Fostering Communities

Fostering Communities through heritage interpretation

 

Through regional initiatives, IE intends to create a cooperative atmosphere, strengthening the sense of belonging to Europe and to its shared values while fostering the sense of inclusion and citizen engagement that are at the heart of a shared future in Europe.

Duration: 2018 – 2020

Country/countries: Western Balkan Region

Aims: Identification and promotion of local or regional grass root initiatives in the Western Balkan region that foster communities around natural and cultural heritage sites.

Outcomes: Fostering Communities through heritage interpretation

Šrajer: Connections among people are built through a meaningful activity.
Šrajer: Connections among people are built through a meaningful activity.

About the initiative

 

Interpret Europe’s Western Balkan initiative took place from 2018 to 2020 and it was organised around the IE conference 2019 in Sarajevo.

The initiative had set off to identify some of the region’s key challenges in the heritage field. One of the biggest issues identified was lack of involvement of local people in heritage interpretation, let alone in decision making processes.

A number of activities around the IE conference 2019 in Sarajevo were intended to connect the region and give space and visibility to good examples for heritage interpretation that are characterised by the engagement of citizens.

Vučković: Why not open your family heritage to visitors.
Vučković: Why not open your family heritage to visitors.

What we have achieved

 

An extensive mapping exercise revealed many grass-roots and civil society initiatives and movements, around natural and cultural heritage sites in the WB region, that had managed to connect people and create opportunities for local people to be involved and to interpret their heritage on their own. We’ve found 17 case studies that fulfilled the most important criteria of heritage interpretation and many great examples that showed excellence in one of the interpretive standards. Case studies were presented at the conference in 2019 but many more are published in a brochure Fostering Communities through heritage interpretation.

Draškovič Pelc: The bear is a protected species, yet it evokes various emotions in communities.
Draškovič Pelc: The bear is a protected species, yet it evokes various emotions in communities.

The initiative was organised as a follow up to the Engaging citizens with Europe’s cultural heritage initiative, awarded Altiero Spinelli prize in 2017.