New exhibition in Kunskapskuben in Växjö: Cultural Heritage and Archaeology of the Future

On Monday 4 October, the exhibition Back to the Future was inaugurated at the University Library in Växjö. The exhibition is based on the research that is conducted within the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures that was established at Linnaeus University in 2017. The artist Pernilla Frid is also part of the exhibition.

What can we know about the future? For what future/futures do we preserve cultural heritage? How do we communicate with future generations? These and other questions about how we communicate who we are and what we have achieved are addressed in the exhibition. Cornelia Witthöft, professor and deputy vice-chancellor for research, gave an inauguration speech and she stresses the importance of finding new ways to communicate research to reach a wider audience.

“We researchers can be a bit stiff and dull and sometimes we have a hard time packaging our message in an exciting and interesting way. However, one cannot say that the research conducted by Heritage Futures is stiff and dull. In particular not when you combine it with Pernilla Frid’s work and present it like this”, says Cornelia Witthöft.



Cornelius Holtorf, holder of the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures, is asked why he accepted to take part in the exhibition. He explains that he think it is an interesting way to present what his research group does, but also to challenge certain prejudiced ideas about archaeology.

“It’s fun to be able to present archaeology in an unexpected way. In particular as this deals with big questions, like sustainability, that are relevant to society. I also think it’s important that we start thinking about the distant future and what we leave behind. We have a tendency to think that cultural heritage is only about the past, but that’s not the case. To an equal extent, cultural heritage is about what we leave behind. It has also been very rewarding to work together with Pernilla Frid”, says Holtorf.

Two external representatives also took part at the vernissage. Partly Sofie Tunbrant at SKB that collaborates with the research group on how we can communicate radioactive waste to civilisations 100,000 years from now. And also the UNESCO coordinator at Mörbylånga municipality, Emma Rydnér, who has taken part in the production of the exhibition with future scenarios for the world heritage-classified agricultural landscape on the southern part of the island of Öland.

The exhibition 'Back to the Future' will be on display in Kunskapskuben at the University Library in Växjö all autumn semester.

The exhibition is part of The Cultural University.