This project is conducted in close interaction with the Nordic Centre of Excellence REXSAC – Resource Extraction and Sustainable Arctic Communities. The project examines the legacies of mining in the context of communities around the northern parts of the Nordic countries, in order to inform contemporary discussions on the future of mining communities in northern Sweden. The material remains of mining – from ecological damage to operational equipment and transport infrastructure – persist long after the end of activities and the end of mining-generated income. Mining sites are often sites of cultural memory, central to the identity of the communities that depended upon them. Yet different communities have taken very different approaches to these legacies, from actively incorporating them into new economies (tourism in particular) to leaving them behind with no further consideration.
In this project, researchers from KTH cooperate with scholars from Dalarnas Högskola, using approaches from industrial and cultural heritage studies in addition to history and archeology to understand the conditions under which Arctic mining legacies become particular resources for local communities. Through field studies, archive work and interviews with stakeholders, we explore how even the most physically resistant mining legacies are constantly open for reinterpretation by different groups and thus able to support different visions for the future of local communities. In comparison to the research project with a similar name funded by VR (see below), this research project focuses less on environmental legacies of mining and more on the development of mining tourism and heritage tourism.
Funding agency: Formas