Communication of cultural heritage
This chapter presents 21 projects which have been selected according to the overall focus of the CreativeCH project. The focus is on cooperation of cultural heritage, creative industry and science & technology organisations and businesses in projects aimed at communicating cultural heritage in novel ways. We emphasise communication because it is crucial for making cultural heritage known and appreciated and, in turn, helps making the case for preserving heritage sites, buildings and other objects.
The communication typically uses heritage values (e.g. historical, social, symbolic or aesthetic) to promote a historic town, cultural heritage site or route. Increasingly also citizens participate in the preservation and communication of heritage they cherish, sometimes in other ways and focused on other heritage than the institutions. How local people relate to their heritage is indeed different than how heritage is presented according to touristic and city and regional development concepts (e.g. stereotypic images as used in so-called “branding” strategies).
Selection of case studies
21 case studies can of course not represent the large number of projects aimed at communicating cultural heritage throughout Europe and beyond, which can be assumed to range in the thousands. Therefore we looked for examples that have been pioneering or are unique in some way or other.
The selection of cultural heritage domains has been guided by the focus areas of CreativeCH, which include archaeological sites, industrial heritage, historic towns and cultural routes. Furthermore we highlight projects that involve citizens in novel ways or are initiated and maintained by citizens.
Not present among the cases is traditional intangible heritage. Such heritage comprises traditional practices (e.g. ritual and festive activities) and performances such as singing and dancing. Our three cases of intangible heritage relate to contemporary sounds, music and literary heritage.
Use of information and communication technologies (ICT)
Because of the focus on communication ICT play an important role in all case studies. The emphasis is not on technology or innovation per se, but good use made of available digital tools for the specific purposes. In this regard a well-used weblog or a state-of-the-art portal is just as good, or even better, than the latest technical prototype (which might not work when put to the test in a real world environment). Priority in general has been given to technologies that allow for reaching wider groups of users, potentially people who might usually not be interested in cultural heritage.
Combining heritage, creativity and technology is very much about widening interest in, and inspiration by, the rich cultural heritage of Europe’s towns and regions.
Description and summarization
Three or four case studies of creative cooperation have been written for each of the mentioned focus areas of CreativeCH. The cases are described briefly and relevant sources and links are added. The descriptions follow the same structure and address important aspects of creative cooperation. An analytical summary across all case studies is presented in the final section of this chapter.