CultureLabs was back in Sheffield!

On 22nd and 23th of May 2019, a new meeting of the CultureLabs consortium has taken place in Sheffield (UK), hosted by the Sheffield Hallam University, one of the partners of the project.

Besides the periodic appointment to monitor the state of the art of the project, the results achieved and the new steps to take, the meeting in Sheffield was a crucial occasion to analyse our four pilots with the help of external stakeholders that cared about actively discussing our methodologies and progress. We invited representatives of cultural institutions, NGOs, civil society organisations, to work with us adopting the Wotify methodology, under the direction of Platoniq.

It was fundamental to compare their strategies and approaches with ours and receive their hints, recommendations that help us to enhance elements of strength and identify possible risks to overcome.

So, special thanks to:

Ronan Brindley – Manchester Art Gallery

Anne Louise Kershaw – HOME – Centre for contemporary theatre, film, art, music

Rachel Drew – Migration, Refugee and the University Group at Sheffield Hallam University

Nick Roscoe – Bishops’ House

Karen Hough – CENTRIC Sheffield Hallam University

Fidel Budy  – CENTRIC Sheffield Hallam University

Ghazaleh Oshaghi – ORAMMA project

During the second day of the meeting, the consortium actively worked on the value chain analysis and how to lay the ground to measure the efficiency and the impact of future recipes. A very fruitful discussion on how to establish a value chain analysis, which matches the needs of stakeholders of the CultureLabs to concrete innovative participatory approaches to social innovations through culture!

This is a just started process, but which has already proved to be a very interesting challenge!

Video interviews with people involved at the Sheffield workshop are coming soon! For further information about Culture Labs project progresses keep following our Magazine section!

Professor Luigina Ciolfi of Sheffield Hallam University presented CultureLabs at the symposium “Feeling the Past – Empathy, Heritage and the Museum” that took place at MShed in Bristol (UK) on December 4th, 2018.

The symposium was organised by Professor Steve Poole and his team in the Digital Cultures Research Centre at the University of the West of England (UWE). The event was part of the “Heritage Empath” project, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project explores the importance of empathy and emotional involvement in experiencing heritage, and how digital technologies can convey and support such experiences. The project’s final installation, “Of Home and Each Other”, is an interactive storytelling experience on the theme of migration and empathy in the streets of Bristol, written by Zodwa Nyoni and realised by Splash and Ripple.

What was the thematic focus of the Symposium?

Visitors to museums and sites of heritage are frequently invited to immerse themselves in the lives of past generations. With a fresh emphasis on emotion, feeling and personal perspective, heritage professionals have sought new ways to engage audiences with affective stories about objects, people and places, bringing the past to life, making it more familiar, and making it matter to audiences. But empathy is much easier to talk about than it is to curate. Is it possible to step into the shoes of long dead historical actors and see or feel the world as they did? How have heritage sites and museums built emotional content into the visitor experience, and how have visitors reacted?” (from the Symposium programme).

Several invited speakers presented their work on the day, linking research in several heritage contexts in the UK and overseas that examines emotionally resonant visitor experiences.

Professor Ciolfi spoke of the vision of CultureLabs and of the challenges in understanding and supporting the process of engagement of migrant communities into the work of museums and other cultural institutions. While the importance and value of culture and heritage for social inclusion, empathy, and emotional wellbeing are broadly recognised, CultureLabs is developing knowledge and tools to make sure that such engagement can be realised and benefit both migrant and refugee communities and the general public so to engender dialogue and empathy.

Plenary Meeting in Helsinki, 5-6 Nov

In November the Plenary Meeting of the CultureLabs consortium gathered representatives of all the partners together in Helsinki to go over the progress and polish the details of the future plans of the project. The topics of the meeting held at the premises of the Finnish Heritage Agency ranged from the structure and suggested wireframes of the recipe creator and search functions of the CultureLabs platform to possible ways of promoting and establishing new collaborations with other projects and stakeholders.

During the meeting, the consortium members reached a general agreement on some of the main wireframes related to important functionalities of the CultureLabs platform, the metadata describing the published resources, and the types of search filters to be used for searching for past and ongoing participatory activities (recipes), cultural resources (ingredients), etc. The outcomes of the meeting will inform the implementation of an initial architecture and prototype of the CultureLabs platform that is currently under development.

The partners also explored the social and historical contexts of migration in Europe and their socio-cultural implications in today’s societies. Ideas were shared on how to communicate about these issues by integrating them with the activities and objectives of the CultureLabs project. One of the central topics were the surveys that will be started soon covering institutions of various sectors as well as communities with migrant background in order to find out about their experiences of participatory projects and their needs.

The Plenary Meeting was concluded with a guided tour in the inspiring exhibition Story of Finland at the National Museum of Finland (https://www.kansallismuseo.fi/en/exhibitions/suomen-tarina), which represents a new innovative way to build and curate a museum exhibition and provided great example of how digital technology can be used to add layers to the stories of an exhibition.

The meeting provided the consortium with useful feedback from each other and fresh, collaboratively cooked ideas to continue the work with.

Uncovering the Hidden Heritage of Europe

With 98 stories submitted, the European Heritage Stories is one of the key initiatives of European Year of Cultural Heritage. By presenting Europe’s hidden heritage gems, it enables a wider recognition of less known heritage places and objects, highlighting the remarkable work of local heritage groups.

Moreover, the grants programme that will be available to ten selected stories is a way to support the ideas that can change Europe’s heritage landscape.

Specifically, the Call for European Heritage Stories is a pilot initiative intending to identify the European Dimension of heritage sites and heritage work undertaken by the communities in Europe. It refers to past or existing “stories” that communities would like to share and potentially develop into a project to further contribute to their communities.

The Call is one of the key initiatives within the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) 2018, organised under the two slogans: “European Year of Cultural Heritage: The Art of Sharing” and “Our heritage: where the past meets the future”. In the framework of the joint vision of shared European values, the Call is also open to the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award winners and the European Heritage Label sites.

Source: www.europeanheritagedays.com/Home.aspx

The Medici touch: exhibition shows how Florence fell for Islamic art

A range of educational proposals aimed at visitors to the Galleries, with particular attention to the Florentine public and new citizens, who will appreciate an extraordinary cultural and artistic heritage coming from the Islamic countries of the Mediterranean up to Persia.

This initiative promoted by the Uffizi Gallery is a sign of the continuity of exchanges and contacts between the Tuscan capital and the Islamic world in its many facets since the Middle Ages.

Source:

The International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities (CAMOC) in partnership with the Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) and the International Committee for Regional Museums (ICR) have launched their joint project Migration:Cities | (im)migration and arrival cities

 

The project is strongly related to migration and the current refugee crisis. How was the project born? What are its main aims?

The project Migration:Cities was organically born a couple of years ago in late 2014, when CAMOC decided that City Museums and Migration would be the theme to reflect on throughout 2015, the year CAMOC Committee celebrated its 10th year anniversary.  Read more