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(Un-)wanted Alternatives? Negotiating Heritage in Postindustrial Environments I 
Jeanine Dagyeli (University of Vienna and Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Maike Melles (Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences)
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Peter Froggatt Centre (PFC), 03/006B
Friday 29 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

The panel discusses contrasting but interrelated heritages in postindustrial environments by focusing on people's place- and future-making practices. How do they negotiate between new 'green' industries including eco-tourism and occasional aspirations to preserve industrial ecologies and identities?

Long Abstract:

Decline and dislocation of industries have left many regions around the world ecologically and socially devastated. In the face of crumbling industrial infrastructures, and an impending shift from an extraction- or heavy industry-based economy towards new energy and income alternatives, many former industrial and mining communities have experienced significant socio-cultural transformations. Once prestigious sites of infrastructural development and employment, postindustrial communities must now deal with economic vulnerability, depopulation, polluted environments, and loss of self-esteem. Many industrial wastelands and their surroundings have been absorbed into a globally promoted eco-, heritage and community tourism with its own understandings of (pristine) environment and traditional culture. While anthropologists have often described the resistance to encroaching industries, those who long for an industrial future have received less attention.This panel scrutinises opposite yet entangled (de-)valuations of heritage by putting aspirations, hopes and fears of the future centre stage and examining the frictions created by contrasting temporalities and blue-prints in "capitalist ruins" (Tsing 2015). It brings the literature on the interface of natures and cultures into dialogue with works on (un-)commoning and (im-)moral ecologies. What are notions of the (natural) environment and heritages worth preserving for those living in "industrial ruins", and which values are connected to these understandings? Which temporalities underlie individual and collective place- and future-making? Are (eco-)tourism and reindustrialisation always mutually exclusive? Which conceptualisations and practices around industrial production are considered morally 'good' or 'bad', and why? How are opportunism, complicity or resistance assessed, and how do people negotiate their position?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -