University of Gothenburg
Gräs som växer ur stenläggningen, fokus på växtkraft
Photo: Nina Romanus

Heritage and Wellbeing (HW)

Material as well as immaterial heritage is of importance for identity formation, sense of connectedness, mental health and wellbeing. The overall aim of this cluster is twofold. Firstly we want to develop insights, knowledge and interdisciplinary methods concerning the impact of heritage on mental health and wellbeing. Secondly, we want to explore and understand more about the heritage of mental health and wellbeing practices. Research within this cluster is conducted under different themes, all in some way concerned with health/wellbeing and heritage.

Three topics are currently in focus. Concerning the impact of heritage on mental health, focus is on; “The meaning of heritage and places for wellbeing”, and “Minority heritage, traumatic experience, narrative identity, and wellbeing”. Concerning the heritage of mental health and wellbeing practices, focus is on the “Heritage of psychiatry”, its buildings, practices and perspectives, and how inconvenient heritage should be preserved, or not. In this phase of the work, artistic expressions and built environments have been in specific focus.

Questions of heritage are rarely noted in mental health care, and we hope to raise awareness about it. People with psychological suffering and/or traumatic experiences are more than their difficulties; they exist in a context where cultural heritage and places can be of importance. Humans are connected to each other, to traditions, places, and thoughts about the future. There is however no straightforward connection between heritage, meaning, and health or wellbeing. Heritage, traditions, places or environments are not healing in themselves, such assumptions represent a simplistic and an essentialist view of human beings as well as environments. People from different backgrounds have different preferences, habits and desires. In order to understand the connections between heritage and wellbeing, we need to encounter the inherent diversity of heritage as well as of human beings.

Heritage, Places and Wellbeing

Within the theme we conduct research concerning heritage, places and wellbeing from several perspectives. There are two major strand within the theme. Heritage of James Loeb and the KOM project - Art project reinvigorates forgotten hospital.

Heritage of Psychiatry

Within the theme we conduct research on the heritage of psychiatry from several perspectives. There are two strands within the theme, Heritage and Mad Studies and the Lillhagen project.

Press on the Lillhagen vernisssage/project

Innanför – utanför – Samtal med Elisabeth Punzi, docent i psykologi
SR P1, Vad händer med mentalsjukhuset Lillhagens kulturarv?
Förmiddag i P4 Göteborg, om Lillhagens kulturarv
GP, Bygg ett museum för särlingskonst
ETC, Lillhagens patientmålningar visas en sista gång
Modern psykologi, om Lillhagenmålningarna
Göteborg Direkt, patientmålningarna på Lillhagen
GU Journalen, Konst av dem som inte passar inte

Video (3:50)
Tunnel vision

Heritage, inclusion and social work

Within this theme conduct research and arrange activities on heritage, inclusion, participation and social work.

Heritage, literature and mental Health

Within the theme we conduct research on heritage, literature and mental health perspectives

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Video (7:34)
Cooncert: Libe monstren. Part of projects on Yiddish, cultural heritage, art and literature