chapter  20
14 Pages

Whose History? Why Archaeology Matters

ByAndreas Antelid, Anita Synnestvedt

In this chapter we will discuss the project ‘Whose history?’ which was conducted during 2013 in a small rural municipality on the west coast of Sweden. The aim of the project was to introduce some migrant youths, who had recently arrived in Sweden, to a local heritage. Immigrants in general, particularly migrant youths, are underrepresented among participants in local heritage practices. The underlying reason for this lack of representation is probably an implicit belief that heritage represented by pre-historic and historic monuments, places and stories is the heritage of the ‘Swedes’. A large group of migrants are thereby excluded from taking part in local cultural heritage practices. Questions raised by the project were: who has the right to participate? and who has the right to claim local history as their own? By letting a group of migrant youths carry out an archaeological survey of a local historical location and subsequently presenting their results in a public exhibition showing new knowledge about the history of the location, enables discussion of these questions.