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 Tanya Venture

Tanya Venture

PhD Student

 Environment and Sustainability Institute ESI 1st Floor, Desk 30


Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


I'm an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD student working with the University of Exeter and Historic England on "Visualising Loss; Interactive Documentary as a Tool for Understanding and Communicating the Loss of Coastal Heritage."

The Visualising Loss interactive documentary can be accessed here - please consider visiting and completing the optional questionnaire. 

This project is supervised by Professor Caitlin DeSilvey (University of Exeter), Dr Hannah Fluck (National Trust), John Ette (Historic England) and Dr Bryony Onciul (University of Exeter). My research lies at the intersection of critical heritage studies and creative communication methods. I have a specific interest in filmmaking and digital storytelling. I'm particularly interested in how creative communication methods such as film and novel methodologies like interactive documentaries can be used to help both professionals in the heritage sector as well as the wider public approach the emotive issue of heritage loss. 

Prior to joining the university I worked as an archaeological research assistant and filmmaker for the SCAPE Trust, based at the University of St Andrews. During my time working with SCAPE I developed my interest in working with heritage at risk and community engagement. As part of my role on the SCHARP project I made a series of films highlighting individual projects, including re-enactments with the local community , music videos and short documentaries, as well as an evaluation film.

I am currently the chair of the Heritage Research Group, an interdisciplinary network of students studying heritage at the University of Exeter. 


2012 M.A. in Osetoarchaeology (University of Southampton) 

2010 B.A. (hons) in Archaeology (Cardiff University)

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Research interests

  • Britain’s coast has always been an attractive place to live, work and visit. The testament to this lies in the rich and diverse coastal heritage assets that appear all around the coastline. However, coastal heritage is often in danger of being lost through natural processes, such as erosion, which will only be exacerbated further by the effects of climate change. Although the loss of heritage is not unusual, it is nevertheless an extremely emotive and challenging topic. My doctoral project looks to combine qualitative geographical methods with filmmaking techniques in order to explore loss thorough a novel methodological approach: the interactive documentary. The interactive documentary format allows for a non-linear and multi-vocal exploration of loss narratives, creating a space where dialogues about heritage loss can be explored in conversations between heritage professionals and the wider public. The project presents the interconnected stories from four case study sites around the South West, each of which characterises a different theme of loss identified as part of the project (Venture et al, 2021). The overall focus of this work is not on how to save, but conversely, how  we can lose better, so that the transformative opportunities associated with an ever changing coast may be embraced.

    In 2020 I wrote a blog post for Historic England looking at the impact of Covid-19 on heritage in the UK. A forthcoming paper in The Historic Environment: Policy and Practice outlines the theoretical framework I have developed for my research.

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Journal articles

Venture T, DeSilvey C, Onciul B, Fluck H (2021). Articulating Loss: a Thematic Framework for Understanding Coastal Heritage Transformations. Historic Environment: Policy and Practice, 12(3-4), 395-417. Abstract.

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