Historicity of Cultural Heritage and the Power of Narrative

Anna Sivula

Professor of cultural heritage at the University of Turku, Finland:

My keynote “The Historicity of Cultural Heritage – Remnants, Documents, Monuments and the Power of Narrative” will explain the threefold nature of cultural heritage, illustrate how cultural heritage communities operate using different narratives and how the identities of the participants are shaped in processes pertaining to cultural heritage.

The process of the construction of cultural heritage is always both discursive and material. The identity-shaping work of a cohesive, functioning cultural heritage community is a triple system of actions:
1) historicising the material and immaterial traces and symbols of the past and participants’ experiences;
2) monumentalising the traces, symbols and interpretations of the past; and
3) taking possession of the interpretations and traces of the past. It is important for tourism destinations and stakeholders to understand these processes.

Cultural heritage is continuously under construction. I will therefore also look into the future and discuss with you to the emergence of new (industrial) cultural heritage.

This keynote is part of the Suomi Finland 100 programme, the programme for the centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017 and access is free of charge.

Images: Anna Sivula 2016