Who remembers the games of their childhood, and the toys we used to play with?
Inspired by the topic of childhood and the complexity of social life today, but also witnessing that childhood can be lost for many others, we chose to address this topic in the spirit of historical reflection.
‘The Toy Stories’ is related with the connection of memories, feelings and experiences proposed through interpretation of heritage. As our childhood is part of our aging, the emotional feelings, memories and comparison with childhood is inevitable, but it differs in individuals. Based on emotional connection and storytelling we wanted to provoke the deeper feelings of our audience.
How many children during the war in Ukraine, who could not enjoy the games of their time, and who were in danger of their lives, recreated for themselves in the basements of their homes, or returned to the memories of their parents’ games to fill the emptiness of the day?
Have we kept the games of our childhood, and how are they practiced and enjoyed by children now when technology is so prevalent in our lives? Would today’s children know how to recreate memories for themselves in difficult conditions?
Through ‘The Toy Stories – and the forgotten childhood’, a project was supported by the Balkan Museum Network, MuZEH Lab created an exhibition wall display which tells the stories of toys and exhibits them, starting from prehistory to the 21st century. Through an engaging approach with the visitor, the exhibition and animated videos brings back elements from our intangible heritage, conveying education through emotions, participation and nostalgia. The exhibition contributes to re-using the games of the past to inspire us to be creative today and keeps memories and our heritage alive.
Dorina Xheraj Subashi and Inesa Sulaj are both founders of MuZEH Lab, a non-profit organisation and community centre located in Durres, Albania. Dorina is IE’s Country Coordinator Albania and can be contacted at: email@example.com. Inesa is IE’s Office Manager and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To cite this article: Subashi Xheraj, Dorina & Sulaj, Inesa (2023) ‘Toy Stories‘ in Interpret Europe Newsletter 4-2023, pg.16.
Available online: https://interpret-europe.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/IE-Newsletter-2023_4-winter.pdf