All the challenges of 2020, the course postponement and counting days until it could begin, were worth it for such an incredible experience.

The first Certified Live Interpreter (CLI) course to be organised in Croatia took place in the Dalmatian capital, the city of Split, from November 9-13. Interpret Croatia organised the course as a part of the Split-Dalmatian County’s head project, Dalmatia Storytelling Destination.

Mostly museum staff and tourist guides were invited to take the course and develop their interpretations of historical characters from their surroundings. Most of the participants already had guiding experience through their museum collections or cities. However, no-one knew what to expect from the training.

The excellent synergy created by IE trainer Valya Stergioti and Mark Wallis from Past Pleasures Ltd in the UK, enabled 16 participants to learn about first- and third-person performance and improvisation, evaluation, public speaking, storytelling, props and costumes, and finally to develop their historic characters.

Renata Tešija, the project coordinator for Dalmatia Storytelling Destination and Meri Vesanović from Interpret Croatia took care of all organisational issues, making them smooth and easy and the amazing weather in November made it possible for many of the activities to be conducted outside on the sea front or inside the Diocletian’s palace, which was a delight.

Regardless of the previous experience of the participants, the workshop offered a valuable insight into many important subjects. The course took us through themes, such as who visits and why, the philosophy of live interpretation, the four hats, the qualities of heritage interpretation, how to critique, the rollercoaster, universal themes, historical posture, problem visitors, passion and persuasion.

Besides introducing theoretical and practical knowledge, the course led this heterogenic group of people from the point of complete strangers to a very coherent group of people who successfully worked together and gave their best efforts while learning and performing. The atmosphere created positive relations between trainers and participants and also a space for freedom of expression, articulation of the most unexpected thoughts and feelings, evaluation of self and others, raising awareness on different topics and broadening our own limits and horizons. Our perception of the importance of heritage interpretation has been enriched by a completely new dimension, giving us a valuable tool for bringing people closer to heritage, addressing all of their senses, but also enabling us in creating a wider picture of our role in a sustainable society.
Theory and practice enveloped in a travel-like experience, together with encounters with future friends are essential parts of this exceptional training course.

Vesna Bulić Baketić holds an M.A. in Art History and English. She is the Head of Marketing and PR at The Ivan Meštrović Museums. She is a certified tourist guide for the Split-Dalmatian and Dubrovnik-Neretva counties. Her special interest is heritage and culture interpretation/ preservation and education in cultural and tourism institutions. You can contact her at: 

To cite this article:
Bulić Baketić, Vesna (2020) ‘The first Certified Live Interpreter course organised in Croatia’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 4-2020, 8.

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