Archive for March, 2020

What does the future hold for heritage?

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

Cornelius Holtorf gave a Prezi presentation on “Heritage Futures: What does the future hold for heritage?” for the Global Webinar Series of the ICOMOS Emerging Professionals Working Group (29 March 2020).

The Zoom session reached very quickly the maximum number of 100 participants, with another 134 queuing to come in. Participants joined from all regions of the world, many confined to their homes due to measures to slow down the spread of covid-19.

Among the topics addressed in the lecture and the subsequent discussion were:

  • What does it mean to address Heritage Futures?
  • Is the future relevant to heritage?
  • Is the future knowable at all?
  • What are the needs of future generations?
  • Are we already addressing the future?
  • What is the potential of heritage in a post-corona world?

The presentation concluded by stating that heritage can have a bright future to the extent that it competently contributes to meeting the needs of future societies.

A recording of the entire session is available here.

Archaeology Today

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

Here is something for all of you to enjoy in a dark period:

Archaeology Today. By Cornelius Holtorf (text) and Daniel Lindskog (drawings).


This colouring book illustrates how archaeologists are working today applying new approaches. It was published by the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University. Thanks to Riksbanken Jubileumsfond for support!

Heritage and COVID-19

Saturday, March 14th, 2020

The people I meet no longer shake hands to greet but they invent or adopt all sorts of new forms of greetings: with elbows, feet or by folding hands in front of their bodies. My colleague Eva Cronquist made me aware that, curiously, these for us unusual gestures make the greeting more intense – and warmer.

We learn from that that in times of crisis it is not difficult for anybody to adapt even some of the most established habits and traditions (our cultural heritage!). And especially: to make such a shift is a gift not a sacrifice.

WM (Waste Management) 2020 in Phoenix

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

Claudio Pescatore participated in the Waste Management 2020 conference in Phoenix, Arizona. This annual event is the biggest gathering in the world in radioactive waste management.

Pescatore took part in a panel on Records, Knowledge and Memory for Radioactive Waste Repositories with a presentation about our work, entitled “Recent activities and progress in Sweden in the field of preserving records, knowledge and memory for future generations”.

He argued, among other things, that there is reason to believe that our work

will create momentum for exploring new avenues for cooperation in Sweden – and elsewhere – in order to strengthen and extend current practices in records, knowledge and memory preservation, regarding radioactive waste and beyond, in the context of sustainable development for the benefit of future generations

Welcome to UNESCO Day in Växjö!

Monday, March 9th, 2020

UPDATE 17 March: due to the Covid-19 pandemic we will hold this event during the autumn instead.


Welcome to a UNESCO Day on 1 April 2020 at Linnaeus University in Växjö. On this unique day, the Swedish UNESCO Chairs together with representatives of the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO will report about their current activities and priorities for the future.

The program includes a Welcome by Peter Aronsson after which Lena Sommestad, Chairperson of the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO, and the Swedish UNESCO Chairs will present their current work.

In the afternoon, two open lectures will take place where the Chairs are given the opportunity to meet colleagues and students in their respective fields. See here for the full programm.

The programme is open to staff and students at Linnaeus University. Participation is free of charge, but signing up is compulsory to the programme in the morning. Sign up by March 25!

Preserved for the future

Sunday, March 8th, 2020

Cornelius Holtorf contributed with Martin Kunze to the art project “Ineligible” which is currently displayed as part of the exhibition “Creative (Un)makings: Dispruptions in Art/Archaeology” that is curated by Doug Bailey and Sara Navarro and held at the International Museum of Contemporary Sculpture in Santo Tirso, Portugal (6 March – 14 June 2020). Ineligible removed archaeological artefacts from the context of an excavation in San Francisco, disarticulates and repurposes them as raw materials in order to address contemporary political and social issues.

Holtorf and Kunze´s work is entitled “Preserved for the future”, and it addresses the global politics of loss and preservation. A shoe from San Francisco was burned reducing it to small fragments of minerals. The ceramic tile contains the photograph of a shadow of the show together with some of its tangible remains. A duplicate was deposited in the Memory of Mankind storage facility at Hallstatt in Austria where it may survive for hundreds of thousands of years.

In an ultimate act of preservation, the shoe of one human who lived a century ago has thus become part of the memory of humankind. To allow this prospect of preservation for the future, the shoe was translated into ashes and a shadow of itself. Ironically, this tile may be the only thing to survive from the excavation in San Francisco in the distant future.

So: has the shoe been lost through the process or preserved?

What will future generations make of this and other legacies of our time?

 

Archaeology Today

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

In this colouring book we illustrate how archaeologists are working today applying new approaches. The authors are Cornelius Holtorf (text) and Daniel Lindskog (drawings). Thank you Riksbanken Jubileumsfond for support!

Download the colouring book here.

Heritage Futures – the book

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

To be published in July 2020:

Heritage Futures Comparative Approaches to Natural and Cultural Heritage Practices. By Rodney Harrison, Caitlin DeSilvey, Cornelius Holtorf, Sharon Macdonald, Nadia Bartolini, Esther Breithoff, Harald Fredheim, Antony Lyons, Sarah May, Jennie Morgan, and Sefryn Penrose. UCL Press 2020.

Preservation of natural and cultural heritage is often said to be something that is done for the future, or on behalf of future generations, but the precise relationship of such practices to the future is rarely reflected upon. Heritage Futures draws on research undertaken over four years by an interdisciplinary, international team of 16 researchers and more than 25 partner organisations to explore the role of heritage and heritage-like practices in building future worlds.