The Cold from Hell laid me low these last few weeks and so I’m grabbing a few moments before work to pass on a link a colleague shared a few days ago. Phil Smith (AKA Crab Man) wants to wrest control of historic sites away from cultural institutions and back into the hands of the visitor. His work at Plymouth University, as a freelancer with the National Trust and others, and as a “Counter Tourist” is about empowering visitors to choose their own routes around sites and bring their own interpretations.
From my day-job point of view, working for the National Trust, I’d argue that a number of our sites are wanting to empower visitors in just such a way, but the feedback they get from the majority of their visitors is “we want a route/a story/ a guide.”
That’s said, I can’t argue with Crab Man’s ambitions, and the Counter-Tourism website is fun, and rewards people who break the rules (hint). So I ordered a couple of books which have just arrived and looking through them, they look like they’ll be fun to read.