EARTHEN HERITAGE, CONSERVATION PRACTICES AND COMMODIFICATION IN A WORLD HERITAGE SITE (QUEBRADA DE HUMAHUACA, JUJUY, ARGENTINA)
- CONICET – Laboratorio de Arquitectura y Construcción con Tierra, Universidad Nacional de Jujuy, Argentina
Keywords: Tourism, Commodification, Building techniques, Earthen architecture, Quebrada de Humahuaca
Abstract. Contemporary reflections on the conception and conservation of architectural heritage have led to new perspectives on certain categories, such as authenticity, within a more dynamic understanding of social facts. Historically, local communities have rethought and transformed their architecture within the framework of becoming reality. This change is inherent in their condition of existence, and necessary to consider the multiplicity of institutionalized actors that raise agendas and actions that intersect in a complex way with the dynamics of World Heritage sites. This paper will analyze the implications of these processes through the study of earthen architecture in Quebrada de Humahuaca (Jujuy, Argentina). The site is at risk due to the exponential growth of tourism and the process of transformation in different dimensions of local realities. Transformations in vernacular architecture will be analyze considering three dimensions and intersections. On the one hand, changes in practices of local builders within their own dynamics; on the other, the conservation actions on the architecture that have formal declarations of protection; finally, commodification of vernacular architecture due to tourist activities. The approach of this paper will focus on technical aspects, within a conceptual framework as social facts, based on the survey and fieldwork carried out in recent years. This case study could act as a precedent for similar researches and would be useful for guidelines in global earthen heritage conservation projects.