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Cultural heritage as actants in the struggle over the Polar Areas and their natural resources
Arctic Centre, University of Groningen .ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6461-7734
2010 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Over the last centuries, company's and national governments have competed for control over natural resources and territories in the Arctic and Antarctic. This struggle has taken place both through diplomacy and through activities in the Polar landscapes, such as the setting up of scientific stations or the establishment of industrial settlements. The aim of this presentation is to discuss the role of cultural heritage sites in the struggle for control over the polar areas and their natural resources, with a particular focus on industrial heritage. The analyses will deal with a number of historical sites in a highly contested region in the South Atlantic – South Georgia and the Falkland Islands / Malvinas, all studied within the framework of the IPY project LASHIPA (Large scale historical exploitation of polar areas, ID 10). What has been the role of historical sites in the struggle between Argentina and Great Britain in this region? What histories have been ascribed to the historical sites by the competing actors and why? How has the rivalry affected interpretations of the historical remains? What are the political implications of heritage management in contested regions in the Arctic and Antarctica? In order to answer these questions I will use actor network theory. With this approach I will analyse the strategies of competing actors to enrol historical places and remains as actants in their actor networks, by using and producing historical narratives. The contents of these narratives have naturally differed, but have been related to broader genres about nation, discovery, science and technology, giving them strength and legitimacy. The historical narratives and actants have had different purposes, defending national prestige, creating a sense connectedness to distant polar places, as well as increasing influence over territories and natural resources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Industry, whaling, mining, polar science, polar research, Antarctica, Falkland islands, Malvinas, geo-politics, foreign policy, governance, use of history, narratives, linear model, actor-network theory
Keyword [sv]
Industri, valfångst, gruvdrift, polarforskning, Arktis, Antarktis, Falklandsöarna, Malvinas, geo-politik, utrikespolitik, förvaltning, historiebruk, berättelser, linjära modellen, aktörnätverkteori
National Category
History and Archaeology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-87816OAI: diva2:501908
IPY Oslo Science Conference, Oslo, Norway, June 8-12, 2010
LASHIPA (Large Scale Historical Exploitation of Polar Areas), IPY project #10

QC 20120423

Available from: 2012-02-14 Created: 2012-02-14 Last updated: 2016-02-25Bibliographically approved

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