Posts Tagged ‘heritage futures’

Interview with Cornelius Holtorf

Friday, February 26th, 2021

Now available: Britta Rudolff’s interview (27 min) with Cornelius Holtorf on “heritage futures”, recorded as part of Britta’s teaching in the Introduction to Heritage Site Management Masters course at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg (28 January 2021).

Swedish TV news – Warning the people of the future about nuclear waste

Friday, February 5th, 2021

Swedish TV news programme last night broadcast a reportage about long-term memory preservation in relation to nuclear waste repositories . They focused mainly on future archaeology, and the piece featured interviews with Erik Setzman (SKB, the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company) and Cornelius Holtorf, professor of Archaeology at Linnaeus University and holder of the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures.

Although it is in Swedish, you may still be able to catch the gist of it from the pictures including the historic video clips they found and the simulations (!).

The programme is available at  https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/sa-ska-framtida-folk-varnas-for-karnavfall 

 

nuclear warning sign of the International Atomic Energy Agency

Photo: This nuclear warning sign of the International Atomic Energy Agency may be crystal clear to people like us. But the various symbols on a red background inside a triangular sign may not unambiguously communicate to distant future generations why this particular legacy of our time should be approached with caution.

The Future in Heritage Studies

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

Cornelius Holtorf was invited to present a digital lunchtime seminar on “The Future in Heritage Studies and its Future” at the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre, University of Cambridge (4 February 2021).

For an audience of almost 70, Holtorf reviewed the significance of the future in heritage studies, arguing that the anticipated needs and benefits of heritage for specific future generations have very rarely been explicitly addressed or critically discussed. As heritage is increasingly linked to the Agenda 2030, the significance of the future in heritage studies becomes ever more important and a critical engagement with this notion and its meaning is urgently needed.

The UNESCO Chair om Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University attempts to make a difference in that respect by building global capacity for futures thinking among heritage professionals.

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.

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.

 

 

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.

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)