Climate Heritage 2019

Abstracts and Bios:

 

 

Marcy Rockman

Title
Cultural Heritage as a Source of Creativity for Climate Change

Abstract:

Archaeological heritage is founded in the material remains of the past. And climate change is now putting many of these material remains around the world at risk for damage or destruction. But the strongest connection of archaeological cultural heritage to climate change may lie in the creativity it allows in finding meaningful responses to climate challenges. Drawing on nine years of experience in the US federal government, this presentation outlines three areas of heritage based creativity, including research question matching, climate stories, and community engagement with what matters most.

Bio:

Marcy Rockman is an archaeologist who studies how humans gather, share, remember, and transmit environmental information, particularly during colonization. From 2011-2018 she served as the US National Park Service (NPS) Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for Cultural Resources in Washington, DC, in which role she was responsible for identifying and responding to the impacts of climate change on the cultural heritage of the US. She is now working with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) to build a program to improve incorporation of heritage into the global response to climate change, including reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Dr. Rockman holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona, and B.Sc. in Geology from the College of William and Mary.

 

 

Dolly Jørgensen

Title:

Naming Extinction: Cultural Heritage Institutions as Agents of Environmental Citizenship

Abstract:

We may be living through one of the most significant changes to the Earth’s environment in the ‘sixth mass extinction event’. Because museums and art galleries are one of the primary sites of public engagement with environmental issues including extinction, we need critical reflection on how they can be used to cultivate heritage thinking about the loss of nonhuman species. Unlike in prior global extinction events, extinction is now being recorded as entangled human history as it happens; it is being remembered in human narrative and is thus part of our culture. The challenge for cultural heritage institutions is how to grapple with the human-nature entanglements in the Anthropocene that characterise stories of contemporary extinction.

In this presentation, I will focus in an example of turning extinction into cultural heritage through naming. In 2001, when the National Museum of Australia (NMA) opened its doors, it featured a gallery called Tangled Destinies. On the wall above a case with a Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) specimen, which became extinct in the 20th century, was written: Endling (n.) The last surviving individual of a species of animal or plant. Through that appearance, the word endling has slowly seeped into popular culture, appearing in symphonic music, performance art, science fiction stories, comics, and other art works. Putting a name on extinction—in this case by the museum labelling the endling and offering it as cultural heritage—promotes a new environmental citizenship in a world facing extinction around every corner.

Bio:

Dolly Jørgensen is Professor of History at University of Stavanger, Norway specializing in histories of environment and technology. Her scholarship is unconstrained by typical periodization boundaries: she is just as comfortable writing about 11th century forest management or 15th century urban sanitation as she is writing about 20th century offshore oil operations or contemporary efforts to resurrect extinct animal species. Her current research agenda focuses on cultural histories of animal extinction and recovery. Her book on that topic Longing and Belonging: Recovering Lost Species in the Modern Age will be coming out with MIT Press in fall 2019. She has previously co-edited two volumes at the envirotech intersection—New Natures: Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies (2013) and Northscapes: History, Technology & the Making of Northern Environments (2013)—and one volume in premodern studies, Visions of North in Premodern Europe (2018).

 

 

Gry Hedin
Title
Can landscape painting influence climate change? Danish painting 1780-1920 and landscapes of the Anthropocene

Abstract

Art and science were closely interlinked in 19th century Denmark, and artists communicated the findings of geology, archaeology and biology to a broad public while these scientific disciplines took form. The sciences of the 19th century was closely interlinked with industrialization, and the notion of ‘nature’ and ‘human’ was redefined. Artists interpreted the relationship between human and nature, and at some points influenced the findings of the sciences. During these years landscape painting became an important genre and artworks presented past and present human-environment interaction – both real and imagined. My lecture investigates the interaction between art and science and argues that landscape paintings may be important catalysts for understanding the present even though we today face a climate that is changing in other ways than envisioned in the 19th century. I also discuss how museums can communicate this part of the historical background for climate change and presents examples from the exhibition Down to earth – Danish painting 1780-1920 and landscapes of the Anthropocene.

Bio:

Gry Hedin is curator at ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Ishøj, south of Copenhagen. She holds a PhD in Scandinavian studies and an MA in art history from University of Copenhagen. She has specialized in the relationship between art and science focusing on Scandinavian art and literature in the 19th century and has just finished a post doc project about the relationship between art and science in 19th century Denmark. The post doc was hosted by Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen and Faaborg Museum – an art museum for the artist colony at Funen in Denmark. She has worked with Danish and Nordic art in relation to the Anthropocene as editor and contributor of the Routledge-anthology Artistic Visions of the Anthropocene North: Climate Change and Nature in Art (2018). She has curated several exhibitions, and curated the travelling exhibition Down to earth – Danish painting 1780-1920 and landscapes of the Anthropocene (2018-2019) together with Thor J. Mednick and Gertrud Oelsner.

 

 

Morien Rees

Title:
Locating cultural heritage on pathways to a sustainable future.

Abstract:
In a recently published book  sustainability is defined by three moral imperatives: satisfying human needs, ensuring social equity, and respecting environmental limits. Further each imperative has two sustainability themes, respectively: eradicating extreme poverty and enhancing individual human capabilities; ensuring rich participation in society and ensuring fair distribution of resources; mitigating climate change and safeguarding biosphere integrity. The result is the definition of a sustainable development space. The au-thors argue that sustainable development constitutes a set of constraints on human behaviour, including constraints on economic activity. All must be achieved together to attain sustainability. Thus Climate Breakdown, a term coined by George Monbiot, will not be resolved without addressing these three impera-tives together.

This presentation will consider how these imperatives can also be understood as pathways to the sustaina-ble development space. And how cultural heritage - both tangible and intangible - might contribute to the development of these pathways through activating and empowering the global public. Thereby also con-tributing to achieving a sustainable future.

The presentation will draw on the history of the Coastal Uprising (Kystopprøret). Originating in Vardø on Norway’’s North Eastern Arctic coast in 2017, Kystopprøret is a grass roots movement challenging the Norwegian State’s policies on the conservation and management of fishery resources. It has focused on the dramatic changes that have characterized the fisheries and the coastal culture of Northern Norway over the last two decades. The presentation will examine the porous nature of cultural and political boundaries evi-denced in Kystopprøret and consider if there are lessons to be learnt for the cultural heritage sector in terms of sustainability.

Bio:
Morien Rees studied architecture at the University of Wales and art history at the University of Oslo. He practiced architecture until 1994. Since 1994 he has worked in the museum sector. At present, he is em-ployed in Varanger Museum on the Norway’s arctic coast. He is chair of ICOM’s Working Group on Sus-tainability.

 

 

Mairi Davies

Title:

Historic Environment Scotland’s collaborative approach to climate change impacts, risk and adaptation

 

Abstract:

As a large public body, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has duties under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 that require it to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and to act sustainably. The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment identifies a range of risks and opportunities that climate change may present. Many of these have the potential to impact on the historic environment. HES is key to the delivery of Climate Ready Scotland: Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme and Our Place in Time: the Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland, which identifies climate change as a key challenge for the sector. These obligations are reflected in our Corporate Plan (2016) and Asset Management Plan and Investment Plan (both 2018) as well as our Annual Operating Plan.

Our approach to climate change impacts, risk and adaptation of the historic environment has been shaped by working in partnership with other organisations.  Our grants support external projects and programmes, including mobilizing citizen scientists to record vulnerable archaeological and historic sites.  By working collaboratively, we have been able to ensure the historic environment is fully considered in pioneering projects such as Dynamic Coast: Scotland’s National Coastal Change Assessment and Edinburgh Adapts.  On our own Estate, we have collaborated with the British Geological Survey and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to collate datasets detailing current risk from natural hazards such as flooding and coastal erosion and have used these as indicators of susceptibility to climate change.  This informs development, conservation and maintenance, increasing the inherent resilience of our estate to cope with the changing climate, helping to safeguard it for future generations.

Bio:

Mairi has an MA(Hons) in Archaeology from The University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Archaeology from Durham University, focusing on later prehistoric settlement and society in Eastern Scotland. Previously an Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Mairi now manages the Climate Change Team at HES, supporting the organisation in meeting its obligations under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, providing leadership and acting as an exemplar. Mairi is on the Steering Groups for Dynamic Coast: Scotland’s National Coastal Change Assessment and Edinburgh Adapts, which has brought together multiple partners to develop a vision and action plan for an adapted capital city. She is one of the principal authors of a major report published last year on climate change risk assessment on the Historic Environment Scotland Estate.

 

 

Pernille Denise Frederiksen

Title:

Scheduled Danish Monuments at Risk of Coastal Erosion: Mapping and Actions
Abstract:

Denmark is a lowland country with a coastline of more than 7000 km, and has about 32.000 scheduled ancient monuments. No location in the country is further away from the coast than 52 km. Prognoses made by the Danish coastal authority show that rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions in the future will result in a great risk of severe coastal erosion.  The prognoses urgently call for new strategies in terms of monitoring the effects of climate inflicted damages on tangible cultural heritage. In order to monitor the decay, The Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces has mapped all scheduled monuments in threat of coastal erosion. The national mapping shows that 711 scheduled monuments are in risk of coastal erosion, and that 92 of these monuments already are decaying due to erosion damages. Most of the scheduled monuments affected are Bronze Age barrows, megalithic graves from Stone Age, castle mounds and churches from Middle Ages, and fortifications from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. The completed mapping helps the national heritage administration to understand when and where future actions need to take place. Previous actions have taken place sporadically, and without an overall strategy. These actions have ranged from: 1) “Letting nature take its course”, 2) Ongoing monitoring and field inspections, 3) Archaeological excavation or registration 4) Moving or restoring monuments, 5) Coastal protection. Future actions need to be applied according to a national strategy in order to prevent a loss of valuable knowledge.

Bio:

MA in prehistoric archaeology from University of Copenhagen. Currently working as an archaeologist at the Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces in the department for Ancient Monuments and Sites since 2014. Mainly occupied with cases regarding preservation of scheduled monuments according to the national law. Is responsible for overseeing the national monitoring of scheduled monuments at risk of coastal erosion and other climate change related risks.