Experimental Heritage – Translocal Art and Archaeology Practice in Communities in Ireland and Sweden

By: Bodil Petersson   Maria Kerin  

In an era of globalisation, we are choosing to develop an alternative engagement with local heritage in rural areas, through the translocal process of Experimental Heritage – a transdisciplinary practice including archaeology, art and heritage. This practice evolves from local heritage and local culture, where unique stories, practices, monuments and traditions are approached together with local community knowledge, at an intersection of art and archaeology. We are engaged in the processes of unfolding both the hidden and the more obvious dimensions of local heritage. By going beyond institutional norms and practices, we let the combined arts and archaeology practice emerge from within and through local communities and their landscapes in a translocal process. We are offering an engagement that is rural centered, rather than adopting a central institutionalised urban model. This transdiciplinary, trans-local practice can be applied in an international context but has no strivings to be the singular dominant paradigm. We focus on sharing practices to expand transdisciplinary knowledge. Karum-Creevagh is an ongoing project developing the experimental heritage process. This artistic and archaeological work includes heritage interpretation, community engagement, interaction and co-creation. It builds on collaborations between archaeologists, visual artists, performance artists, musicians, poets and dancers as well as heritage and cultural workers and the community. All involved have a connection with and knowledge relating to the areas in County Clare, western Ireland and on the island of Öland, south-eastern Sweden, crucial for this practice’s aims: to create new perspectives and practices relating to locally specific heritage.

The Arts in Social, Political, and Community Life
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Bodil Petersson

associate professor, Department of Cultural Sciences, Linnaeus University

Maria Kerin

artist / curator, independent