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Why World Culture Heritage? Democracy, local participation and knowledge production in the world culture nomination of Farms in Halsingland, Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2530-6343
2011 (English)In: Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development / [ed] Dorothy Billings, Viatcheslav Rudnev, Beijing, China: The Intellectual House , 2011, 21-33 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper analyzes the nomination process of the Swedish heritage site Farms and Villages in Hiilsingland (2007) for UNESCO's World Heritage List. It was anticipated that the large timbered red-painted farmhouses of Halsingland in the north of Sweden would be listed in June 2009, but ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) came to another conclusion,  deferred  the  nomination  and  returned  it  to  the  Swedish  authorities  for improvements.

The  nomination  process  lasted  for  over  10  years  and  has  been  a  painstaking  process involving the local communities and the county administration board in the county town of Gavle. The costs were estimated to be 15 million Swedish Crowns (1.6 million EURO) which did not trickle down to the owners of the farmhouses. The local people were nonetheless thrilled because they assumed that a nomination would benefit them economically, especially if they were prepared to join the tourist circus and make their homes accessible for visitors. The extra income was badly needed since the restoration costs for these large houses in most cases can only with difficulties be carried by the individual house owner. But some were openly critical to the entire enterprise and they saw it as a status project for some politicians and a threat to the perceived harmony between the traditionally built environment and the landscape. A nomination would cause a disruption between old and new ways of living instead of continuity. In a cultural heritage nomination process a complicated interaction arises between expert knowledge and local knowledge, which generates insights that need to be formulated in the final product. Cultural sensitivity and local participation must be pillars in such a project to make it sustainable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Beijing, China: The Intellectual House , 2011. 21-33 p.
Keyword [en]
world cultural heritage list, UNESCO, ICOMOS, Hälsingland, Sweden, world culture heritage nomination, heritage, local participation, nominations, local arena, regional government, tension
Keyword [sv]
världsarvsnominering, UNESCO, ICOMOS, Hälsingegårdar
National Category
Ethnology Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-199417ISBN: 978-7-5130-0824-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-199417DiVA: diva2:619513
The 16th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), Kunming, China, 27 - 31 July, 2009
Varför Världsarv?

Additional information re: publisher:

International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences; Commission on Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development (IUAES)

Available from: 2013-05-03 Created: 2013-05-03 Last updated: 2015-06-01

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