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Post-industrial placeholders in the Melting Arctic

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3:30 PM, Mardi 30 Août 2022 (20 minutes)
In this paper, I will explore the geopolitical utility of Pyramiden, an abandoned Russian mining village in Sbvalbard, as a post-industrial ruin and as a political instrument in order to theorize how the intertwined subjects of post-industrial heritage, UNESCO World Heritage policies and practices and Arctic geo-politics have become conflated and actualized using Pyramiden as a case study and artifact. The purpose of this project is to analyze Pyramiden with the purpose of situating the rising tensions mounting over sovereignty in the Arctic within anm industrial heritage artifact as a problem. Concurrently, by focusing on Pyramiden as an industrial artifact, quite literally frozen in time, the notion of “land” and terra nullius in the Arctic resulting from climate change seen through the lens of Pyramiden serves as a cautionary tale as per the limits of UNESCO World Heritage designation and the notion of industrial heritage in the region and elsewhere. In the world. This project stems from previous research that includes studying the positionality of Le Corbusier’s ouvre on the 2016 UNESCO World Heritage List (Nay 2018) and several unpublished studies in Arctic geopolitics and territoriality including a paper presented in Svalbard (Nay, 2019). Methodologically, I will draw upon current literature in Arctic geopolitics, my own research in UNESCO world Heritage policies and practices, and visual representations of Pyramiden as a dark tourism destination for much of evidence.

Eric Nay


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