Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Cultural heritage or stories to live by - Hatto Fischer


Cultural heritage - or stories to live by - is a contemplation of why either the larger narratives are missing, or else they are not told in a language and means which can reach children and by stimulating their imagination allow them to connect childhood memories with what is the subconscious stream of thought about humanity as displayed mainly by museums and other cultural institutions. Cultural heritage and childhood are seldom linked and hardly ever put on an equal footing; it is, however, not the kind of imperative the philosopher Kant spoke about. Children have to be given the cultural freedom to interpret and to question by themselves the prevailing cultural self-understanding, including all the myths and legends which feeds it. Only freedom allows children to step out of the existing agenda and the systematic control. A lot of this is exercised at schools and elsewhere as to what meanings cultural and natural heritage should have, but not only. Likewise there are all the experts and academics staying within their canon of knowledge. At informal level parents and grandparents attempt to impose as well their versions. By becoming free of this negative compulsion to pass on only certain stories, children can free themselves and use their childhood days for open ended explorations in search of new connections to humanity.


Certainly the question about the world in which children live and have to grow up in is as important as how the world treats cultural and natural heritage. While it is not difficult to imagine that stories to live by are derived from cultural heritage, the link to childhood, as a phase in life in which experiences are made to connect with the world, has yet to be drawn. More so, finding one's orientation in life requires working through all manner of questions, adding one's own past experiences and all the while putting everything in relation to that larger dimension of humanity. Consequently, the stories told, especially by older generations, and the narratives upheld by museums and other cultural institutions about heritage are a matter of retaining memories through the ages.

That is a model of reflection but in most cases an incomplete one. In the treatment of heritage as a memory base, reinterpreted and retold countless times, a lot becomes evident, whether through the selection of only certain artifacts to substantiate a thesis about a certain period of time, or even the neglect of an old historical building as an expression of how present society uses and regards that past. Most crucial is how present society compares itself to a past made up of not one but several and sometimes very different cultural layers, in order to position its present culture vis-a-vis others.

Here the city of Palermo is perhaps a good example. After a long period of neglect of the historic town center and a 20-year closure of the opera house, the revitalization provided a new energy, turning around this trend of neglect and reminding everyone that the city is made up of different cultural compositions. The uniqueness is that no new culture attempted to replace or even stamp out the imprints of the former ones but rather added to and complemented the already existing layers with new more meaningful ones for the present. 1 The revitalization of the city started with a communal valorisation of cultural heritage, in order to create a cultural consensus as a basis for all planning and preservation actions.

The valorisation of cultural heritage is a conscious process not merely of restoration but also of perceiving different facets of one and the same object. Among many initiatives within the CIED (Cultural Innovation and Economic Development) Article 10 - ERDF project, Palermo started a new cultural action called 'children adopt monuments'. It entails writing different texts about the same building, including a technical one about how it was constructed, an architectural one to classify its style, a literary one to imagine who used to live in that house etc. All texts were combined to create a polyphony of interpretations about that house. This served as memory base for the house, so that once restored according to certain principles and invested in by allowing for a contemporary use, the memories of that house were enriched by the texts of the children.

Here then a mediation between the previous function of the building and a possible new use, in compliance with the architecture of the building, makes such a cultural heritage come alive again. This is a result not only of the efforts of valorisation; the creation of something new with the children has also established a new link between the past and the present. It is only a small step further from this to a new meaning of place and of the city, especially if the prevailing cultural consensus amongst the citizens is that this process of valorization should continue. The opening up of the historic center for new users transformed the once neglected district of Palermo into which people would not dare in the recent past to venture into, and this especially not at night.

There is something else we should mention; once a link has been established between childhood and cultural heritage, then 'memories of humanity' are touched upon. This gives children a chance to hear stories told with different voices how life was when, for instance, the Argonauts set sail. As this is about establishing a meaning of place in connection with 'continuity of life', such a story in Volos may be best told by taking notice of a bird sitting on the sculpture representing the Argo boat. 2 The sculpture is situated at the beginning of the seaside promenade in Volos to testify that the city believes to be the place from where the Argonauts departed. The story is so strong that children after hearing it go after school in search of the sandal one of the Argonauts may have left behind. The myth lives on in the hope to set sail agin for the Black Sea in the hope of finding the Golden Fleece.

Photo: Dora Gyarmathy

Indeed, the small bird sitting atop a sculpture of a ship, which represents a mythical past, may provide a clue of how that story can be continued. It is like a sea shell that contains thousands of years of history, but whose story is yet to be told. Philosophers call it making use of poetic space to unravel secrets kept over time inside such tiny containers. It also describes how one can imagine the whole from only individual parts, e.g. the remains of a pillar provides a clue as to how the whole temple may have looked like when it once stood facing winds and sun.

The construction of a Museum of the Argonauts in Volos shall bring together both tangible and intangible cultural heritage as a narrative of life and should allow for further exploration of this mythology. It lends additional weight to the argument why this myth shall stay connected with this particular place, even if the poet Seferis questioned the symbol of life being like a parable to those men rowing endlessly with only the back of the man in front of them to stare at.

All that is said with a certain caution not only in respect of how this particular mythology will be made tangible in the form of concrete displays and stories recounted with the help of multimedia, but also because the true cultural heritage of humanity, namely a love and compassion for people, has become a rare gift or rather an over-exploited cultural resource. There are too few convincing stories being told about other people with the intention of broadening intellectual horizons and making intercultural dialogue possible.

The loss of the narrative, as many writers attest to in this modern world, can be explained due to a cultural hegemony made explicit in how Hollywood views how stories should be told. More important than the dominant view of one film industry and distribution system existing at the expense of the European film production is that Hollywood knows how to propagate what would be the typical features of a 'story' capable of finding an audience willing to listen and to watch. Far from a human story since lacking reference to cultural heritage, this type of story is skewed and unchallenged in what they claim to be an authentic story and therefore automatically 'true'. In turn, it shapes how stories are told.

How are stories told? In February 2005 the Fitzcarraldo Institute organized a conference about "story telling in museum contexts". 3 The aim was to expound upon the narrative as not merely protecting cultural heritage, but as a way of explaining the meaning of the artifacts as being a part of the testimony of human activity going on all the time.

The reason for focusing on the need to preserve heritage through story telling, and therefore to maintain freedom of interpretation despite what museums and other institutions attempt to do, namely to tell just one version of the story, has to do with the way control over cultural heritage has been exerted by experts, including academics. Peter Howard rightly points out that:

"Heritage is bought by the rich - though sometimes the rich might be the government. This process in the built heritage sector is known as gentrification, but is well known in all sectors. But there is a similar process by which those with cultural capital (academics, curators etc.) succeed in establishing intellectual hegemony over whole areas of heritage. In other words, academics have a clear agenda in their use of the heritage that is not that of other groups. Interpretation can be viewed as the expert's attempt to establish this intellectual control." 4

Hence another practice is needed which enables people, and in particular children, to inquire further about the objects collected and how they are presented, not just in a certain way but in sequence so as to establish the 'red thread' for the narrative.

The creation of stories is an art that involves staying in dialogue with the past but without being determined by that past. It includes the art of communication outside schools and hence is of informal nature. Once inside museums, care has to be taken that informal learning situations can be brought about. It is possible by enacting out special principles of 'collaborative learning', as exemplified by Kids' Guernica. 5

Since it is a general belief that a complete reconstruction of the past is impossible (Jürgen Habermas), the telling of stories must recount something while inventing something new, something not seen before by previous generations or interpreters of these cultural artifacts. Remembering things presupposes something new can be experienced, and this on the basis of recollections which begin to flow once new space for them has been constructed. So it does not matter if it is incomplete or lacks something, especially if items found from the past do not stir sufficiently the imagination. The interpretative process is an ongoing process. It can be supported by formulating a learning hypothesis to guide experts and visitors alike when probing further with the aim to gain in experience so as to enable them to tell the story connected with that particular object themselves, and this to their own children.

Interestingly enough, Thomas Cahill in wishing to answer the question 'why the Greeks matter' believes that:

"History must be learned in pieces. This is partly because we have only pieces of the past which gives us glimpses of what has been but never the whole reality."

Consequently he follows the methodology of imagining the real through intuitive guesses so that he can begin to tell the story:

"I assemble what pieces there are, contrast and compare, and try to remain in their presence till I can begin to see and hear and love what living men and women once saw and heard and loved, till from these scraps and fragments living men and women begin to emerge and move and live again - and then I try to communicate these sensations to my readers." 6

While children are like fish who do not know as of yet that they can swim in water, adults "are seldom aware of the atmosphere of the times through which we move, how strange and singular they are." 7 We need to overcome being oblivious to things although they form the very context of our self-understanding. We need to combine our ability to categorize things, to put them in prepared drawers, with the ability to let things come to us. This means basing story telling on such methods as historical archeology and realizing that "when we approach another age, its strange otherness stands out for us, almost as if that were its most obvious quality, and the sense of being on alien ground grows with the antiquity of the age we are considering." 8

The first contact with these other worlds is made through 'oral tradition', erg. a mother passing on to her child what she took over as saying from her own grandmother: "You never know who'll take the coal off your foot, when it's burning you!" (an Irish saying about courtship). Crucial for any oral tradition is the dialogue between generations. To this can be added the passing on of experiences when, for instance, school children interview Holocaust survivors on how they felt back then when they were themselves school children during the times when Hitler rose to power. 9

There is much criticism of the way ethnology museums tell stories in a traditional way, but then again institutions like these are going through their own identity crisis. They are caught in between the wish to preserve the authentic values as presented in the past by the past and the need to adapt to all kinds of challenges ranging from new management methods, lending practices etc. to new visitor demands. At the same time, the organization of these institutions has become much more complex. Modern media with web-based experiences require online exhibitions and other information services, and thus make a difference between the inner culture of a museum and the need for an outward looking kind of networking much more difficult to uphold and to bridge with what is going on inside the museum. 10 So where should we start to re-assess efforts to bring the narrative of cultural and natural heritage in line with these new demands?

Traditional displays show items of the past according to (temporal) stages of development, e.g. when peasants on the land started making tools for farming not out of bronze but out of iron instead. Other museums provide insights into how other i.e. indigenous people achieved certain things, e.g. the Canadian Heritage Museum in Ottawa shows how Canadian Indians used to navigate with their canoes through wild waters or else conceived their settlements made up of Indian tents. Nevertheless, as discussions have shown, this way of presenting things is not sufficient to bridge the differences between Western Culture and that of the indigenous people. Each side understands different things under such terms as 'healing' or 'collective wisdom' (cultural knowledge accessible to all). The latter is a part of an inner core of culture shared by all and has to do with culture as orientation. It is, therefore, a part of the 'epistemology': the orientation given by terms used in a certain way to mean something specific. However, to better appreciate the world of Indians we must also consider something else: it was first made explicit by Claude Levi-Strauss who said Indians had more categories in their perception of nature than what they needed for sole survival purposes. 11 Still, Canada has made tremendous efforts to have such a conscious cultural heritage policy in place that will take note of these differences.

The difficulty of presenting such cultural differences seems to lie in the narration, i.e. in the way how agendas combine with official versions and the way the items are categorized. The impression is created that everything back then represents a static world - interpretations do not go beyond certain explanations and therefore do not capture the imagination of the children. Cultural heritage as presented to children, especially through museums, still has many drawbacks despite many innovative attempts to render things differently, in an informal way, while still being compatible with the systematic presentation of artifacts known to museology. There are several reasons for this systematic undercutting of the imagination, a primary reason being the altered value things take on once presented with a commercial motive. Museums make most of their money through their shops where they sell products in relation to the exhibitions both permanent and temporary. Always the well-known is exploited, may that be a famous painting by Picasso or special videos by artists in connection with ongoing shows. In fact the rationalization of experiences of cultural heritage may have gone already too far. The first loss in tourism goes together with the loss in 'authenticity'. Jacek Purchla states that this loss cannot be off-set by proper preservation methods or good tourism management practices alone when "in the face of globalization, the 'local' becomes a value in itself." 12

It is important that heritage is not treated exclusively as a domain of good management and preservation practices; instead additional aspects should be brought in to make heritage be a part of daily life. The focus should not be on cultural and natural heritage as a separate and abstract entity by itself, but rather perceive heritage in an overall context made up of local, urban, regional and international factors. This would help highlight the kind of world that our children will inherit. By so doing, it would make visible as well the almost arbitrary contradictions between preservation efforts and destruction by all kinds of developments. To the latter has contributed the separation between treatment of objects and narration of meanings; only the latter retain a sense of value but due to being mainly intangible is often not heeded. Also the almost exclusive object orientation is due to specialization and compartmentalization. It renders the world view to classical categories in perception but leaves any approach to heritage devoid of any meaningful interactions with society. Indeed, a link must be found between a non bureaucratic way of dealing with heritage questions and official preservation and protection policy (often grouped under the term 'monument'). An integrative approach would be needed to overcome the negative impact of specialization and single competencies. For these two lead merely to a wish to work exclusively in one's own domain but without regard for other dimensions i.e. regional or cultural ones.

It is crucial to look at what children should really learn, in order to cope with the world as it is becoming, and this in the light of the fact that sustainable development is by no means self-understood. Connected with this is the question but which narrative should be told, given that so often heritage and narrative are linked to form a national legend behind which are certain property rights. At the same time, they blend out completely the need to confront forces bent on destroying the world due to one-sided development and exploitation of land and other resources for speculative purposes only e.g. second home construction near archaeological sites. As this development has created a kind of 'waste land' not only in the sense of T.S. Eliot, but also in terms of consumption of space and nature, the alienation from natural heritage complements the destruction of cultural heritage. Hence natural heritage has become more and more an important subject of protection efforts by UNESCO and other organizations like WWF. The aim is to control the impact of development pressure upon the environment as well as to preserve consciously the world's inherent potential for sustaining life on earth.

On the question of what narrative, it is not just a matter as to which stories grandfather tells his grandchildren, but which aspects of these stories become key questions for the children, i.e. impulses to travel the world in order to experience themselves something like a follow-up to their curiosity what has become of that part of the story! Thus narrative is also about identity - it rests on the ability to keep the flow of memories alive like the streams feeding the vast river of humanity. Such memories entail deep insights into how philosophers discussed in the past the difference between changing and unchanging matter at a time when everyone still presupposed the earth together with the moon is a stable entity in the universe. And by stable was meant what could be predicted and therefore such reflections circled around the form of what makes things appear to have or else to follow some kind of 'lawfulness' i.e. predictability. It is presumably always a quest of mankind to seek and to identify such a 'lawfulness' as everyone wishes to know what lies ahead. Lawfulness was sought as well out of the motive to find out if life had some meaning. Even if in the end more open questions remained unanswered, by gaining some insights into this lawfulness something was attained which could be deemed as having gained some meaning in life. In most cases it meant achieving a happy life while for others it meant gain in power. Here Homer with his narrative about Odyssey showed as well what it takes to gain self confidence despite often all odds working seemingly against one's own progress.

To all of this should be added the viewpoint of a child who, when picking up an ancient tool, asks: "but what is this for?" In many cases such items are not clear in their design so that the use is not any longer explicit as the functions during which they were used or played a role have disappeared. For example, men used for navigation knowledge and methods like looking up to the stars long  before the invention of compasses or even GPS. 13 It would take a long time to explain to a child how man used fantasy and resorted to mythology in order to give to the stars names, and thereby explain why there is such a vast difference between perception and seeing things with naked eyes. Only once familiar with all the names after having dipped into man's universe can another world be revealed.

By realizing how things have changed over time, it becomes apparent how much in man's perception depends upon form and content. It also reflects the way man wishes to deal with things. A carefully conceived exhibition can transport to us a time existing beforehand, so that we can by entering the 'terminology' of that time see how the instrument was to be used according to that original conception, and in so doing we realize what appears to us nowadays as something simple was in reality the result of a complex process with a lot of wisdom having contributed to its invention. To make this rediscovery it is crucial that we are made explicitly aware of what existed before and afterward. For to trace man's path of inventions and discoveries is to show a priori what it took to comprehend the problem in need to be resolved. As everyone knows defining the problem is already half of the solution. Retracing the steps it took to make that discovery of, for example, the telescope, can be taken as a critical example of how stories can be told and how to use them for comparative purposes, in order to see how modern society tends to deal with the cultural heritage of the past, namely and unfortunately only as a kind of end product to signify how much superior is the present compared to that primitive past. By not showing with the object traces of that living and learning process going on all the time, the real narrative is silenced by such an object-only orientated approach.

One can compare a cultural heritage coming to life with a child growing up. Cultural heritage is to society what childhood is to mean for adults later on when they remember how they grew up. Both are filled with memories, the most important ones linked to lived through experiences. When cultural heritage is not preserved and promoted, then there is at risk that these memories are not brought to life through 'stories'. The latter are the basis for not only efforts to retrace man's earlier steps e.g. before it was realized that the earth is not flat but a globe, but also crucial indicators that it is important for man to go on, to take a step further, in order not to stay limited by previously existing knowledge. This change in horizon has naturally to do with technical innovation. Instead of taking ages to travel around the world, it can take only eighty days! That can remind of what the writer Ernst Schnabel did after Second World War when he circumvented the entire world in a Clipper plane and this in eighty days. Everywhere he landed, he recorded the strange voices heard at these local places and afterward made out of these recordings a radio programme. It allowed his listeners to dream again about traveling to far away places in the world. There was the voice of an Indian in Bombay speaking English with such a typical pronunciation that it communicated immediately that other part of the world. When an American officer met him on the island of Hawaii and heard that it shall take him only eighty days to go around the world, he exclaimed: "well, that is the end of every Robinson Crusoe!" His radio program 14 made visible the future world in which every remote corner can be discovered by satellite photo. The stories, enriched by strange sounds, can stir the imagination and make the world accessible by evoking the senses. This is especially the case when they become a kind of intuitive reason for can exist in this world. 15

Indeed the world has changed so rapidly due to technology that nowadays children grow up experiencing virtual worlds depicting dinosaurs roaming this planet. It is a kind of technologically induced projection back to the past and from there into the future. This virtual world is beset with some disadvantages as the virtual images evoke only the visual sense and does not entail experiencing the real world with own eyes, hands and feet e.g. by treading in the mud on the ground after the heavy rainfall. Even if clay is used by the artist to form a sculpture and therefore as material of crucial importance, e.g. what Rodin did when creating the 'Burghers of Calais', it seems that today's younger generations are determined more than ever before by a certain 'poverty of experience' rather than that stories told would strengthen their curiosity and let them go out into the world to make experiences by themselves. If this cultural development holds generally for all younger generations, then it would leave them in a much weaker position, both intellectually and culturally speaking, as their senses shall not be sufficiently sharped to enter a dialogue with nature and the history of man. For such a dialogue between the senses and perception is impossible without something have stirred and grasped the vivid imagination of that other world. As James Clifford would put it in his book 'The predicament of culture', slowly this 'other word' is disappearing, and with it a certain structural ability to make experiences of others as source for stories to be told to others about the others. 16

It might not be here the most appropriate place to ask such a question, but the more the practices due to certain preservation and promotion policies of cultural heritage are studied, the less convincing they seem to be. Above all, they seem not to counteract to this growing problem defined as 'poverty of experience'. 17 It may be due to an over abstraction by the mind to undercut involvement of the senses. That has a philosophical background but not only. Given the fact that childhood is short lived, all the more serious it would be if they do not hear during that time such stories which would link them up with 'memories of humanity'. They would be then without that vital source of the imagination, and thus not aware of the existence of human self consciousness over time.

In the same way that cultural heritage can lose its authenticity as a result of over-commercialization linked with the promotion of cultural tourism, so too natural heritage can be destroyed by over development. As such both would leave children without a reflective basis for matching later on in life their own childhood memories with what is retained by cultural heritage about previous times. As they face a society which has put a lot of resources into communicating well things in the form of new media presentations, it means that the technological factor reinforces a story in but a certain way. More often it tends to neutralize things. To counter that children must have their own access to the imaginative way of telling stories free from any gadgets.

On the other hand, metaphors such as the 'beauty of the shadow' can surely be understood only in terms of a very specific cultural and geographical context. The shade amidst the pillars of an Ancient Greek temple in Sicily when looking towards Mount Etna is time cast by the day. It can let one imagine how Empedocles used to teach what components constitute the world altogether. In sensing this it would mean stepping out of the sun and no longer be blinded by the deeds of that man of the past. Too often people remain in awe of the one who would cast still shadows, even though long gone to the land of the dead where in accordance of the Greek mythology of Hades no more shadows exist. Hölderlin attempted to rewrite that story of Empedocles. He tried three times and all the time the attempt remained but a fragment of his thoughts about this philosopher who took his life by jumping into the Etna instead of returning to the Polis to govern.

Interestingly enough, Homer lets Odyssey visit all his fallen comrades from the war in Troy without being kept forever by Hades in that underground place. Homer gives one explanation as to why Odyssey could escape Hades: in contrast to all his comrades whose wives were not faithful while they were at war, Penelope, the wife of Odyssey, had remained faithful to him despite being surrounded by many friars who wanted to take the place of Odyssey.

The Odyssey story as told by Homer gave people self confidence so that they could cope with changes that were needed to be undertaken around that time. The story communicated therefore to them a certain measure of time for the tasks ahead i.e. how long it will take to bring about the change from a hunting to an agricultural society. Such a story helps to mediate between the human abilities to face these tasks ahead and what still other challenges may come upon them unexpectedly. The story is thus all about how to listen to good advise when in difficult situations defined by many unknown dangers. Thus some extraordinary factors are mentioned that do touch upon cultural heritage in a way not previously thought of. For instance, Odyssey finds himself trapped on an island but before he can leave, he needs to build a raft. Since he does not know how to cut wood and make rope, since he has not done this previously before, from where does he draw the knowledge from? Interestingly enough, Homer lets him invent rituals of the past. It must have been something he had seen in the past when still a child but now he remembers only vaguely. But by repeating those steps as if part of re-enacting the old rituals, he enters forms of knowledge which lets him discover what he must do to cut wood and to make ropes. He builds successfully the raft and then heeds also not the dangerous advice given by the woman who does not wish him to depart from the island. Instead of wearing heavy clothes as she advises, he departs in rags thinking in case waves would swap over the raft and throw him into the sea, heavy clothes would drag him down and he would drown. Survival in terms of Homer's advice through his story of Odyssey depends always on finding and listing to the best advise coming often from within, that inner voice.

Such allegorical stories are useful for children to hear as they grow up. Care should be taken that these stories do not become too mythical but have always a clear relation to the reality of humanity. Stories need to be authentic if the voice telling them is to carry the contents beyond the place of their origin and make things become alive in the present. Children will notice and learn when things are told merely to deceive them. For then the structure is designed to discourage further going thoughts and just accept what they are told was the case i.e. not to question these facts. Usually national narratives are like that since a part of an identity building process following certain key intentions. But true stories stir the imagination and let the children go beyond these pre-set borders within which they should assume to have but a certain national identity. There is an art to telling a story in such a way that it reminds that many questions of mankind are still open. They have not been answered as of yet by either this ideology or that belief. Indeed, the art of telling good stories is to keep the mind open to doubt and not to believe the next best thing, but rather by questioning discover the truth under own set conditions. Mankind does not have any answers to all outstanding questions. The listener of any story is on an equal footing with mankind when beginning to sense despite what has been achieved so far and is being claimed by the present, there is still room for doubt.

This then sets the cultural premise for learning from failures to answer these open questions. By keeping them open, it sets the horizon and frees the mind to allow for further going experiences.

Additionally, such 'oral history' can be seen as a way of recognizing 'measured success', i.e. how innovation has succeeded despite the many unanswered questions. Here then the particular takes on a form and begins to exist as if it had a life of its own. What is different, particularly so for a child who wishes to know how something functions is not to take a bug to see if possible its part could explain its existence, but by realizing the form of existence is a whole greater than the parts and thus can only be attained through the imagination. The difference is that the latter allows to recreate life whether not of this bug or what took place in the past, and this without needing to destroy it first in order to find out how it came into existence in the first place. Once these stories are told, creativity of people can be kept alive without them believing things need first to be destroyed before there can be created something new.

The quest to know is, therefore, not exploration in the form of conquest and exploitation, a mere way of destroying indigenous knowledge, as did Cortes when invading the Incas, but to understand in the spirit of Erasmus how to reformulate the question how others can be known? For telling true stories is linked to the humane task of how different culture can be appreciated and preserved? If done in this way, it may just give an adequate answer to the question but how to relate the own present world to all the other of both the past and the present, and this without the need to destroy them first before trying to understand how they came into existence.

Hatto Fischer

Note: This paper was first published in Sebastian Schröder-Esch and Justus H. Ulbricht (editors), (2006) The Politics of Heritage and Regional Development Strategies - Actors, Interests, Conflicts, Hermes Project, volume 2. Weimar: Bauhaus University Press, p. 55 - 65

1This concept of cultural plurality throughout the ages can be distinguished from those cities who in history have experienced an eradication of other cultures by a dominant system e.g. Thessaloniki after 1921 when Jewish and especially Turkish influences were driven out by a single official version of Greek culture.

2The city of Volos plans to build a museum dedicated to the Argonaut Expedition; the Argo boat has already been reconstructed. See museum workshop in Volos within the Interreg III B CADSES project HERMES.

3„Story telling in museum contexts: innovative pedagogies to enhance personnel competence“. Conference organized by the Fitcarraldo Institute, see http://www.fitzcarraldo.it

4Howard (2005) „Who is interpretation for?“ Turin: Conference reader.

5See www.kids-guernica.org and www.poeinkaiprattein.org/kids-guernica

6Cahill (2003), Sailing the Wine Dark Sea – Why the Greeks matter. London: Random House. Pages 7 – 8

7Ibid., p. 8

8Ibid., p. 8

9See Leona Bielitz (ed. 2006)

10See here the position of Giovanni Pinna (2006)

11See Levy-Strauss (1962/1966)

12Jacek Purchla (2005), p. 32

13GPS – Global Position System

14In that sense it is important to point out the link between the HERMES project and in particular the Heritage Radio Network (www.heritageradio.net) created as a result. This type of radio represents a new and enriched media based on the combination of audio and text, and thus includes sounds and voices when referring to the reality of the past and therefore to cultural heritage.

15See notes about Ernst Schnabel at http://poieinkaiprattein.org/beyond-images/literature/ernst-schnabel/ There was made as well a feature about him on his 90th birthday and broadcasted on 07.10.05. See http://www.ndrkultur.de/ndrkulktur_pages_std/0,2513,OID155718_REF244,00.html

16James Clifford, (1988) The Predicament of Culture. Boston: Harvard University Press.

17Hatto Fischer (2010) Poverty of Experience. In: Inclusion through Education and Culture, Wim Coudenys ed. Proceedings of UNEECC Forum, Vol. 3, Pecs 14 / 15 October 2010, p. 55 – 64. Also at http://poieinkaiprattein.org/economy/position-papers-2/poverty-of-experience/



Bielitz, Leona (ed.; 2006). Geteilte Erinnerungen. Leipzig: Schulmuseum.

Cahill, Thomas (2003): “Who is the interpretation for?”. In Conference Reader: 'Story telling in museum context. Innovative pedagogies to enhance personnel competence.' 4th and 5th of February 2005, Turin, Italy. Vol. 4. Source: http://www.fitzcarraldo.it/en/training/2005/story_en.pdf,08/09/2006

Clifford, James (1988). Predicament of Culture. Boston: Harvard University Press.

Levi-Strauss, Claude (1966). The Savage Mind. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press (=Nature of Human Society with original title in French: La pensee sauvage, 1962).

Pinna, Giovanni (2006). The intellectual organization of museums. In: Schröder-Esch, Sebastian (ed.): Practical aspects of cultural heritage – presentation, revaluation, development. Weimar: Bauhaus University Press, p. 51 – 56

Purchla, Jacek (2005). Heritage and Transformation. Krakow: International Cultural Centre Press.



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