Sarina Wakefield originally studied Archaeology at the University of Leicester, gaining a BSc in 2001. She then went on to gain an MA in Museum Studies in 2004 also from the University of Leicester. She has since worked on museum and heritage projects in the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Bahrain. She is currently pursuing a PhD, full-time, entitled ‘Franchising Heritage: The Creation of a Transnational Heritage Industry in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’.
Heritage has always been seen to be specific to particular societies and cultures and as such the relationships between them are often taken for granted. A key contemporary phenomenon relating to the transnationalisation of heritage is the franchising of particular museums and galleries, developed within particular socio-cultural contexts, as ‘global’ heritage institutions, as in the case of the Guggenheim and the Louvre Museums for example. My study therefore seeks to understand how autochthonous heritage – that which is formed or originating in the place where it is found – and franchised heritage – the distribution of heritage through a legal relationship between two parties: the franchiser (heritage organisation) and the franchisee (in this particular case the Abu Dhabi Government) combines to create something which is qualitatively new, hybrid heritage. My study therefore seeks to explore how these new formations of heritage are envisaged and developed, and how combining these heritage forms are affected by and affect both residents and place identity.