This article deals with the problem of making sense of the future. Future-making is an interesting issue to consider when exploring contemporary uses of the industrial past. Critical analysis of industrial heritage takes on new dimensions in light of global climate change, which implies a fundamentally different context for valuing the past. The article focuses on the imaginary construction of the future in relation to the heritage of industrial societies. Focusing on the Telemark region of Norway, it examines how narratives of industrialization and deindustrialization have been implicated in the region's heritage. Two towns in Telemark were added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2015 under the category of technical-industrial heritage, and they hold a special place in Norwegian modern history and identity. Here, I discuss the extent to which images of the future were either present or absent in the narratives constructed about the place. I also argue that heritagization is related not only to the past but to the future through the way humans make and draw upon visions of sustainable futures using aspiration and imagination.


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pp. 61-70
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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