HSUD-DRNI: Practices of Decolonisation and the Rise of New Imperialisms in the Uses of Heritage and Sustainable Urban Development

Field: Culture and Heritage Studies, History of Ideas, Media Studies
Project leader: Irina Seits
Starting year: 2023
Project type: Research network
Total funding: SEK 150,000

The HSUD-DRNI network is formed to strengthen international collaboration between the individual researchers and academic institutions in the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe under aim to study, analyse, and protect the shared heritage in the region. The consortium includes Södertörn University, Uppsala University, Tartu University, Institute for Social Science and Humanities (ISSH), Skopje, and Center for Sociological Research (CISR) Berlin.

The research focus for the present project is placed on exploring the current practices and interpretations of decolonisation and on investigation of the rise of neo-imperialist trends across the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe. We aim to analyse how the concepts of decolonisation and neo-imperialism are articulated and represented through practices of heritagisation and heritage preservation, and how they impact visions and policies of sustainable urban development in the region. The escalation of the war in Ukraine has intensified these already existing discourses and practices of decolonisation on one side and has initiated new neo-imperialist projects on the other. The team will hold online and in-person meetings to develop and finalise an application for a larger research project. Alongside these activities, the network will organise an academic conference in Stockholm targeting scholars and graduate students in humanities as well as general public interested in reflecting on the current cultural processes in the region.