The Swedish UNESCO Council met with Annika Magnusson of Cultural Heritage without Borders, she talked about the organization’s mission and challenges but also about how she sees the future of the organization.
Read the interview here (in Swedish)
Translation into English:
Hey! Who are you?
I’m Annika Magnusson and I’m the Secretary General of Cultural Heritage without Borders. I started at CHwB in May 2013 and before that I’ve had a long career working with international development cooperation in different structures.
What is Cultural Heritage without Borders’ main mission?
The main mission is to strengthen democratic processes and human rights by highlighting the cultural heritage as an important part of human history and identity.
How does Cultural Heritage without Borders work in practice?
We use the heritage as a tool for peace-building efforts, mostly in smaller local communities with good support among stakeholders and the interpretation of traditions and history as an important part.
What is the biggest challenge of Cultural Heritage without Borders are facing?
We are at a crossroads in several senses when the offices of the Western Balkans that formed the main part of our activities now are becoming independent at the end of the year, which in itself is a great success, but it poses major challenges for the small secretariat in Stockholm. There are many countries and regions in the world where cultural heritage is threatened, but many places are difficult to work in and in addition it is even harder to find funding sources. We’re in a risk zone simply.
Thank you for your time and good luck in the future. Is there anything you want to add?
I hope we will have wind in our sails soon and that our way of working which is very much about the intangible cultural heritage with a focus on refugees and integration will be asked for. Today this approach should get more attention since modern heritage enriches and gives self-esteem.