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Interpret Europe Conference | 31 May - 3 June 2019 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina | #iecon19

Presenters and abstracts

Festival of Walks and Maribor is the Future: Good practices of local tourism
Katja Beck Kos (Slovenia) with Jure Golež, Barbara Izlakar
55 min presentation

Maribor, the second biggest city of Slovenia, has difficulties competing with Ljubljana. Not to wait for the local tourist bureau, an NGO powered programme, Rajzefiber, organised the first Festival of Walks, where local stories are presented by locals to the public. The walks present different, mostly forgotten, cultural heritage. It started in 2018 and was an instant hit with locals, but also presented a good invitation to Maribor for Slovene incoming agencies and other stakeholders. Lots of the walks developed and became a well-known local tourist offer. Furthermore, it triggered the next step: six NGOs are now developing a sustainable local ecosystem of creative tourism, where we want to build a stabile local network, at least ten new local creative tourism products and a new platform for promotion.

Katja is the producer/ programme leader for Maribor is the Future / Rajzefiber / House! Society for people and spaces.

One rock can tell more than a geological map: Geodiversity and interpretation in Geopark Karavanke
Mojca Bedjanič (Slovenia) with Lenka Stermecki, Darja Komar, Gerald Hartmann, Martin Vernik, Aljoša Šafran, Simona Kaligarič
25 min presentation

Karavanke UNESCO Global Geopark territory lies in the alpine region. Free time and touristic activities are mainly connected with mountains (mountaineering, mountain biking). Hence geodiversity is a key topic of this region, although it was previously left out from the touristic, free time and educational offers of the region before the Geopark was established. Hiking and alpine guides usually focused on the mountain flora and fauna, but often avoided the most important story teller of the mountain – the rocks. The reason is that these stories demand knowledge and very good interpretational skills. Geodiversity interpretation is a hard skill for geologists and interpreters. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that one rock can tell more than a geological map. In the presentation we will present practical examples of the geodiversity interpretation at the emerging new long-distance geo-hiking path around the Geopark, as well as present the training plan for geopark-guides.

Mojca is a nature conservation counsellor at the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation (project NaKult).

Live interpretation as a tool for presenting heritage from diverse aspects
Éva Birkás (Hungary)
25 min presentation

In the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, we have been doing first person interpretation in the Classical Antiquities Gallery since 2008. Characters from the ancient Greek and Roman world tell about their everyday lives, pleasures and troubles, circumstances and relationships, linking artifacts on display within their speech. The dramatic structure of these performances are elaborately composed, making it possible to present classical culture in its complexity. Our artisan-characters show how people, characteristically of slave and foreign origins and thus outsiders to citizenry, formed the artistic image of ancient times we now identify as ancient Greek and Roman culture. In performances with two well-chosen characters we can present issues from diverse points of view at the same time.

Éva is a museum educator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

Value your visitor!
Árpád Bőczén (Hungary)
25 min presentation

Everyone involved in planning heritage interpretation knows that target group orientation is one of the key aspects of a successful programme. But there are also other reasons which make it necessary to know more about our audience and visitor research is becoming more and more important for different cultural and natural heritage sites around the world year after year. This presentation introduces a Hungarian initiative with the aim of promoting the need for evaluation and also the appreciation of the visitors in cultural and natural heritage sites. You will learn the conclusions of a small research project carried out in three interpretive locations and the results of a professional forum with 164 participants. There will be an opportunity to get to know a mobile application prototype as well, which was developed to make visitor observations more easily.

Árpád is a heritage expert for KÖME, the Hungarian Association of Cultural Heritage Managers.

Interpretive apps for diversity
Anna Chatel-Messer (Germany)
25 min presentation

They are omnipresent in our everyday lives and, apart from communication and information, smartphones provide enormous resources for learning about our local environment and the diversity around us. We can see phenomena from different perspectives and analyse them with diverse methods. Integrating GPS tools, they even link interpretation with spatial patterns and allow us to understand relations and locations in the context of spaces and places. We have initiated some empirical research projects to learn about how effective the implementation of smartphone-apps is in the teaching and learning process and how it can contribute to multiperspective thinking. Students have developed innovative outdoor interpretation apps for the general public. Evaluation has shown clearly that exploring und interpreting your environment and communicating the findings to other target groups can contribute to seeing phenomena from different perspectives and lead to appreciation of diversity.

Anna is an academic lecturer and researcher at the University of Education, Freiburg.

Diverse situations, diverse solutions: Examples of contemporary challenges in interpretation planning
Susan Cross (UK)
55 min presentation

Interpreters need to be versatile and responsive in order to have an impact. We can be asked to act in very different situations. Susan will talk about two recent projects: one working with a small community who wanted to alter the perceptions and prejudices of local people, the other working with a national network of National Parks to create a new international tourism product. These projects are poles apart in many ways (objectives, scale, budget, audiences, solutions) but both benefitted greatly from the insights of interpretation planning. A strong focus on understanding the needs, interests and beliefs of the audience is usually crucial. Good interpretation can help the stakeholders as well as the audience understand people who are 'not like us'. Interpretive planning engages both head and heart; it can alter relationships and/or create new commercial opportunities.

Susan is a director of TellTale interpretation consultancy.

Embracing change, acknowledging fear: Interpreting heritage in flux in an age of migration
Nicole Deufel (Germany)
55 min presentation

We are said to live in an age of migration (MeLa Project 2015): in a globalised world, concepts of heritage, identity and belonging as one-dimensional and static are no longer considered valid and have been replaced by notions of flux. This presentation argues that current theoretical framings of interpretation do not yet go far enough to accommodate this flux. Practices that flow from current theory, particularly those aimed at single interpretive messages, must be superseded by practices that acknowledge multidimensionality and reflect polyvocality. The very purpose of interpretation must be reconsidered: not the conservation of heritage but rather facilitation of its collaborative production must be the aim. Drawing on insights from a cross-sectoral, international project on inclusion of migrants through cultural practices, this presentation proposes a new foundation for interpretation and associated practices, for example to address conflict and fears in light of cultural change.

Nicole is the Head of Museums, Collections and Galleries for the City of Oldenburg.

Karst heritage in Slovenia and Croatia: Development of sustainable tourism in the karst landscape
Mirna Draženović (Croatia) with Aleš Smrekar
25 min presentation

The Krasn'krš project is funded by the Interreg Slovenia-Croatia programme, runs from 2017-2020 and has seven partners. With the knowledge of geology, biology, tourism and heritage interpretation, they are developing new cultural and tourist products with karst heritage as an umbrella theme. The karst stones, which make up the main part of the Dinarides, were created by stone remains of marine animals from the ancient ocean, witnessing geological changes over millions of years and creating specific karst forms, such as caves and sinkholes. Karst phenomena has enabled the shaping of rich cultural heritage in human lifestyles, customs, construction of drystone walls and houses. This project aims to preserve and evaluate natural and cultural karst heritage by creating a new visitor infrastructure: interpretive centres and thematic trails where visitors can learn about the phenomenon and significance of karst in four locations in Slovenia and Croatia.

Mirna is a museologist and Cultural Manager for Muses Ltd.

Western Balkans cultural routes – The awakening of heritage
Milena Filipovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
25 min presentation

The Regional Cooperation Council’s Triple P project aims at regional tourism development and promotion embarking upon creation of three cultural heritage trails.
The Balkan Monumental Trail is dedicated to the art and design of World War II monuments. Set in dramatic landscapes, visually stunning, abstract, modernist, and sophisticated, these works of art are both unique and universal in their other-worldly designs.
The Western Balkans Crossroads of Civilisations has a regional umbrella identity – the diversity of civilisations that left their mark and mixed with the region’s culture and traditions, and the empires that influenced each other.
The Roman Emperors and Danube Wine Route – Illyricum Trail – uncovers the Roman period, which marked one of the longest periods of cultural dominance over the Western Balkans. Scattered across the region, archaeological sites tell the tale of ancient warriors, military doctrines, tactics, and the rhythm of communal life, arts, crafts, and the foundations of European development.

Milena is a cultural tourism expert for the Regional Cooperation Council.

“… I feel conflicted.” Public perceptions of the British Museum
Stuart Frost (UK)
25 min presentation

The colonial origins of significant parts of many museums’ collections are currently the focus of intense global debate, with competing and conflicting points of view. This presentation explores this issue by focussing on public perceptions of the British Museum. It will summarise extensive recent visitor research which shows that there is a strong association in many visitors’ minds between the British Museum and the British Empire. Qualitative evaluation with non-British visitors, analysis of social media posts, and qualitative formative and summative exhibition evaluation collectively reveal a complex, varied and nuanced picture. This presentation will show how this visitor insight has been used to inform a forthcoming small, experimental British Museum exhibition that seeks to engage diverse audiences with varied colonial collecting histories, and to identify learning that can be applied to future projects.

Stuart is Head of Interpretation at the British Museum.

You can engage with diversity, but does diversity engage with you?
Michael H Glen (UK)
25 min presentation

The conference theme refers to, among other topics, engaging with the diversity of people visiting heritage sites bringing 'different knowledge, experiences, beliefs, values systems, world views and identities'. It is a challenge to interpret our heritage - natural or cultural - to a diverse audience; the bigger challenge is to ensure they engage with this heritage. We so often fall into the trap of using 'tethers' from history or landscape that we, as host communities, relate to subconsciously or, at least, consciously. But these 'pegs' on which we hang our interpretation are often meaningless to visitors from other cultural backgrounds. This presentation will take some generic and specific examples and seek the views of delegates on how best to avoid the trap of insufficient references or explanations of the seemingly obvious. Referring to ‘our king’ or ‘our mountain’ may resonate at high volume with us, but do our visitors even catch an echo?

Michael is a wordsmith.

Whose heritage is in this white cube? Travelling with Baš-Čelik to Gulliver and back
Selma Harrington (UK)
25 min presentation

Whilst the violent dissolution of Yugoslavia was in the international spotlight for a period of time, relatively little attention has been given to its cultural positioning since World War II, or the cultural impact of the war in the 1990s in its successor states. It can be argued that the separation of the previously unified federal republics, with some exceptions, have typically strengthened the cultural bias towards the region, often described as the ‘ferocious, irrational, and barbaric Balkans’. The fragmented region of former Yugoslavia is often, and incorrectly, culturally positioned behind the Cold War curtain. With regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina and its capital, Sarajevo, a few well-known cultural tropes persist: a ‘trigger for World War I’ (1914), an ‘Olympic City’ (1984), and more recently, a survivor of ‘the longest urban siege in 20th century Europe’. Prior to that, some have claimed that Bosnia has in fact been a ‘Habsburgs’ little Orient’, while recent tendencies…[incomplete text being checked and updated]

Selma is an architect and PhD candidate (Architecture) at the University of Strathclyde.

Overlapping spaces: Interpreting Jewish tradition in Budapest
Andrea Hübner (Hungary)
25 min presentation

What is the visitor impression of a small surviving old city nucleus in Budapest themed around a renowned Hungarian writer? The commerce and hospitality permanent exhibitions of the little museum housed in the writer’s former home was one of three sites of our research in a 1.5-year-long visitor study project conducted by DBU-KÖME (Hungarian Association of Heritage Managers)-Kont-Tiki Büro-Budapest Business School. In September, a small temporary exhibition on Jewish merchants and businessmen between the so-called emancipation act of 1867 and 1918 was opened in this museum. We investigated visitors’ experiences and the nature of the information where they were left alone with the densely packed and text-heavy little interior compared to the situation of a narrated guided interpretation tour. The research was extended and the focus moved to the neighbouring synagogue, which is the oldest one in Budapest, marking the centre of a once densely populated Jewish quarter of the city.

Andrea works for KÖME (the Hungarian Association of Heritage Managers).

Norman Sicily, the Cappella Palatina, and the Palimpsest: Interpreting transculturality over time
Emily Hyatt (Germany)
25 min presentation

Under Norman rule, medieval Sicily was a land of dynamic syncretism. Latin was spoken alongside Arabic and Greek, and King Roger II commissioned his Cappella Palatina, or ‘Royal Chapel’, as a glimmering jewel-box of Byzantine mosaics and distinctly Islamic, painted muquarnas ceilings. In 2015, Palermo's Arab-Norman architecture was listed as UNESCO World Heritage, a testament to the flourishing creativity of the period. The diversity of medieval Sicily is justifiably celebrated. However, a closer examination of its extant tangible heritage offers a more nuanced interpretation. Over the centuries, Siculo-Norman art and architecture have been alternately repainted, effaced, and restored, processes that reveal complex negotiations of power and identity. This presentation considers the value of the palimpsestic qualities of the Cappella Palatina. It seeks to establish the palimpsest as an interpretive tool that reveals the finer details of transcultural exchange and contact over time.

Emily has an MA in Transcultural Studies from Heidelberg University.

Multicultural policies and heritage in the Ottoman Empire and Turkish Republic: The case of Mardin
Ipek Karaoglu Koksalan (Turkey) with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ufuk Serin
25 min presentation

Even though the Ottoman Empire’s multicultural government policies were somewhat discriminatory, the autonomic structure allowed diversification. The collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the Turkish Republic corresponded to the rise of the nationalist ideology. With the consequences of the Lausanne Treaty and the Republic identifying itself as a nation-state, minorities living in Turkey were started to be seen as ‘subsidiary elements’ added to the state through a treaty. The governmental policies regarding minorities have thus affected the production and conservation of architectural heritage of these groups. This presentation will evaluate the ways in which the ‘national heritage’ is challenged by multicultural heritage through the example of Mardin, with its multicultural attributes conserved since the early years of the Ottoman Empire.

Ipek is a conservation architect at the Middle East Technical University.

Improving interpretive messaging and planning for diversity
David Ketz (USA)
25 min presentation

The tourism industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. It is estimated that 2 billion travellers will reach international destinations by 2030. The sheer volume of tourists will have both positive and negative impacts on the culture, environment, and economies of host communities. The economic viability of the travel industry is dependent on the quality of the visitor’s experience. If a destination loses its attraction to the traveller, there will be significant impacts for all. A global tourist will expect quality interpretation and infrastructure that meet the needs of diverse cultures, ages, and physical abilities. This provides an opportunity to improve interpretive messaging, translations, and approaches to preservation, management, and funding. The presentation will provide examples and discuss a collaborative planning process that engages stakeholders to develop management plans to protect communities, preserve heritage sites, and enhance the visitor’s experience.

David is the CFO and General Manager for 106 Group.

The four truths of reconciliation through interpretation
Anne Ketz (USA)
25 min presentation

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission that emerged during the dismantling of South Africa's apartheid system in 1998 developed four notions of truth as part of a societal healing process: factual truth, personal truth, social truth, and healing truth. These truths should form the fibre of our efforts as heritage professionals. To interpret heritage places appropriately, we must cultivate an understanding of the interests, concerns, and experiences – i.e. the truths – held by the communities with whom we work. But what is truth, and whose truth are we talking about? Accounting for these multiple truths through dialogue and healing, can lead to valuable outcomes for heritage management, including management plans, interpretive exhibits, and visitor experiences.

Anne is the CEO and Services Director for 106 Group.

Heritage literacy through alternative education and public archaeology: A Philippine perspective
Andrea Natasha Kintanar (Philippines)
25 min presentation

Tuklas Pilipinas Society is a non-profit organisation that aims to spread awareness of archaeological heritage in the Philippines through alternative education and public archaeology. This presentation discusses various examples of archaeological heritage education initiatives conducted by Tuklas in the Philippines that have been effective in engaging local communities in heritage management and preservation of their archaeological sites. Involvement of local and national government is reviewed, and the importance of close interaction between the local community, archaeologists, and heritage practitioners is emphasised.

Andrea is the Executive Director of Tuklas Pilipinas Society, Inc.

Belarussian ‘Miastechka’ as a multicultural melting pot
Valeria Klitsounova (Belarus)
25 min presentation

The Belarussian ‘Miastechka’ is an old term roughly meaning ‘market town’; it used to be a special kind of ‘free economic zone’ located within the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire with predominantly Jewish population (shtetl). For centuries it attracted traders, craftsmen, peasants who worked together for mutual prosperity. Jews were responsible for trading and blacksmithing, Belarusians and Polish for agriculture and weaving, Tatars for vegetable growing. Miastechkas were also an excellent example of religious tolerance. This phenomenon used to be a melting pot of different cultures which influenced languages, cuisine, folklore, craft, habits and the mentality of locals. Nowadays, Miastechkas are rather an abstract issue with sentimental flavour. Local communities try to find their identity and tell the story of their past by organising festivals, developing thematic programmes, interactive museums, etc. There is an initiative to develop a cross-border shtetl route together with Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania.

Valeria is Chair of the Board of Country Escape, the Belarussian Association of Agro- and Ecotourism.

Early stages of the museum: Cultural programming for social catharsis
Madison Leeson (Greece) with Antonio Núñez Martín
25 min presentation

The Aeschylus Museum has been in development since November 2017 and is proposed for the Παλαιό Ελαιουργείο site in the town of Eleusis, Greece, roughly 20km northwest of the Athenian capital. The institution practices a collections-free strategy that acknowledges objects as one tool of the museum – not its raison d’être – and will employ digital exhibitions to foster effective engagement and relevance. By presenting transcendent values through the narratives of Aeschylus, exhibitions will have the power to forge shared connections between visitors and the past. These values will also enable the museum to be an interactive and participatory ‘institution of the muses’, hosting a theatre and cultural centre as well as the museum’s digital exhibitions. Ultimately, our methodology in developing the Aeschylus Museum and its programming seeks to engage the community, their values and needs.

Madison is a junior researcher for the Heritage Management Organisation.

How can Heritage Interpretation foster social cohesion in diverse societies?
Patrick Lehnes (Germany) with Peter Seccombe (UK)
1h 25 min interactive workshop

Heritage Interpretation for Migrant Inclusion in Schools (HIMIS) was an exciting and ambitious Erasmus+ project to help young people from diverse backgrounds become more integrated and included in their schools and communities. Its core idea was to use heritage interpretation (HI) to:

  • foster a sense of belonging beyond socio-cultural differences.
  • actively involve students as co-creators in the planning of HI.
  • provoke reflection on the historical roots of values, such as non-discrimination, equality and tolerance towards minorities and migrants.

After an introduction to HIMIS, this workshop will investigate how to transfer the HIMIS approach to participatory planning at museums, sites and protected areas. You will be active in role-plays, group discussions and exercises. The results of this workshop will be relevant for the DELPHI project which aims to integrate the value dimension of heritage interpretation into training of interpretive planners.

Patrick is a researcher at the University of Freiburg.

Building a heritage interpretive network across diverse cultures – Bringing interpretation to Siberia
Chuck Lennox (USA) with Svetlana Kuklina & Elena Weber
55 min presentation

Lake Baikal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Irkutsk, the capital of Eastern Siberia, nicknamed the ‘Paris of Siberia’, attract thousands of tourists within Russia and from around the world. How could this region tell its story to international and national visitors in a way that was respectful and engaging? Heritage interpretation was a potential strategy but was previously unknown in Russia. Introduced to Siberia over the last ten years through the support of a series of international grants that organised exchange programmes and training courses with experts from the USA’s National Association for Interpretation (NAI), heritage interpretation is a tool that has been embraced by Russians in Siberia. A dedicated group of Russians have formed a vibrant network by establishing the Siberian Association for Interpretation (SAI) that now provides training courses, professional development and university courses across Siberia, the Russian Far East and, increasingly, across Russia.

Chuck is the Principal/Owner of Lennox Insites.

The Roman Frontier today and yesterday – the Living Wall, Roman Frontier Gallery in Carlisle, UK
Nigel Mills (UK)
55 min presentation

This presentation explores the contemporary resonance of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site as an example of contentious diversity and of Freeman Tilden’s principle that “The chief aim of interpretation is not instruction, but provocation.” The Outstanding Universal Value of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site (FRE WHS) reflects issues such as diversity, conflict, identity, the imposition of Imperial power, cultural exchange, movement of peoples, economic stability and disparity. Symbolic of occupation, conflict, migration and division, the FRE WHS provides an ideal context through which to explore issues of diversity, understanding, toleration, co-operation and respect in modern Europe.
The Living Wall exhibit in the Roman Frontier Gallery at the Tullie House Museum sets modern frontiers alongside the Roman frontier of Hadrian’s Wall. The exhibit encourages visitors to explore the impact of frontiers on people and their diverse perspectives – the builders, the divided, the protected, the excluded. Visitors are invited to leave comments on their thoughts and experiences. It is clear from analysis of over 600 comments that the interpretive device of juxtaposing modern and ancient frontiers is a powerful stimulus to reflection and emotion.

Nigel is a heritage interpretation consultant at Nigel Mills Heritage.

The role of storytelling: What should a Transylvanian destination count on?
Florin Nechita (Romania) with Alin Puiu, Adina Nicoleta Candrea
25 min presentation

Storytelling is a strategic destination branding technique, and a tool that local guides may use in order to enhance tourists' experiences. The present study investigates the attributes associated with the image of a Romanian city, and the stories which had the biggest impact on foreign tourists' perceptions of the destination. The methodology includes a content analysis of reviews on Romanian travel networking sites, as well as research based on self-administered questionnaires among foreign tourists who visited the destination. The findings have practical implications on how the historical facts have to be correlated with stories disputed by historians, such as the controversial link between Dracula and Vlad the Impaler, due to their strong impact on visitors’ perceptions. As storytelling has an indirect long-term impact on destination brand, destination managers have to continuously evaluate the impact of different stories told by local guides.

Florin is a PhD lecturer at the Transilvania University of Brasov.

Sharing Stories: Increasing ethnic minority participation in European Heritage Days
Jennifer Novotny (UK)
25 min presentation

This paper reports the results of a four-month pilot scheme funded by the Council of Europe and European Heritage Days. Sharing Stories worked in partnership with community groups in Scotland and England with the aim of better understanding levers / barriers / enablers to ethnic minority participation in local heritage. The project included an initial survey to gauge awareness of and subjective experiences with local cultural heritage, followed by focus group consultations and workshops with community groups, including Action for Children’s Heritage & Inclusion project, The Glendale Women’s Café, and LGBT Health & Wellbeing’s Queer Transgender Intersex People of Colour group. This paper also describes how these groups moved beyond passive consumption of cultural heritage to active creation of new content and interpretation of their own by making a video, organising a banner march, and drawing a community map.

Jennifer is the Project Officer - Diverse Heritage for the Scottish Civic Trust.

Disability and the exhibitionary complex: The sight of difference
Jenny Anghelikie Papasotiriou (Greece)
1h 25 min interactive workshop

If “the fundamental event of the modern age is the conquest of the world as picture” (Heidegger), how does that work for visually impaired people? Treating heritage interpretation as the space where thinking subjects encounter talking objects, we will create tools that enable this encounter for visually impaired participants, discussing and working through ethical, aesthetic and practical considerations in the delivery of audio-description resources and guided tours. We will try to transfer the mechanisms of perception, observation and intuition into verbal content and choices that lend eyes to individual participants without depriving them of their own individuality and freedom of choice. Drawing on ordinary language philosophy, we will examine the blurred borderlines dividing description, interpretation and investigation, triggering mechanisms of investigative description, that treat artworks, landscapes, buildings or museum objects as open questions.

Jenny is an education curator.

Engaging biodiversity with rural production – Integrating rural production in biodiversity
Evangelos Pappas (Greece) with Eleni Vretzaki, Evi Alexandropoulou, Andreas Panitsas
25 min presentation

In a remote mountainous area in Crete, there is a unique natural and cultural landscape creating intense and contradictory feelings and logic. From the cultural and mythological view, this place is where the richness of nature was embodied in a goat, Amalthia, an emblem of production and lifestocking culture. The goat is also the face of overgrazing, the biodiversity devil. For a conservationist, it is an overgrazed degraded ecosystem resulting from human interaction with nature. It is evolution over the years leading to the ecological and cultural landscape of today and a culture that leads to future production and development. The questions arising for this area are: Can we imagine this landscape differently? How can we interpret this natural and cultural potential in favour of the people today? These questions have led to a project which employs interpretation as a tool for development and sustainability aiming to bring together biodiversity, culture and production for the benefit of all.

Evangelos is a biologist, working in environmental management, and is the director and main shareholder of OikoM Ltd.

Journey to the Beginnings: Moving forward while reaching the past
Bama Petrányi (Hungary) with Árpád Bőczén
25 min presentation

Journey to the Beginnings is a collaborative project involving four key prehistoric heritage sites as sources of inspiration. Contemporary artists create digital interpretation tools and playful live performances with common elements for Lepensky Vir (Serbia), Gârla Mare (Romania), Vučedol (Croatia) and Százhalombatta (Hungary). Archaeologists, IT experts, museum professionals and heritage managers collaborate with them to make the final products an integrated part of the local offers. The presentation will briefly introduce the diverse characteristics of the concerned sites and the approach which makes a partly unified interpretation concept possible. The audience will have the opportunity to try out elements of the digital tool and to learn the methodologies which are used to establish a mutual understanding of the cooperating professions with different terminologies and mindsets.

Bama is a cultural manager.

Ottoman architecture on three continents: Power, treasure and architecture
Zafer Sagdic (Turkey) with Professor Nur Urfalioglu, Melike Ozhan
25 min presentation

Devlet-i Ali Osmani, governed on three continents during seven centuries. The Sultans, who were Ottoman rulers, believed that they were the descendants of three important empires before them, the Qing, the Roman & the Persian dynasties. Maybe they were not the genetical heirs but symbolically Ottoman intelligentsia believed that the throne being passed to them was the next step in the government of power across the land on which they lived after the Byzantine Empire. To legitimise their power, they sponsored the Selattin Mosques with huge amounts from the treasure of the dynasty in Istanbul, which was the capital city of the Byzantine Empire. The architectural formation of the Ottomans was a dynamic mixture of the diversity between the Seljukids and Byzantine experiences. This unique heritage should be transferred to the next generations to create a cultural heritage conscious by a set of methods belonging to the discipline of interpretation. The presentation will discuss the methods to place greater emphasis on how this rich and important heritage is presented and interpreted for the public today.

Zafer is an Assistant Professor at Yildiz Technical University.

The railway as cultural heritage of Eskişehir, Turkey, and its urban regeneration as a recreation area
Zafer Sagdic (Turkey) with Professor Nur Urfalioglu, L. Sezgin Bilgin
25 min presentation

Eskişehir is a city in the Central Anatolian Region of Turkey, which attracted attention with its municipality attitude and was awarded some urban regeneration. Eskişehir also has industrial heritage. Part of the city is called the Factories Region and is full of industrial establishment. Traction Atelier was founded in 1923, re-named Railway Factory in 1958, and finally named Locomotive and Engine Industry in 1986. The Museum of State Railways, Aviation Park, and the Aviation Museum are examples in urban memory where industrial heritage objects are displayed. Another important industrial heritage in the urban memory of Eskişehir is its railway route. With the high-speed train transformation project of the State Railways, the transfer of the urban railway into an underground system was proposed in 2010; construction began in 2011 and was completed in 2016. For both the importance of the place in urban memory and its huge population, professional chambers and local administration were sited here as a solution for urban traffic. A 2.5km railway route was converted into a recreational area with cafés, seats, bicycle and pedestrian routes by the State Railways, the landowner. The actual railway was covered with glass and is lit up at night.

Zafer is an Assistant Professor at Yildiz Technical University.

The border triangle of the Alps-Adriatic region – where natural and cultural heritage collide
Lisa Schmied (Austria) with Lisa Wolf, Anna Kovarovics
25 min presentation

Borders are often interpreted as a symbol for barriers, separation, a clash of attitudes and ideologies. The EU and its residents show that borders are also a chance for mutual benefit and expansion of cultural and social diversity, particularly noticeable in border triangles within the EU. The EU also spreads the idea of its motto, United in Diversity, through its Interreg projects, which aim to overcome the interpretation of borders as a limiting factor. One example which shows the impact of Interreg and deals with borders as a positive influence is the Interreg-SI-AT-project, Alps-Adria Karawanks. It covers the extraordinary border triangle of Austria-Slovenia-Italy, where the three largest Indo-European language families meet. The aim of the showcase is to visualise different perspectives to the idea of borders. A theme trail reflects on natural, historical and national borders, points out how they apply to plants or animals and that cultural and linguistic borders become indistinct.

Lisa is a landscape architect at E.C.O. the Institute of Ecology.

Once upon a time – universal concepts and diversity in storytelling
Janja Sivec (Slovenia)
1h 25 min interactive workshop

It feels like storytelling is the ultimate tool in the market at the moment. The tourism sector is talking about it, marketing is using it brilliantly (just think about that commercial that touched you or made you laugh), we raise children based on it and it is the basis of heritage interpretation. So why are stories so powerful and storytelling such a popular tool? Are stories universals and if so why do we find such a variety of the same stories? In this workshop we will explore universal concepts behind stories and their diversity in plot, meanings and usage. We will share stories, condense them to basic facts and meanings and analyse our favourite stories for the hidden meanings. We will explore universal concepts and try to find them in the folk stories. We will talk about Joseph Campbell – hero of a thousand faces – and try to use his principles in storytelling.

Janja is a freelancer.

Intrepreting industrial heritage: The case of Pappas' Mill Wheat & Flour Museum
Evgenia Stavraki (Greece)
25 min presentation

On the foot of Mount Olympus – on top of which, Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and earth fertility, used to reside – lies Thessaly, the greatest wheat production plain of Greece. In the centre of Larissa, the capital of Thessaly, Pappas’ Mill is located. It was founded in 1892 and through its course of operation it incorporated the great technical advances that took place in the flour milling industry of Europe and USA. Since 1998, the factory has been the property of the City of Larissa, which intended to turn it into a cultural centre. Having an economy largely based on agriculture and an agricultural tradition traced back to ancient Greece, the city decided to create a museum of wheat and flour. Our team was appointed to deliver the interpretive plan, the architectural design and the visual identity of the new museum. This presentation will take you through the process of developing a unique and dynamic industrial flour-mill museum at the heart of Thessaly.

Evgenia is a museologist.

Widening diversity of natural and wo*man-made hazards: Challenge to ESD and transformation(-related) interpretation
Michael Strecker (Germany)
25 min presentation

On the foot of Mount Olympus – on top of which, Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and earth fertility, used to reside – lies Thessaly, the greatest wheat production plain of Greece. In the centre of Larissa, the capital of Thessaly, Pappas’ Mill is located. It was founded in 1892 and through its course of operation it incorporated the great technical advances that took place in the flour milling industry of Europe and USA. Since 1998, the factory has been the property of the City of Larissa, which intended to turn it into a cultural centre. Having an economy largely based on agriculture and an agricultural tradition traced back to ancient Greece, the city decided to create a museum of wheat and flour. Our team was appointed to deliver the interpretive plan, the architectural design and the visual identity of the new museum. This presentation will take you through the process of developing a unique and dynamic industrial flour-mill museum at the heart of Thessaly.

Evgenia is a museologist.

Geo-visualisation of future-abilities and transformation initiatives: The UN SDGs as applied approach
Michael Strecker (Germany) with Lars Wohlers (?)
1h 25 min interactive workshop

This workshop can be considered as a follow-up to the workshop delivered in Köszeg in 2018: Interpretation (inevitably) needs to face the impending challenge of broad(er) societal transformation towards completely new approaches and shapes of sustain- or 'future-ability'! This is already being reflected in many personal or community experimental islands of new paths to still only incompletely described comprehensive (global) visions: mapping and geo-visualisation is already a very useful tool and clearing-house to help the ‘Islands of Sustainability’ or ‘Oases of Change’ (WandelOasen) to perceive each other, to (better) network, to strive for cooperation and synergies, and eventually to grow to peninsulas, archipelagos or semi-continents of future societal co-living – and co-creation.

Michael is a freelance interpretation ranger on special and sacred places.

Improvising with diversity: Parallels and cross-fertilisations between biological and cultural spheres
Michael Strecker (Germany) with Gabriele BERBERICH (?)
55 min presentation

Many patterns, rules or findings known from ecology research can now be similarly applied to the societal or cultural-ethical-spiritual spheres: ecosystem teachings – exemplified by ants – should be more pro-actively interpreted for the other future- and transformation- or Global Change-oriented fields: astounding conclusions or quint-essences – or even quantum leap-froggings might be inevitable!

Michael is a freelance interpretation ranger on special and sacred places.

A survey of cultural monuments in Albania: (Post)socialism’s effects on religious material diversity
Inesa Sulaj (Albania) with Kailey Rocker
25 min presentation

Our presentation explores religious diversity in Albania via the cultural monuments list curated by the Albanian Institute of Monuments of Culture. As a living document, the list features monuments added as early as 1948 and demonstrates the effects of different socio-political regimes. We focus on Albania’s socialist (1944-1992) and post-socialist periods (1992+) and ask how the country’s religious material heritage was affected by pivotal moments, such as the socialist government’s 1967 declaration outlawing religion in Albania or the election of the first opposition party in 1992. Our presentation draws on a content analysis of the cultural monuments list and interviews with local historians; it focuses on two regions – Shkodra in the north and Berat in the south, the latter of which includes a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Through this comparison, we tease out why some regions have more religious cultural monuments and reflect on the process of identifying cultural monuments in Albania.

Inesa is a tourism and cultural heritage expert for Creative Business Solutions.

Urban regeneration of cultural heritage sites of Kayseri, Turkey
Nur Urfalioglu (Turkey) with Zafer Sagdic, Sezgin Bilgin
25 min presentation

Our presentation explores religious diversity in Albania via the cultural monuments list curated by the Albanian Institute of Monuments of Culture. As a living document, the list features monuments added as early as 1948 and demonstrates the effects of different socio-political regimes. We focus on Albania’s socialist (1944-1992) and post-socialist periods (1992+) and ask how the country’s religious material heritage was affected by pivotal moments, such as the socialist government’s 1967 declaration outlawing religion in Albania or the election of the first opposition party in 1992. Our presentation draws on a content analysis of the cultural monuments list and interviews with local historians; it focuses on two regions – Shkodra in the north and Berat in the south, the latter of which includes a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Through this comparison, we tease out why some regions have more religious cultural monuments and reflect on the process of identifying cultural monuments in Albania.

Inesa is a tourism and cultural heritage expert for Creative Business Solutions.

It’s complicated: Negotiating the diverse needs of stakeholders at living religious heritage sites
Katelyn Williams (Germany) with Clara Rellensmann
1h 25 min interactive workshop

Participants will work together to challenge some of their conceptual assumptions related to religious heritage. They will then use these new understandings to build a working vocabulary for the session and explore the complicated issue of interpreting living religious heritage sites, where the interests of a diverse array of stakeholders often compete with those of the core user communities. The Living Heritage Approach developed by ICCROM will be introduced as a potential lens through which to handle these particular cases.

Using real examples and a role-playing activity, we will explore the following questions:

  • Who are the possible stakeholders for sites of living religious heritage?
  • What are their different needs and interests, and how might they conflict with each other?
  • Should there be a hierarchy of stakeholder interests and needs?
  • How do we negotiate the rights and needs of the various stakeholders so that they don’t negatively impact those of the core user communities?

 

Katelyn is a PhD student at Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg.

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