Roots and Legacies


The Project
Welcome to the Roots and Legacies project home page. This inter- and multi-disciplinary project seeks to explore the many various aspects of how the past influences the present and the future and how every new generation is shaped by all those before it. The concept of “roots” is used broadly to encompass a wide range of origins people relate to, are influenced by and often hold dear (biological, familial, communitary, societal), while the term “legacies” makes reference to all cultural and material aspects that are passed down among generations (while a positive connotation of inheritance is usually associated with this concept, it is used here in a neutral sense, allowing also for the exploration of disadvantageous or destructive legacies) Some of the main points of focus for this project are questions such as: Where are our roots and what part do they play in shaping our personal and social narrative and legacy?  How does the form and meaning of these concepts differ with time and culture?  How do they impact the construction of individual and social identities and the sense of otherness? What role did they play in major historic events? How do they contribute to today’s socio-economic and geo-politic situation? How (if at all) can we hold on to our roots in modern times? What causes uprootedness on a macro and on a micro level? What are the social and individual consequences of uprootedness? Is being uprooted always a negative thing? The project will also attempt to explore current issues such as the situation of economic migrants or that of war/political refugees, the matter of multiculturalism versus strong group identities and the challenges to find new ways to stay connected to our roots in fast-paced modernity, often by making use of digital solutions.

This project strongly encourages dialogue among a wide spectrum of disciplines and fields of interest and activity, as its versatile theme can be approached from a number of exciting perspectives and studied using a variety of methods. Thus, we welcome professionals from all disciplines relevant to the matter of roots and legacies to present their specific view and work in on this subject. Examples of relevant participants include, but are not limited to: social scientists (historians, anthropologists, sociologists, economists, political scientists etc), social workers, medical professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, geneticists etc.), teachers and educators, researchers of literature, cinematography or art, journalists and reporters, IT and social media experts, artists and performers, storytellers or any other kind of professional who can provide insight and information on the matter at hand, even if it is to share the story of his/her own special or unique experiences in relationship with his/her roots.

The Issues

  • Conceptual delimitations of roots and legacies
  • Roots, legacies and identities
  • Roots and legacies – stories and journeys
  • Mythical and spiritual roots and legacies
  • Personal primary roots and legacies: family and home
  • Violent uprootings
  • Clinical aspects of roots and legacies
  • Roots, legacies and society
  • Roots and legacies in the 21st century

The Audience
Who should get involved?

Everyone who shares a love for the past and its influence on the present, who feels the unbroken connection with the first men and all generations that followed which flows through each of us to this day and who enjoys insightful stories as well as rigorous scientific research. Everyone who is interested in the inter-disciplinary approach and is curious to obtain a wide range of information from many varied perspectives on the subject of roots and legacies. Also, everyone who can embody and breathe life to the concepts of roots and legacies through artistic performances or masterful storytelling. There are hardly any limits as to who should get involved, given the fact that the topic of the project is inherently familiar to any and all of us and could be employed and studied from a wide array of perspectives pertaining to many different domains. Thus, anyone who can bring relevant, exciting, intriguing, moving, novel, enlightening information about roots and legacies to an inter-disciplinary audience is more than welcome.

The Outcomes
The participants will obtain a better understanding of other cultures and perspectives, they will discover new and original ways to approach the topic of roots and legacies through the inter-disciplinary component, they will take a parallel glance at past and present, they will relive memories and share in the memories of others and they will take away both emotion and valuable information. Also, they will have a chance to meet, exchange experiences and discuss potential collaborations on this topic with experts from other fields of activity than their own. Last but not least, the presentations sustained during the meeting will be compiled into an e-book and selected presentations will be expanded and shared with a much larger audience.