Another counter-tourism tactic - Part 2
Yet more tactics for countertourism from the excellent Urban Adventure in Rotterdam - view images and more detail on the Rotterblog
- 1 - Do not approach the heritage site by the main entrance. Take a long detour. Take the most inaccessible route. Pretend you are an army coming to conquer the heritage site. Plan your siege.
- 2 - Don't be satisfied with the heritage materials that are presented to you. Try to do your own archaeology. See if you can find some ancient remains. Dig your own trench. Collect some remains, however insignificant. Do your own research. (I still have the archeological find somewhere, old brickwork and ceramics.)
- 3 - Study the modern artifacts with the same attention you give to the ancient artifacts. In 10 years these will look different and you will have forgotten how they looked. Do you still remember the bakelite telephones? And later the curly extension cords? Aren't you sorry you have forgotten how they looked?
- 4 - Study the different signs with regulations. Try to find the oldest ones. Compare. Notice how modern times are more restrictive. Is it because we have become less tolerant of bad behaviour? Or were we better behaved in earlier times? (Many years ago a tiny "non-smoking" sign was sufficient.)
- 5 - Try to find alien (UFO) artifacts. (I still don't know what this was. I suspect it was a kind of computer game. But it didn't work, I think.)
- 6 - Use leaks in the heritage site to wash the mud from your walking shoes. (My wife did this spontaneously. I had not told her about countertourism yet.)
- 7 - Try to correlate the old heritage signs with modern infrastructure. (In this case: privy = toilet.)
- 8 - View and analyse the non-heritage objects with the same attention you give to the heritage objects. Imagine you're looking at conceptual art. Is it any good? (Actually this is quite an interesting object.)
- 9 - Try to be an anthropologist. Study the population of the gift-shop as if it were an Amazonian tribe. What do the adults look at? The children? The foreigners? The locals? What do they really buy?
10 - Study the objects in the gift-shop as if they were object in the museum. What do they say about current culture? About our relationship with history? (Especially: what's depicted on the fridge magnets?)
- 11 - Collect brochures for other heritage sites museums and art events. Read the texts. Try to correlate them with the current heritage site. See if it gives new insights. (Examples below and interspersed with the text above.)