WeAre#EuropeForCulture is about engaging local communities with cultural heritage, to connect people and histories at local and European level. According to the European Commission guidelines, the project principally addressed teenagers, adults and ageing people, with a particular view in engaging, at each location, communities which are considered hard-to-reach, marginalized or minority.
The idea of the project was to hold co-creation events in 10 European countries plus a final one in Belgium, so that a vast and varied population could be addressed. To achieve all this, the project leveraged on the network of members of Photoconsortium Association: these are trusted colleagues from prestigious institutions, museums and archives, all well established on the territory and with a long-standing partnership with Photoconsortium for the realization of photographic heritage exhibitions and user engagement activities. The strength of this partnership with Photoconsortium members mainly lies in a deep knowledge and understanding of the local context and sensitivities, next to the expertise in engaging local communities without any language or cultural barrier, as the local organizations are of course native from the country.
The Photoconsortium partners who enthusiastically jumped on board, and without whom the project could not exist, are all relevant cultural institutions in their countries:
- OSZK, Országos Széchényi Könyvtár, the National Library in Hungary
- the NALIS Foundation, National Academic Library and Information System in Bulgaria
- Museovirasto, the Finnish Heritage Agency in Finland
- the Walery Rzewuski Museum of History of Photography, in Poland
- the Museum of Graphics of Pisa, in Italy
- the University of Basel, in Switzerland
- Lietuvos dailės muziejus, the Lithuanian Art Museum in Lithuania
- Ajuntament de Girona / CRDI, the Centre for Image Research and Diffusion of Girona, in Catalonia
- the Digital Heritage Research Lab at the Cyprus University of Technology in Cyprus
and in the Netherlands a series of events was organized in collaboration with the Baking Lab and the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam.
Under the motto “It’s our history too!”, the work of the project’s and partners’ facilitators and the storytelling approach of each exhibition was specifically tailored to engaging the target community identified at each location, in their native language as well as in English, keeping in mind the connections between local history and European history and between individual stories and the bigger picture. The use of co-creation techniques enabled a deeper participation of the target communities in a participative and inclusive approach joining museum and exhibition professionals and citizens.
Also, the closing phase of the project, realized by KU Leuven, comprises a workshop and exhibition in Leuven and a final event and exhibition in Brussels at the House of European History, this latter to be held in February 2020.
About WeAre#EuropeForCulture: https://www.photoconsortium.net/europeforculture/
More about Photoconsortium and its network: https://www.photoconsortium.net