Sheffield Archaeology Research Seminar Series: “Post-Industrial Communities’ Heritage: From Active Forgetting to Inclusive Remembering”

Wednesday, 1st November 2023

4:20 pm to 6:30 pm

The University of Sheffield, The Diamond building.


Industrial heritage facilitates people’s connections to locations by transforming them into relational and historical places, mediating past and present, and fostering relationships between heritage, memory, history, and well-being.

However, post-industrial communities often find themselves excluded from decisions about their heritage, rendering them passive in processes intimately tied to their memories. As a result, their history ends up being portrayed from the perspective of dominant groups or in a way that their voices are not prevalent in historical and heritage discourse.

In fact, the absence of community participation and engagement with industrial heritage contributes to perpetuating hegemonic memory narratives and official versions about the past. This allowed processes of active forgetting which excluded perspectives of the community of former workers about the industrial history which they were part of.

Therefore, this presentation aims to address three key aspects. It will first explore the process by which post-industrial communities’ perspectives are overshadowed by dominant memories. Next, it will discuss how place memory in deindustrialised areas is affected by the very process of heritage making. Lastly, it will highlight ongoing strategies designed to enhance the visibility and involvement of post-industrial communities in heritage-making processes.


Dr Guilherme Pozzer is a historian with an international background (BR, PT, ES, DE, UK) in the fields of Industrial Heritage, Industrial Archaeology, and Memory and Urban Studies. With a focus on qualitative research methods, he combines Industrial Archaeology, Social Semiotics, and hermeneutics to analyse historical data. His research explores abandoned, ruined, and reused industrial sites to understand symbolic meanings and representations, social impacts, the role built material culture in urban planning, and impacts on processes of memory and heritage making. Currently, his research focus is on examining the relationship between industrial heritage, memory, and community well-being in deindustrialised areas.

The Diamond
Leavygreave Road
Lecture Theatre 2
S3 7HE