined, referring to examples in Germany and focusing on the Alternative für Deutschland. The findings reveal that the Alternative für Deutschland appropriates historic buildings and sites in a number of ways, including visual and oral rhetoric and embodied performance, and instrumentalizes them to specific ends. Built heritage in particular serves to naturalize and therefore to legitimize and authorize populist positions by anchoring them not only in time but also at places, thus reinforcing populism’s exclusionary logic along territorial lines – including those describing the space of ‘European civilization’. This implies challenges for heritage professionals and institutions, as actors such as the Alternative für Deutschland attempt to map the notion of a national or a civilizational ‘Heartland’ onto existing heritage objects and sites or else engage in ‘making’ heritage in the urban environment. © The Author(s) 2022.