On Wednesday 13th of September, during AER’s Committee Plenaries in Nancy, culture and digitalisation took centre stage as a dynamic debate unfolded. AER saw its members engaged in an approachable debate that showcased many important regional projects from AER members (detailed below)
Michel Magnier, director of culture and creativity of the European Commission was on the panel, joined by Khalila Hassouna (from Iconem), Françoise Benhamou (Economics professor, specialised in culture), and Rüdiger Klein (Secretary General of Culture Action Europe).
Jointly moderated by Divina Frau-Meigs (Professor at the university of Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Freddie Martyn (AER), the discussion took many turns, grabbing the attention of the audience.
Many subjects were discussed during the debate, among them were:
- The clash of generations and the impact this may have on culture. The perception of culture is slightly different in each generation, just as is the degree of digitalisation. Is it an opportunity or a threat?
- A big topic was how citizens experience culture. Iconem has developed tools to create virtual representations of historical sites. These can either complement or replace the real thing. How far can this technology bring user experience forward?
- Michel Magnier, from the European Commission discussed the European year of cultural heritage and the project opportunities that are arising in its wake.
Highlights from our members
We were very happy to receive such interest from our members during the debate, who shared their experiences on culture in their regions. See below the examples that were offered and presented by AER member regions:
Andrew Gibson, AER Vice-President offered his experiences from his home county of Hampshire (UK), where there are increased efforts to preserve cultural heritage through modern technology. The roman baths of Winchester have been digitally photographed, so that a digital representation of it’s current state can be preserved for future generations.
Gloria Vitaly, President of the Youth Regional Network, shared an example on how to involve young people in a Culture Festival to make it virtual. Young people from 13 years old were making films from the festival and published it online for it to become live.
Anna Magyar, AER Vice-President shared her thoughts on culture in her home region:
There is a cultural heritage collection system in Hungary, based on the activity of citizens. There is an option (not obligatory) for cities/villages to form a decision body and ask the citizens to support big cultural topics worth to become “local heritage”. Almost 50% of the local governments of County Csongrad have formed its body. The next level is open for counties to form similar bodies and receive suggestions to become county-wide heritage. County Csongrad has formed its decision body and now we have as much as 86 separate county wide heritages, elements covering cultural buildings, famous cultural events, historical places, natural heritages, local food, technical inventions and regional sports. Among the 86 heritages, 5 became national wide heritage as Hungarikum, School children are also involved by organising competitions, collecting elements. Citizens are becoming more committed to their own local culture.
Alf Norberg, from the region of Gävleborg talked about their project working towards the European Year of Cultural Heritage coming up in 2018. Gävleborg financed a year-long program in preparation of it. The year is divided in three parts: Discover, Experience, Appreciate.
Contact the project leader Lena Landström, for more information ([email protected] for more information)
Mihaela Lite, from Maramures, shared a good example of culture meeting digitalisation: the first ever public planetarium, set up in Romania in 1969. This planetarium have developed several projects financed by the Romanian Culture Ministry called traditional Romanian constellations that is in fact ethnographic research of Romanian Sky Mythology. They have produced short movies with stories behind the traditional names given to the constellations and they have displayed the movies on a screen placed in a multi media room inside the Planetarium building. The movies are now translated into 7 foreign languages, so it is more accessible for the tourists. They have also developed a user friendly version for blind people.
Mr Roman Kharytonov from Ukraine, brought up an example from a small city with 20,000 inhabitants that organises a music festival every year. This year the festival chose to in addition to the actual festival to go online as well, which resulted in 450.000 physical visitors an over one million virtual visitors. This shows that culture is getting more accessible for people.
Interested in getting in touch with our speakers?
Françoise Benhamou, Economy Professor at the University of Paris 13 and member of the ARCEP, Authorities for the Regulation of Electronical and Postal Communications (francoise.benham[email protected])
Khalila Hassouna, ICONEM, safeguarding World Heritage through digital technologies, 3D archaeology with drones & photogrammetry ([email protected])
Ruediger Klein, Secretary General, Culture Action Europe ([email protected])