Archive for November, 2020

Podcast about Rwandan heritage research

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

UNESCO Chair postdoctoral fellow Annalisa Bolin was interviewed on HumPodd about her research on Rwandan heritage, genocide memorials, development, and tourism. Listen to her conversation with Tommy Gustavsson and Jonas Svensson online or find the “Bloody Heritage” episode of HumPodd on Apple podcasts.

Re-imagining heritage

Friday, November 20th, 2020

Cornelius Holtorf presented a lecture on “Heritage Futures and Re-Imagining Heritage” for an audience of 70 attending the Research Forum at the Department of Archaeology, University of York, UK.

Using the example of UNESCO World Heritage and global conflicts during the 20th and 21st centuries, he argued that addressing ‘heritage futures’ means to be able to re-imagine heritage – not the least to create peace or other benefits for future generations.

“A Cultural Deal for Europe”

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg attended the high-profile webinar on A Cultural Deal for Europe about the European Union’s post-pandemic future, featuring senior European politicians and lobbyists (18 November 2020). There were a lot of fine words about the value of culture generally and about the significance of cultural tourism and ‘our’ common identity specifically…

Holtorf asked: “Culture is about far more than income through tourism and a sense of belonging rooted in the past. Culture is also about shared values, effective integration, human wellbeing, generational links, creativity and innovation, etc. How will these additional aspects inform the Cultural Deal for Europe?”

In response, Sabine Verheyen MEP (Chair Committee on Culture and Education, European Parliament) makes the point that we need more data to show the power of culture in order to persuade the finance ministers. We will need to address this problem in one way or another!

Högberg pointed later to the emerging agenda at the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures to employ heritage purposefully for managing the relations between present and future societies. He received visible interest by other participants.


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)

Progress in high-level nuclear waste management?

Thursday, November 12th, 2020

Cornelius Holtorf attended an international expert roundtable on progress in high-level radioactive waste management and the sustainability of nuclear energy, chaired by William Magwood, Director-General of the Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD.
The top global decision-makers attending the meeting (including Rita Baranwal, the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at the US Dept of Energy) seem to agree that the biggest problem the sector is facing does not relate to the technical solutions available but to public and stakeholder confidence in solutions applying across extreme timescales.

What they have not yet considered sufficiently is that future people’s behaviour may undo even the most well-intended technical solutions. That is where the humanities need to come in for gaining a better understanding of what people (might) do and why…

World heritage futures in Karlskrona

Thursday, November 5th, 2020

Cornelius Holtorf held a full-day World Heritage Workshop in Karlskrona. Joining up with the Director of the Museum of Blekinge region, two Heads of Department and two education professionals, they discussed in detail development prospects and possibilities for a planned World Heritage Museum and its many associated activities in the light of global trends in the cultural heritage sector.

From left to right: Ola Palmgren (pedagogue), Christoffer Sandahl (Head of Collections), Maja Heuer (Head of Public Unit), Marcus Sandekjer (Director), Cornelius Holtorf, Charlotte Nordheim (Project coordinator and pedagogue). The two old guys in the background remained silent during the day.