Re-imagining Cultural Heritage Archetypes Towards Sustainable Futures


This article investigates how sustainable futures imagining can inform, instil hope and assist towards perpetuat- ing increasingly healthy environments. The ideas and information presented are buoyed by the author’s lived experi- ence of growing up in extreme environmental degradation, becoming an artist inspired by nature and finally teaching education for sustainable development (ESD) at tertiary level. The author’s home state of New Jersey, which is now over 50% paved (Lundy, 2011) and the most populated per square kilometre, ironically carries the nickname of The Garden State. Growing up in one of the lowest economic suburbs of one of the most affluent counties, the people of 1970 NJ endured a quality of life similar to present day Hanoi until the Clean Air Act caused the polluters (corpo- rations) to change their ways (encapsulate toxins) or as it seems – to move operations to other horizons (developing countries). Whilst presenting her research on the power and potential of archetypal imagery the author was horrified to realize the extent of air, water and land pollution in present day Vietnam. This realization strengthened and cement- ed the author’s initial resolve of her work. Employing a critical futures methodology – causal layered analysis (CLA) – this paper explores the possibilities for empowerment, transformation and ultimately action amongst museum-go- ing-citizenry towards environmentally sustainable futures.

Keywords: Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Causal Layered Analysis (CLA), International Council of Museums (ICOM), Sustainability, Art, Archetype, Myth, Collective Unconscious, Deep Assumptions

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