Research results

Review of Deep time reckoning

Sunday, June 13th, 2021

My review of Vincent Ialenti’s (2020) Deep time reckoning: how future thinking can help Earth now, MIT Press, has now been published in the journal Time and Mind.
Open access for the first 50 who click here!

International Day of Monuments and Sites

Sunday, April 18th, 2021

18 April is the International Day of Monuments and Sites, coordinated by ICOMOS. This year the theme is “Complex Pasts – Diverse Futures”.

Our UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures participates in the International Programme, representing Sweden, with a digital exhibition entitled Balloon Head: Iran’s Constitutional Revolution Reconfigured and curated by Leila Papoli-Yazdi.

Focusing on Iran’s Mashrouteh (Constitutional) Revolution, Ali Roustaeeyanfard’s paintings reconfigure historical photographs of complex historic events and processes at the beginning of the 20th century.

By adding colourful anachronistic details to the original motifs of the photographs his work depicts unimagined futures and the need to re-narrate the past in every present. The paintings illustrate that there are unexpected and diverse futures, both of the past and of the tangible heritage that reminds us of the past in the present. Roustaeeyanfard’s hope is to revive the forgotten heritage and history of voiceless people in order to fulfil their original dream of achieving freedom and progress through the Revolution.

 

Cultural heritage and the European Green Deal

Thursday, April 15th, 2021

Cornelius Holtorf was interviewed by Sorina Buzatu for youris.com, an independent non-profit media agency promoting European innovation via TV media and the web. Her article is about cultural heritage and sustainability in the context of the European Green Deal, in which the words “heritage”, “art”, “culture” and “landscape” do not appear.

The article, published on 15 April 2021, discusses to what extent cultural heritage challenges or contributes to a sustainable future (read it here or here). Holtorf is quoted asking 

“What kind of cultural heritage will be needed in the next 20 to 30 years in order to make the life better? What can we do today about the heritage to maximise its benefit for the future? In some cases, that entails preservations, while in others, it demands us to choose some heritage more than others, or to create new heritage over time.” 

International Science Festival Gothenburg

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

We took part with two outreach projects in the 2021 International Science Festival in Gothenburg, one of Europe’s leading popular science events and the only one of its kind in Sweden.

Colleen Morgan on Prefiguration and Heritage

Sunday, March 28th, 2021
Colleen Morgan has now published a response to a discussion of the concept of prefiguration in relation to contemporary cultural heritage practice to which I had contributed last year.
 
Great to see when our past work on heritage futures inspires some unusual and beautiful responses that encourage us all to think more and, quite possibly, act better.
 
From her conclusion:
“There will be Neolithic burial rites, a rally, and a puppet show. … We will cry, we will laugh, and we will demand accountability and change, and the end of Empire.”
Morgan, Colleen. 2021. Save the Date for Future Mourning: Prefiguration and Heritage. Forum Kritische Archäologie 10:1–5.
 

 

 

 

Free review copies available

Saturday, March 13th, 2021

We offer 10 free paperback copies of the following volume for review:

Cultural Heritage and the Future. Edited by Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg. 300 pp. Routledge 2021.

Drawing on case studies from around the world, Cultural Heritage and the Future argues that cultural heritage and the future are intimately linked and that the development of futures thinking should be a priority for academics, students and those working in the wider professional heritage sector.

Click here for more information about the book and the opportunity of open access to the editors’ comprehensive introductory paper on “Cultural heritage as a futuristic field”  (select “preview pdf”).

10 review copies (sent free of charge) are now available to emerging professionals from the Global South (low- and middle-income countries). If in doubt apply and make a case. To qualify for selection send a short text (max 1 page) stating who you are and why you are interested in reading the book.

Reviews should offer a critical assessment rather than mere description, be 500-1,000 words long and submitted within three months of receipt of the book. Manuscripts will be copy edited, may be shortened, and have to comply with normal publishing requirements. We welcome critical reviews and will edit for clarity and length but not for content. Submission of your manuscript implies our (non-exclusive) right of publication on a dedicated webpage created by Linnaeus University including full acknowledgment of your authorship. Access to all reviews will be from here.

–> Send your application to unesco-heritage-futures@lnu.se by 16 April 2021.

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?