Thematic tables: Live(ly) exchange about creating connections


IE’s new event on the first Wednesday of the month encourages members to meet online for live(ly) exchange around a different topic each time.

All IE members are invited to join us on Zoom (registration needed) or you can follow the livestream of the event in the IE members’ group on Facebook, where it will also be live for one week after the event each time.

Around thematic tables we will discuss how heritage can become more meaningful for people, and how people can become more mindful through heritage. We will exchange ideas and also practical tips on different areas of heritage interpretation, e.g. geological or gastronomical, and we will talk about subjects such as the role of architecture in interpretation and how interpretation can help to recreate tourism in a more sustainable way.

Our first thematic table took place on 3 March on the topic of Food makes everything better! – Reinforcing the experience with local gastronomy. It was hosted by our Gastronomic Heritage Coordinator, Dubravko ‘Max’ Fijačko, and his team.

For starters Max offered some food for thought:

  • What is important when interpreting gastronomic heritage?
  • We need food to survive, but still there are so many stories related to food.
  • Do you involve gastronomic heritage in your interpretation?

The thematic table was a real banquet of exchanging ideas, good practices and ways we can include food in any tour. Participants were split into small groups to discuss the inclusion of food in interpretation through the perspectives of the five senses and give a broader perspective on food. In fact, we had six groups and in the extra one we dealt with combinations of senses that can give us a whole new perspective on the world around us. We tried to focus on the method of preparation, but also on the places where food is made, where it is sold, and where it is consumed. Of course, all this gives additional possibilities of interpretation because we tried to ‘feed’ all the senses with additional sounds, smells, colours, shapes, etc. as much as possible.

The Gastronomic Heritage Team will now work over the next few weeks on a document that will share all these interesting experiences gained in group conversations. We believe that this will provide motivation for many who do not have direct contact with food in their interpretations to perhaps evoke a culture, tradition or custom through food.

We hope you will join us and share your views, experiences and thoughts in the next thematic tables coming up. Save an hour or so in your diary on the first Wednesday of the month at 17.00 (CET).

7 April – The interpretive brief; Architects Team led by Angus Forbes, Architects Coordinator

5 May – Recreating tourism through heritage interpretation; Tourism Team led by Nuria Mohedano, Events Coordinator

2 June – Safe spaces or …? The role of cultural interpreters as advocates for audiences vs political activism; Dirk Bennett

Janja Sivec is IE’s Social Media Coordinator and is an IE Certified Interpretive Trainer. She can be contacted at: janja.sivec@interpret-europe.net.

Dubravko ‘Max’ Fijačko is IE’s Gastronomic Heritage Coordinator and is an IE Certified Interpretive Trainer. He can be contacted at: dubravko.fijacko@interpret-europe.net.

To cite this article: Sivec, Janja and Fijačko, Dubravko (2021) ‘Thematic tables: Live(ly) exchange about creating connections’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 1-2021, 11.

Available online: https://interpret-europe.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Newsletter-Spring-2021.pdf

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