Mapping Future Heritage
The project Mapping Future Heritage (MFH) was originally developed within the framework of the Tandem Project between the Centre for Humanities Lviv and Castrum Peregrini Amsterdam. Meanwhile the National University of the Arts Bucharest has joined the consortium and broadened the focus. The idea is based on a mutual interest for cultural heritage, places of memory, intellectual spaces and contemporary forms of access to and participation in cultural sites. Amsterdam, Lviv and Sighisoara (location of partner Bucharest) are listed on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. But ´heritage is in the eye of the beholder´: everyone attaches different values to different objects, places, ideas and stories. Fashion, the political and social situation and the economic circumstances influence the way public opinion attaches value to heritage sites: e.g. a citizen with a basic education has a different look on history and heritage than a highly educated citizen. MFH sees heritage as a means to commemorate history, to learn for life but also to create new (artistic and scholarly) knowledge. Every generation, every social group and every cultural context is in need of those means in order to maintain a democratic society. And every generation is confronted with a choice of heritage that gets public attention which is the choice of a previous generation with a different context and different needs. How can heritage chosen as important today remain of importance to next generations? How do we transfer knowledge on the ‘why’ of heritage sites to future generations while allowing them their own input?
In order to work on these questions for the here and now as well as in a future oriented spirit, MFH intends to map local heritage sites in Amsterdam, Lviv and Bucharest/Sighisoara that are forgotten, neglected or off the beaten track. The choice will be made ‘bottom-up’ by local citizens. The heritage sites will be located on a virtual map, described according to set criteria and documented visually and through oral history registrations. In a second step artists will be asked to work on the sites in order to increase accessibility, and foster dialogue. This can be through physical or performing work on spot, in situ interventions, but also visual work on display in a travelling exhibition and on the project’s website. The project will ask external and independent observers to comment on the process and the insights.
MFH will develop a website that displays the heritage maps of the represented cities and regions. The map serves as a user interface for a database with information and new work on the heritage sites. The artistic work developed through the project will be shown in an exhibition in Ukraine, Romania and The Netherlands. The project sees itself as a pilot with the potential for other organisations in other cities to adapt the methodology and structure. The development of a smart-phone application would be desirable in order to make the database accessible ‘en route’.