KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Camilla Winqvist is a PhD student at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, since November 2016. Her research is on the subject of the afterlives of mines, with a primary interest in the reinterpretation and reuse of former mining areas.
The objective of her research is to explore and understand how stakeholders in the Arctic have dealt with legacies from mining operations during different time periods and why. Camilla is asking why mining legacies have been interpreted in different ways and by whom. The thesis is a comparative study, where three former mining communities are explored; Nautanen in Norrbotten, Sweden, Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada and Longyearbyen on Svalbard, Norway. The research methods employed for investigating the case study areas consist of archival work, contemporary archaeological survey, mapping and ethnographic field work.
Camilla’s project is part of RT 7, concerning the material legacies from extractive industries and how they potentially can become resources for post-industrial futures.
The preliminary outcomes of the ongoing thesis work is that an abandoned mine can have a great variety of afterlives, often more than one. Each afterlife is defined by actors seeking to ascribe values to the area. Camilla also highlights the question of whether it is at all possible to speak of these landscapes as “post-industrial” since they can become industrial once more if the political, economic and social context provide actors with the possibility to do so.