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Digital Folklore as Critical Heritage Production and Participation in Contemporary Norway

Project description

Digital folklore schools critical heritage scholars

Folklore as well as critical heritage are important parts of cultures across the world. They shed light on a culture’s social, political, and cultural situation. These insights make their study and research extremely important. Currently, critical heritage scholars focus on the use of participation, the challenge of authorised discourses and the influential role of heritage in addressing challenges affecting the social and political parts of people’s lives. Often, the increasing relevance of digital folklore remains largely neglected. The EU-funded DIGIFOLK project aims to change this by studying the changing digital folklore as well as its reproductions and renegotiations among various groups in Norway.


Digital folklore – digitally (re)produced and mediated vernacular cultural expression – is a form of active, ongoing and self-including heritage production that gives us insights into what is culturally, socially and politically significant to a diverse public. Despite the importance critical heritage scholars place on participation, challenging authorised discourses, and the role of heritage in addressing broader social and political challenges, digital folklore is neglected within critical heritage studies. DIGIFOLK bridges this gap and investigates ephemeral and rapidly-changing digital folklore to explore the complex digital reproductions and renegotiations of folklore amongst the varied groups that constitute contemporary Norway. It challenges cultural-normative conceptualisations of folk culture in Norway to examine the hybridising nature of digital folklore in enacting differential social and cultural identification and affiliation, investigating digital folklore’s analogue antecedents in the Norwegian Folklore Archives (NFS) as a means by which a diverse public can meaningfully engage with heritage collections. Employing an innovative quali-quantitative approach combining social media data mining with ethnographic, cultural-historical, and visual and textual analytical methods, this project aims to: a) investigate the role of social media in the transmission and alteration of analogue folklore and the creation of hybridised/new digital folklore in Norway; b) connect contemporary digital folklore to collections in NFS to challenge the authenticating nature of the archive and embed unofficial knowledge in heritage discourse; c) expand participatory heritage models to recognise that the public create and engage with heritage outside of academic/institutional heritage discourse; and d) contextualise digital folklore in Norway within critical discourses on mobility, identity and belonging within Europe, in the context of populist and new nationalist movements.


Net EU contribution
€ 303 238,08
0313 Oslo

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Norge Oslo og Viken Oslo
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 303 238,08