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Cultural Heritage and Climate Change Relations: sketching an archive of our present day struggle to be a good ancestor

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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David Charles Harvey - Lecturer

Arkivveckan KEYNOTE:
This paper offers a review of the critical intersections between heritage and climate change debates, pointing towards existential, methodological, intellectual and contextual commonalities in order to chart a way forward that involves a collaborative conversation. Climate change has huge significance for heritage studies, as sites, objects and ways of life come under threat, or require management or adaptation. Many heritage sites, therefore, end up being used as indicators of ‘culture’ to be preserved. Although often overlooked, however, heritage is also key to examining the significance of climate change. Notions (and images) of the past are crucial to our understanding of the present, and are used to prompt actions required for a desired and sustainable future.
Rather than perceiving them as mere ‘products’, ‘indicators’ and ‘physical outcomes’, therefore, this paper emphasises a processual understanding of both heritage and climate change, thereby making a creative space in which discussion of loss, ephemerality, transition and movement can occur. The paper will put forward some theoretical and practical guidelines for how we should understand, represent and manage the heritage-climate change relationship, and I will conclude, by reflecting on some of our contemporary struggles to be a good ancestor for the people of tomorrow.
14 May 2020

External organisation

NameUpsala Universitet

ID: 178738007