Gendered nostalgia: grassroots heritage tourism and (de)industrialization in Lota, Chile

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This article discusses how residents in the ex-coal mining town of Lota mobilize nostalgia as a driving force to organize and challenge official industrial heritage tourism narratives and practices that exclude them. It draws on ethnographic research with heritage grassroots organizations between 2018 and 2020. Starting with Laurajane Smith and Gary Campbell's notion of progressive nostalgia, I argue that nostalgia allows residents to envision an alternative development for their city. I add to this argument, the idea of ‘gendered nostalgia’ to stress the importance of intersectional approaches to analyze affects and emotions in heritage tourism. By contrasting institutionalized actors and grassroots industrial heritage tourism initiatives, the analysis emphasizes three uses of progressive and gendered nostalgia: as a way of making visible concealed female narratives and heritage representations, male’s uses of productive nostalgia in the context of changing gender dynamics, and nostalgia as a critical emotion for activist memory-work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-383
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Heritage Tourism
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023


  • Chile
  • Industrial heritage tourism
  • Lota
  • gendered nostalgia
  • insurgent heritage
  • memory-work
  • progressive nostalgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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