Research results

Wow! The Future is calling!

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

After years of thinking, drawing, writing, editing and re-editing, illustrator Pernilla Frid and archaeologist Cornelius Holtorf published a unique children’s book (which is really for adults).

Wow! The Future is calling! is a picture book coming out of Cornelius Holtorf’s longstanding research at the interface of heritage and the future. When illustrator Pernilla Frid was invited to apply her skills, she was immediately attracted to work in this context and with innovative concepts. The point is to convey the variety and richness in which we can engage with the future. The book gives many examples, both in the way the main characters act, representing three different ways of relating to the future, and in the many details, which surround them.

Copyright © 2021. Text & illustrations: Pernilla Frid & Cornelius Holtorf. All rights reserved. Contact: pernillafrid926@gmail.com, cornelius.holtorf@lnu.se

Brazilian futures thinking

Monday, December 28th, 2020

What is the role of cultural heritage in constructing futures?

An interview on “cultural heritage building up future thinking” between Cornelius Holtorf and the Brazilian archaeologist Tiago Muniz, published (in English and Portuguese) in Cadernos do Lepaarq 17, no. 34, 2020, 337-

A pdf is directly accessible here 

Popular academic papers

Thursday, December 17th, 2020

Cornelius Holtorf’s article “Embracing change: how cultural resilience is increased through cultural heritage” has been very popular. Since its publication two years ago it has attracted more than 9,000 viewers on the publisher’s online forum. According to the same site, it is now the third most-read paper in the journal World Archaeology (since start of the statistics in 2011).

The paper No future in archaeological heritage management?, co-authored by Anders Högberg, Cornelius Holtorf, Sarah May and Gustav Wollentz in World Archaeology in 2017, has attracted more than 6,000 viewers and holds place 9 in the same list.

The Bamiyan Buddhas – what next?

Friday, December 11th, 2020

In 2001, the Taliban blew the Bamiyan Buddha statues to pieces. Since then, UNESCO and others have been deliberating whether they ought to be reconstructed.

Now the current state of the discussion has been published by Springer in a volume entitled The Future of the Bamiyan Buddha Statues, summarising the outcomes of a UNESCO conference held in Tokyo in 2017. The book contains a chapter by Cornelius Holtorf entitled “Destruction and Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage as Future-Making“. He argues that before any specific reconstructions of the Buddha statues are commissioned, we should consider several alternative futures for the past:

  • will there be new audiences for heritage among the growing populations of Asia?
  • Will digital and interactive ways of presentation reduce the significance of genuine artefacts?
  • Will the preference for dark and painful heritage grow and perhaps increasingly demand stories about the Taliban rather than about Buddhism?
  • Or will heritage tourism come to an end altogether? 

Cultural heritage and the Future – the book is out!

Monday, December 7th, 2020

Now published with Routledge:

Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg (eds) 2021, Cultural Heritage and the Future. London and New York: Routledge. 290 pp. eBook/pbk/hbk

Preview and table of content available here.

Cultural heritage and the future is a field of research and practice that has been developing over the past few years. The present volume was originally devised in 2012, related to a session on the same topic which we co-organized for the First Conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The volume contains a wide range of contributions discussing examples from many parts of the world that raise important issues about the interrelations between cultural heritage and the future. Taken as a whole, we believe that the book will contribute significantly to building capacity in futures thinking and futures literacy among researchers and practitioners throughout the heritage sector.

Memory across generations

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

Our work concerning memory across generations has found its way into the 2020 Report of the Swedish Nuclear Waste Council to the Swedish Government (Swedish Government Inquiries, SOU 2020:9). The report was first published earlier this year in Swedish but is now also available in English.

The report contains in chapter 7 over several pages a summary of the results of our Workshop “Information and memory for future decision making – radioactive waste and beyond” held in May 2019 in Stockholm.

Post-corona archaeology

Friday, November 13th, 2020

My recent Keynote “Post-Corona Archaeology: Creating a New Normal?” at the 2020 EAA Annual Meeting’s Opening Ceremony is now available online in written form in the new issue 66 of The European Archaeologist.

I propose three lessons for post-corona archaeology:

  1. Let’s take the future seriously and do our best to ensure that archaeology actually contributes to sustainable development that will benefit future generations in concrete ways.
  2. Let’s go beyond the notion of cultural diversity and focus on what people shared and indeed share, promoting trust, solidarity and collaboration between human beings on this planet.
  3. Let’s realise more often the value of culture, cultural heritage and archaeological practice to be inclusive and bring people together, promoting peace among humans both in society and between societies.

The recorded presentation is available on youtube (starts at 48:30)

Annual Report 2019-2020

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

The Progress Report of the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures for the year 2019-2020 is now available online!

Download here (pdf)

or click on the image to get a quick view

 

New futures for replicas

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

A new document containing principles and guidance for museums and heritage published under the title “New Futures for Replicas” makes reference to the notion of pastness and an understanding of authenticity as a socially mediated experience, drawing on work by Cornelius Holtorf.

Cover of leaflet. Design: Christina Unwin

Managing Heritage in Times of Crisis

Saturday, October 17th, 2020

The ICOMOS 6ISCs Joint Meeting “Advancing Risk Management for the Shared Future” was held virtually on 17 October 2020, assembling ca 100 participants from around the world, with more being able to watch the recording afterwards. The aim of the meeting was to develop risk management for cultural heritage.

Cornelius Holtorf contributed with a paper on “The Significance of Managing Heritage Processes in Times of Crisis” in which he argued that risk management strategies should give more attention to managing processes and practices of heritage.

The paper is available as an oral presentation and in written form as part of the meeting’s proceedings.