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FLYT: research and dissemination of sustainability in museums

Project period: 2021-2024
Funding: Norwegian Cultural Council
Contact person at the Østfold Musems:
Desirée Nævdal, subject manager, responsible for aquatic cultural heritage objects, desiree.naevdal@ostfoldmuseene.no
Mattias Ekman, first curator, mattias.ekman@ostfoldmuseene.no
Marianne Løken, research director, marianne.loken@ostfoldmuseene.no
Project website: https://mia.no/museumstjenesten/forskning/flyt

About the project

FLYT focuses on sustainability, diversity and relevance, and contributes to professional development by finding approaches to sustainability and diversity in our strategic research fields, with particular emphasis on forests as a resource. An important sub-goal is to discuss research, research relevance and how we can strengthen the role as societal actors.

The project is led by the Museene i Akershus by Knut Fagerås and is a collaboration between museums, universities, administration and representatives of ICOM and Norway's UNESCO work with expertise in sustainability and diversity.

Research question: How is international sustainability work relevant to museums? How can museums use the term sustainability? How can cultural history make sustainability relevant? What material and intangible cultural monuments can contribute to this?


The project's goal is to conduct research on the forest network's core theme, develop perspectives and methods in research that builds on the UN's sustainability goals and to discuss professional development, research relevance and research dissemination to concretize our role in society.

Project participants and cases

  • Østfold Museums: «A forest of possibilities».​MiA: «Between nature and culture in Norwegian cultural environment management».
  • MiA, dept. Fetsund booms: «Timber floating and watercourse changes».
  • Anno, dept. Skogmuseet: «Conflicts over Sami birch forestry».
  • Anno, dept. Glomdalsmuseet: «Museum and global responsibility».
  • Helgeland Museum, dept. Grane: «Loss and re-establishment of biological diversity».
  • Varanger Museum, dept. Grenselandmuseet: «Political visions - local consequences».
  • Varanger Museum / ICOM: «Museums and sustainability - an ethical imperative? ».
  • NTNU: «Memories and myths about sustainability - in forest museums».
  • UiO: «The Anthropocene in museums. How do museums meet the Anthropocene challenge? ”
  • UiT: "From local to general - a Sámi starting point for a critical methodological reflection".
  • RA: «International sustainability discourse and UNESCO World Heritage».
  • The project is divided into three work packages, where work package two (WP2) is coordinated by the Østfold Museums. Here, floating is a common theme, and one looks at practical collaboration on empiricism, theory and method.

A forest of possibilities

Østfold Museums sub-project A forest of possibilities addresses forestry in Østfold as a basis for the estate economy of two of Norway's richest men within two different periods - Jens Bjelke (1580-1659) and Peter Martin Anker (1801-63). Based on scientific and knowledge-historical tools (places of knowledge; lieux de savoir, räumliche Wissensordnungen), we will analyze the forestry of these one-man institutions. Locally and spatially conditioned knowledge practice is central. The work is a contribution to manor and manor history, economic history and environmental history and to local and staff history.

Impacts and relevance

The project has great transfer value to the museum sector in several thematic and methodological areas. It is designed mainly as a collaboration between the museums and the higher education sector. FLYT's model and experience gained will show how cooperation between the sectors can be realized for the benefit of the parties, with significant transfer value for museums wishing to establish such cooperation. In the same way, it can be a contribution to the Cultural Council's work with evaluating the various measures and support schemes needed to encourage cross-sectoral cooperation. By focusing on research-based approaches to sustainability, and relating to Norwegian contexts, the project will be able to show the way to open opportunities for other museums as well.

Publication and dissemination from the project

A forest of possibilities will result in two conference papers and / or lectures, as well as a peer-reviewed article that will be included in a joint anthology for FLYT in addition to a peer-reviewed article that is currently planned for the Journal of the History of Knowledge. P. M Anker's archive must be entered in ASTA to be published through the Archive Portal. The Flotation Association's archive is reviewed, and work started on cataloging is completed and submitted to ASTA. In addition to this, popular science articles will be published on digital museums and FB, podcasts and further planning of exhibitions will be made, in collaboration with the other museums / partners.

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Museum24:Portal - 2024.06.11
Grunnstilsett-versjon: 1