I have been driving for 6-8 hours a day, every second day, for a couple of weeks now and all that time in the car gives me time to think (especially since every day I am not driving I am visiting a heritage site). With every kilometre I drive I can feel my research ideas shifting. I can feel my project changing - not drastically - just kind of listing to one side, or slowing turning a corner. I haven't had time to sit down and properly consider these shifts and in truth I likely won't have time until my summer research trips are over and done with in mid-August. In order to keep track here is a list:
- Do I need to track visitor/audience experience or are the interpreters/animators a better focus?
- The authentic experience/inauthentic site idea is really starting to feel more important the more sites I visit.
- War commemoration as heritage performance programming (War of 1812, and now WW1).
- A comment from a Parks Canada administrator that the 'real-ness' or authenticity of the site includes the way it is being used now. That its historical life is not static but ongoing - the act of visiting adds to the history and heritage of the site and that is why it is important now. (Hmmm does this make the visitor performance more important again? Or can this remain animator/interpreter focussed?)
As I said I am not sure I understand any of these shifts but I think it is important to acknowledge that they are happening.