Accepted paper:

Please, don't make it Harry! Culture heritage landscape repair in Southern Norway


Sarah Holst Kjær (Stockholm University)

Paper short abstract:

The reuse of American style houses and ‘half a skyscraper’ from the 1950’ies in a rural Norwegian landscape is a tourism attraction about displacement. Is is also about maintenance and renovation and repairing the recognition of a community's own migration past.

Paper long abstract:

Between 1910 and 1980 many Norwegians from the peninsular of Lista in Southern Norway, travelled to Brooklyn, New York City, America. They worked as carpenters, construction workers, house-keepers and service-staff in shops and restaurants. Many crossed the Atlantic several times as migrant workers. The local Norwegian dialect became highly affected by American language. When they went home from 'Junaiten' (United States) they brought along new status symbols of the American lifestyle: cars, furniture, kitchen appliances, industrialised food, clothing and household articles. Around the rural Norwegian landscape, they build private suburban homes - American style houses. They re-settled and repaired their Norwegian anchoring on American dollars, styles and measurements. Tourism often shed light on local traditions and local peculiarities. This Lista-Brooklyn community in Southern Norway participated in a heritage tourism research project where the goal was to re-use the American style houses homes and 'half a skyscraper' as attractions for tourists visiting. This paper discusses what kind of repair-processes the community had to deal with in order to create a total heritage destination. 'Repair' is in this sense defined as maintenance and renovation of heritage buildings, but repair is also understood as emotional and social processes: the community negotiated the need for preserving the buildings; the relevance of autobiographical history and the recognition of one's own past although it pointed towards social conflicts.

panel Mat02
Repairing the periphery