Frictions of the past

How do we deal with the past in the present? This question is a source of inspiration, but also one of conflict. Think of the debates about Black Pete and the slavery past. Or discussions about the repurposing of empty churches. The discussion about the choices to be made touches on issues surrounding individuality and identity. By doing so we repeatedly make emotional claims about the past.

Heritage wisdom

Everyone can benefit from the understanding of the power play between interests and emotions surrounding traditions, museum collections and old buildings. Insight into this dynamic of heritage formation makes you "heritage wise". Heritage wisdom is the set of competences that enable people to relate critically to heritage and to have a conversation about it, by having an eye for their own social dynamics, the one’s surrounding heritage, and other people's position. Heritage wisdom is not only important for heritage professionals, but for all 21st century citizens.

Emotion networking

Since 2011, the Cultural Heritage lectureship of the Reinwardt and Imagine IC have been working with numerous other partners on a practical method: emotion networking. The method is based on an idea by Hester Dibbits and Marlous Willemsen. Fascinated by the often-clashing emotions about museum collections, monuments, traditions and everyday cultural repertoires, they coined the term emotion networking. As a noun, emotion networks stand for the capricious constellations that form around heritage in everyday life. But emotion networking is also a verb. It is an exercise that provides insight into the complex interplay of emotions and interests surrounding heritage. The purpose of emotion networking is that participants see the mutual relationships change and thereby become (more) aware of the complex dynamics surrounding heritage. Meanwhile, the method has acquired a permanent place in the curriculum of the Reinwardt Academy, and in the refreshed and additional training offer of the Reinwardt Academy and Imagine IC. Read more about training options here. At the same time, the method is being further developed, for, with and in practice. This happens in the following projects:

The Fund for Cultural Participation

The Fund for Cultural Participation (FvC) has allocated a subsidy for the Erfgoedwijzer (Heritage Wiser) project in early 2020, in which the development of a heritage-dynamic learning track for primary and secondary education is central.

This project is a collaboration between Landscape Heritage Utrecht, Imagine IC, Plein C, Heritage Brabant, Heritage Gelderland, Heritage House South Holland, the National Military Museum and the Delteijkschool

Emotienetwerken rond erfgoed in educatieve settings

EmErEd (2018-2019)
This two-year research project is funded by the National Science Agenda (NWA) within the start-up impulse programme JOIN, which is part of the Resilient Societies route. Central to the project is the development of a new network approach based method for critical heritage education. What happens when students, together with their teacher and a heritage educator, map out the emotions surrounding a specific item and start discussing it?

Project leader / Secretariat: Prof. dr. Dr Hester Dibbits, ESHCC (EUR) Partners: Reinwardt Academy, Museum Gouda, Imagine IC, National Knowledge Institute for Cultural Education and Amateur Art (LKCA), Waag technology & society, CED group. College London, en het Typhlological Museum in Zagreb.


New CENTRalities in Industrial areas as engines for inNOvation and urban transformation (2020-2024)
We are undertaking a four-year European collaborative project to examine industrial heritage sites in seven European cities. In these potential creative and sustainable hubs, emotion networking are being used as a tool and in some cases, they will be developed further. The pilot site in Amsterdam is De Ceuvel, Buiksloterham.

Project leader / secretariat: Commune di Milano Partners: AHK, Waag technology & society, Metabolic (Amsterdam Noord) and others

The Critical Visitor

This project, co-financed by NWO's Smart Culture programme, investigates how heritage institutions can achieve a form of inclusivity and accessibility in their organisation, collections and exhibition spaces that meets the diverse requirements of today's 'critical visitor'. Fifteen partners work together on intersectional tools that does not only uncovers, but also dismantles, mechanisms of exclusion and repression.

Project leader / Secretariat: Dr. Eliza Steinbock, Leiden University Partners: Het Nieuwe Instituut, Research Center for Material Culture, Atria, The Amsterdam Museum, Imagine IC, Van Abbemuseum, Studio I Platform for inclusive culture. Amateurkunst (LKCA), Waag Technology & Society, CED-groep.

Tipping the balance in dietary change

Behavioural after effects of designing healthy and sustainable food environments (2020-2024)
In contemporary society, unhealthy food is abundant, resulting in unhealthy – but above all unsustainable – eating patterns. This two-year project uses emotion networking and other research-through-design approaches to create healthier and more sustainable food environments.

Project leader / secretariat: Prof. dr. Dr. Emily de Vet, Wageningen University Partners: Reinwardt Academy, Waag technology & society

Facilitated Interaction on Heritage and Wellbeing

Fiohaw (2018)
This research project was established with an NWO-KIEM grant. The project investigated the extent to which emotion networking align with educational tools developed abroad for and by the museum sector. In addition, a toolkit that can translate abstract academic concepts into daily practice was developed.

Project leader / Secretariat: Prof. dr. Dr Hester Dibbits, ESHCC (EUR) Partners: Reinwardt Academy, VU University Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, University College London, and the Typhlological Museum in Zagreb.


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