Far from being a universal ideological model, Democracy has to be understood as a multi-layered and complex set of practices, networks and bodies of knowledge. Ancient landscapes and relations between past societies and environments constitute diversities in culture evolving in the term of challenge-response. Our idea aims to better understand the genesis of the ancient communities, enabling local actors to access a huge amount of data, which override time-lapse and space scales of excavations.
Sikyon, the ancient Greek town near Corinth in Peloponnese (80 km. south of Athens ).
Sikyon was formed by the merging of Stymfalos, Pheneos and contains 35 local communities (20.000 population census). Two generations of citizens have grown witnessing archaeological excavations there; both the communal virtual space and oikos-museum will entail their active involvement. The case of Sikyon constitutes part of a network of ancient cities in the area, such as Stymfalos and Corinth. The settlement provides a practical example of cooperative working procedures, co-creative promotion actions and scientific results with local actors in the center, testifying in the potential impact of geoarchaeology in local communities. It is an opportunity for an alienated local community to participate in the cultural development of its area, playing an active role as a cultural agent.
Our process focuses on geoarchaeological practice and is adapted to local communities participating in rescue archaeology. Democracy is seen in action as rules are stretched to the best possible advantage and the deceptive tightly-knit texture of prescriptions reveals a loose net of imprecision, indeterminacy and subjectivity which can be used as the basis of negotiations between actors in multi-scale level. The multi- scales have an essential impact when questioning the history of the landscapes because the answers can only be found by apprehending long term relations between the societies and their environment. The aim is to strengthen citizens’ participation; their engagement is expected to familiarize them with the ancient model of community and enable them to re-discover a new one.
The incorporation of as much different viewpoints as possible is regarded as of paramount importance; to that end, for the co-creation and co-design of the platform and the museum, the project partners will take into consideration the opinions and ideas of the citizens of the area of Sikyon, the project members of the excavations (archaeologists, supervisors and students), and the local and regional authorities.
According to Hirsch and Stewart, perceptions constitute ‘history’ if, through those perceptions, a community considers the past and produces knowledge about it".
local residents: 40
local authorities: 10
project members of the excavations: 20
Social or community problems are problems that by definition concern a large number of people. Experience drawn from the excavations showed that demographic variables such as gender, education, age and technological skills can influence a community's knowledge regarding socio-cultural behavior through cognitive processes towards a new model of community. Our methodology is based on a dual-axis: raising awareness: awareness and participative education. This approach will aid vulnerable citizens in gaining self-confidence in participatory processes and will be implemented through a collective platform to disseminate the results to a wider audience.A museum in situ will be co-curated and the paths of the Oikos-museum network will be co-designed.
We believe that Societal attitude plays a big role in a community's transition to collapse or recovery. Through the project, we wish to develop another aspect, which has rarely been tackled by the archaeologist, and which also relates to his social role. The contribution of Archaeology teaches that societies can get out of these deadly processes whose outcome is not always inevitable, by calling on their own internal resources, which involve two main processes: the governance process and the process of societal attitude. By putting democratic cultural and participatory values into practice, Re-view past to co-create future is anticipated to provide the practical framework for active citizenship and bottom-up cultural change.
Archaeological sites are understood as vectors of multi-scalar development. The concepts of archaeology, heritage, museums and tourism show an interconnection between these concepts. The establishment of a local consensus associating all political forces and the population in a sustainable participatory approach is imbued with European democratic values of participation and equal opportunity for all citizens. In this context, archaeology has a role to play in training the middle or disadvantaged classes, far from the center of decision-making. The active participation of the community will strengthen the soil of democracy at the European level through a network.
The importance of the project is that these ongoing transformations allow these city-states to unearth their prestigious past to transform it into a springboard towards modernity open to the greatest number of cities. It is, therefore, permissible to dream of a new influence on other continents as was the case of Sikyon in which Corinth, Pheneos, Stymfalos played an important role. On this basis, this project critically assesses the potential of cultural and political approaches to foster a feeling of allegiance to a supranational political body such as the European Union. Particular attention is paid to the role played by history and remembrance, as well as by citizens' initiatives aimed at promoting active civic participation, in strengthening a sense of belonging to Europe.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
PERSONNEL COST: 20.000
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION EXPERT: 2.500
COST OF WORKSHOP/MEETING ORGANIZATION: 8.900
MUSEUM ITEMS & PLATFORM: 11.400
FINAL PRESENTATION: 2.000
DISSEMINATION COST: 2.000