Communities of the town of Ptuj are disconnected and detached from identity links to town's past and its rich cultural history. This leads to disintegration of heritage, decline in the city's development, to weaking of social links and to atomization and passivness of the society. The aim of the project is to ecourage local community to develop interest in participation. Through cultural empowerment will accelerate processes of democratization, improve empathy and increase tollerance.
Ptuj (20.000 inhabitants), town in NE Slovenia with rich heritage and 2000 years of history.
Ptuj has always been a center of lower Drava River region. It has seen many historical rises in development, especially in the time of Roman empire and in the Middle Ages it has blossomed into multicultural economic centre on the crossroads of European trade routes. After WWII the majority of urban (German) population left the city and instead mostly Slovenian population settled in from the town's rural hinterland. As a consequence, Ptuj started losing its urban, cultural status while its identity underwent the process of ruralisation. The town's communities are disconnected and alienated from the heritage, which leads to heritage neglection and is slowing down the city's development. Deterioration of social ties is the reason for atomization and passiveness in the society.
Local communities, as carriers of collective memory, are vital for preservation and reanimation of heritage. Heritage is connecting the community by integrating and including the marginalized groups. With the project we aim to provide cultural empowerment and identity connectivity for the city's community. We aim to increase the ability of accepting responsibility for preservation of heritage. We will encourage participational management of local cultural heritage as the basis for developed democratic society and will underline the role of the individual as an active citizen. We plan to improve collaboration between the institutions that deal with cultural heritage, the non-governmental organizations and the society, as well as to empower participants for collaboration with local public.
Heritage institutions and NGOs tend to channel their action towards closed groups and do not connect with other participants on the field of heritage, society and local community. Our first target group are employs in public institutes, NGOs, civil initiatives and the students of heritological science (40 experts and 150 members of NGOs), we will focus on enabling working with community, on connectivity and on collaboration.
The second target group is represented by local communities (800 participants), where we shall focus on awareness and heritage preservation, ownership, building of cultural recognition, inclusion, learning about the participative processes and democratic co-decision making, collaboration with idea development, understanding and respect of otherness and tolerance.
The activities will be implemented in three steps:
1. Awareness raising (1. and 2. target group)
- 10 heritage lectures
- 3 small exhibitions
2. Training and Education (1. target group)
- International summer interpretation school (7 days)
- International conference on the topic of interpretation and participative management (2 days)
3. Integration and connectivity (1. and 2. target group)
- Storytelling and heritage interpretational lab (2 days)
- Freestyle conversation tournament discussing heritage issues chosen by the public (5 events)
- »quick dates« with interpreters for creation of heritage-related avatars
Our approach aims to be holistic, we will use the multiple-perspective method, along with the interviews, dialogues, story-telling and critical observation.
The results of our project:
- better collaboration among participants in the field of heritage (institutions, NGOs, society and local population), better connectivity within the community (more programs where heritage institutions collaborate with community)
- culturally empowered local communities, connected through identity, social inclusion
- better expressed and participative formed identity of municipal population and as a consequence a better awareness of European identity
- increased interest in collaboration within the processes of heritisation
- more responsible community that is more open to dialogue and more critical towards authorised decisions regarding heritage
- improved preservation of cultural heritage as a basis for European identity
Europe is a space of small cultures and democracy is depending on survival and conservation of small cultural communities, along with proliferation of tolerance and mutual respect and understanding for their existence. Slovenia, as a post-socialistic country, is an example of a space where establishment of multiple perspective on our past represents an important impact to overcome evolving of unambiguity. Active participation and inclusion of individuals and the community into heritage-related issues is directly connected with the process of democratization. Our model can be applied and used in other countries of Western Balkans region as well as other former communist countries.
Members of the team are personally related to local population, sensing the preference and personal responsibility towards cultural heritage. Ptuj has been a cultural centre and economic intersection since antiquity until 19th century, thus representing one of the pearls of European heritage. It is our responsibility to conserve our heritage and leave Ptuj to posterity at least same as we inherited it. Local community has lost the attitude towards its own heritage, which is increasingly endangered despite all efforts coming from professional sector. We see the main reason in local community's disregard and unawareness, but also in lack of connectivity among the community and non-critical attitude from the community and the authority towards the use of cultural heritage.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Office and administrative expenses (12 months) 1.000
Travel and accommodation costs 14.300
Catering & food costs 3.950
Speekers fees 16.750
Personnel costs (12 months) 6.000
(Project manager / Coordinator / Advisor)
Public relations (12 months) 2.000
Production of 3 smaller exhibitions 1.500
Production of the Conference Acta (100 pages) 2.000
Location usage fee 1.700
We are willing to receive and reflect on constructive critics regarding our projects.