Posts Tagged ‘European heritage’

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.” 

European Cultural Heritage Green Paper

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

Today, I have been attending the launch webinar of the European Cultural Heritage Green Paper with a high-level panel including Mariya Gabriel (European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth), Teresa Patricio (President of ICOMOS), Hermann Parzinger (President of Europa Nostra), Dace Malbarde (MEP, Vice-Chair of Committee on Culture and Education), Andrew Pots, (Coordinator of the Climate Heritage Network and main author of the Green Paper), and almost 600 attendees. Mariya Gabriel reiterated that culture and heritage are part of “the soul of Europe”.

The paper was initiated because the European Green Deal turned out not to make substantial references to culture or heritage.

My question to the panel was this: 

To what extent is cultural heritage not just an asset for the European Green Deal but might also be a liability? How should cultural heritage policy and management develop to maximise the opportunities and minimise any risks for the future?

This is the sort of question we need to ask as and when we think seriously about heritage futures. Andrew Potts acknowledged the problem in his reply, stating that “culture informs the current unsustainable consumption and production patterns. So culture is a part of the solution and a part of the problem.”

Heritage futures question the status quo

Sunday, November 29th, 2020

When I present key ideas associated with our work on heritage futures, promoting futures-thinking among heritage professionals, some colleagues say that this is nothing new. Here are a few examples illustrating what I mean when I say that we must go beyond the status quo in heritage thinking. I cite below several statements from a recent document on European heritage policy, and how we differ from the heritage futures perspective.

Status quo: Whether we like it or not, we are all intrinsically connected to our past.

Heritage futures: More than anything else, we are all necessarily tied up with on-going processes in our present and their impacts on the future.

Status quo: Europe’s cultural heritage is the direct result of our ancestors’ deeds, efforts and decisions.

Heritage futures: Europe’s current ‘cultural heritage’ has been constructed over the past couple of centuries by intellectuals, politicians, business people, and various kinds of cultural activists and influencers. 

Status quo: It is time to acknowledge that this shared heritage, this sense of togetherness, is the real foundation on which Europe is built.

Heritage futures: It is time to acknowledge that Europe has been built on a notion of heritage that is increasingly associated with divisions in society.

Status quo: Europe’s cultural heritage … shows us how our lives are connected to a long line of generations coming before and after us.

Heritage futures: Cultural heritage must be re-imagined now to create a viable foundation for future societies, both in Europe and globally.

Status quo: Our cultural heritage holds up a mirror to who we were, who we are and who we aspire to be, and helps us to interpret our past successes and failures.

Heritage futures: Futures literacy in the heritage sector can facilitate necessary changes in society and in how we see ourselves, in order to meet global challenges of the future.