Malmö University Publications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Pathways: Exploring the Routes of a Movement Heritage
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Sport Sciences (IDV).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2914-4476
Göteborgs universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8503-8785
2022 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Trails and paths are pathways to the past – and serve as a physical and cultural infrastructure of human memory. While they lead the way forward for anyone out walking, they also point backwards, towards history. 

Walking has been a common denominator for human life everywhere, at all times. While other forms of mobility have grown in importance and changed our societies in dramatic ways, most of us still depend on walking in our daily life. The massive number of human steps throughout history has created a rich and widespread network of trails that cross the globe and connect places. It has also resulted in a vast immaterial heritage through literature, art and music about walking. Paths and trails accommodate both the material and the immaterial, and challenge not only conventional heritage management but also the very essence of the nature/culture divide. 

In our current age, the Anthropocene, traces of people’s movements can be regarded as a distinct kind of cultural heritage, a ‘movement heritage’ that is dependent on continuous use or memory work to remain. It also points to historical and current forms of land use that is sustainable in the most basic meaning of the word, i.e. that these activities can be and de facto has been practiced over long periods of time without causing large-scale environmental degradation. Few other forms of human mobility can make similar claims.

So, while traces and remains from different kinds of movement may be small in physical scale, they are monumental in terms of their importance for the understanding of how a landscape has been used historically. Traces of mobility form lines that, with Tim Ingold, tie together the life worlds of the past with those of the present.

Walking tracks, paths, and trails are usually ephemeral and often also neglected traces of humans moving by foot through landscapes in the past and the present. These subtle landscape features seem to be difficult to handle within established heritage management regimes, partly because of their fugitive and timid nature. However, their uses and impacts have often been decisive and important for individuals and communities across spatial and temporal scales.

In this anthology, we explore possibilities to acknowledge human motion, and traces thereof, as heritage. Today, with the increasing interest in local and sustainable connections, and in bodily and spiritual enhancement, we see a growing use of walking tracks both in landscapes within reach from urban centres and in more remotely located or ‘wild’ areas. The corona pandemic has further propelled these trends. Of course, landscapes that are commonly understood as wilderness or ‘nature’ are in most cases clearly influenced by human actions and movements. While walking trails tend to be regarded as pathways to experience nature and as tools to promote public health, they could also be seen and used as routes to culture and history, indeed as pathways to the past. Based on a Swedish research project with the aim to explore the multiple dimensions of walking, paths and movement, this volume discuss the potential effects of such an expansion of the heritage register.

Landscapes of mobility have been shaped by hiking, hunting, outdoor life, tourism, sports, and physical training for centuries. They are historical remains of those activities, while simultaneously being the infrastructure for present-day usages. The demand for places suitable for movement, training and events continue to grow, and hiking trails are a key component in the rise of nature-based tourism, sport events such as trail running and mountain biking, and the increasing interest in outdoor life and hiking. So far, the historical and heritage aspects of these developments have been underarticulated. However, the Norwegian heritage board together with the Norwegian Tourist Association (Den Norske Turistforening, DNT) have initiated a project around historical hiking trails that have been attracting attention over the last couple of years. Similar attempts are now being made in Sweden, England, and elsewhere. There is need for a more explicit discussion about trails as heritage. With this anthology we contribute with precisely that through gathering leading scholars in Europe and beyond around this subject and engaging them in dialogue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: White Horse Press, 2022. , p. 331
Keywords [en]
Paths, trails, movement heritage, walking, articulation
National Category
History Ethnology Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-55671ISBN: 978-1-912186-60-0 (electronic)ISBN: 978-1-912186-55-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-55671DiVA, id: diva2:1708864
Projects
Rörelsearvet
Funder
Swedish National Heritage BoardSwedish National Centre for Research in SportsMistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental ResearchAvailable from: 2022-11-07 Created: 2022-11-07 Last updated: 2022-11-07Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Pathways at JSTOR (open access)

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Svensson, DanielSaltzman, KatarinaSörlin, Sverker
By organisation
Department of Sport Sciences (IDV)
HistoryEthnologyHuman Geography

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 108 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf