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Play Togethêr, Share Alike Sandro Claes & Dirk Bouve, Heritage Department - Bel.gian Province of Limburg Good advice for chiLdren as title íor the keynote address for theBest in Heritage Congress

2019?lt might seem strange. But these four words perfectly summarise our vision on heritage. They refLect the way we Look at heritage and how we handLe ít on a daily basis. And above aLL: how we want to invoLve the inhabitants of

our region, so that heritage remains anchored in their Lives and society. Today, the bond between citizens and herit-

age is more important than ever. Gtobatisa-

tion is slowly wiping out locaI and regional identities. Heritage reminds us of who we are, where we come from. lt gives us identity. Peop[e need to know their" society in order to further deveLop it. Without insight into the past, there can be no cLear view of the future.

That is why it is imperative to permanentty anchor our heritage in modern society, How precisely do we achieve that? How do we create a bond between man and his rich past? Something is on[y considered heritage when peopte vatue it. This causes the centre of gravity to shiÍt from the heritage object to the citizens invoLved. The French Language describes this perfectl.y as the shift from'Droit patrímoine' ïo' Droit au patrímoine'. lnvoLving heritage communities and giving co-responsibiLity are key in this process. Nowadays, there are too many abstract heritage theories that are onty picked up by the

specialised heritage community. Too many heritage manifestos signed by peopte who have Litt[e or no active involvement with heritage themselves. The future of heritage needs doers.

Thus, the word 'participation' comes into play. 0ne oÍ the buzzwords in the heritage wortd. A word everyone seems to interpret in their own way, often incorrectty. Setting up receptive [and interactiveJ forms oÍ experiencing and participating in heritage activities: it is not enough. This type of 'pubtic mediation' usuatty starts from thefinished whole. For us, active participation means

'being involved': joining in the decision-making, influencing, execution and comptetion by, among othêr things, adopting interactive and participatory working methods during the reaLisation process. As a heritage department, we want the pubtic to become mora[[y the co-owners of the her-

itage and for pubtic authorities and citizens to find connections and go down the road together. ln this process, we aLso focus on peopte who would otherwise not, or bareLy, come into contact with heritage. Young people ptay an important rote here. They are the keepers of our heritage of tomorrow. The chaLLenge? Raising their awareness with regard to heritage so that we can maintain it and give it a reLevant future. ln this way, heritage not onty

becomes a goat, but also a means for social anchoring and cohesion.

A Project of, for and by 8ó0.000 Limburgers The successfuI and internationatty ce[ebrated pr"oject'Limburg 1914-1918, SmatL Stories from a Great War' teaches us that we can achieve greater heritage acceptance through cooperation, innovation with new media, new forms of unlocking, and an active and personal participation of the inhabitênts. The project was realised within the framework of the 100-year commemoration of WWl. We did not focus on the well wornpaths such as trench warfare, but rather on smat[ local stories. lnstead of putting objects on a pedestat, we hightighted personaI stories using various media, supported by storyteLling via sociaI media and two short films about WWI in Limburg. Thus, from the very beginning, we reached every Limburger, aLL the way into in their living rooms, and we started

Simuttaneously, we mobitised the Limburg peopte with a participatory project invotving 44 concrete StahtheLmets that symbolised the German occupation. 0ne German hetmet fQr each municipatity. Together with the

inhabitants, each municipality was invited to comptete its helmet creatively. Schoots, socio-cutturaI associations, [ocaL artists, youth clubs and others worked fheir he[met and spiked it with messages about war and peace. People of at[ ages went to work side by side, with just one goat: to never forgetwhat war can bring about. 1,300 peopte participated. The resul't? 44 unique creations culminating inone work of art that connects all Lirnburg municipalities. As a pubtic authority, we organised brainstorming sessions that stimulated competition and we made a smatl financiaI intervention. Every mun icipality retained its creative freedom. Today, the helmets form a popu[ar permanent memoriaI park on the former battLefietd in Halen. The pubtic heLps to bui[d a heritage exhibition

a diatogue.


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|n2017 and 2018 we continued this approach we see'. The focus was on a col.lection of originaL German glass negatives from WWI with BeLgian heritage that was considered vatuabte by the Germans. We [aunched a photo contest, in which we caLLed on the people to send photographs of heritage, compLete with a story tetling the reason why they just think this piece oÍ heritage is important enough to keep. ln other woTds: a very personaI ap-

in the Íollow-up project 'This is what

proach. This was confirmed by the entries which ranged Írom churches and a footbaLL canteen to ê tree. A seLection of 44 contemporary photographs Íone per municipatity), accompanied by their beautiful stories, have joined the German gtass negatives in an ongoing exhibition. This pro1ect creates involvement, enhances community sirength and reveals how peopte regarded 'heritage' in the past and how they do today. Thus, heritage is once again claiming a ptace in contemporary [locaL] society.

Heritage Writes History Communication contributes significantLy to successfuI participation. That became cLear from our'lef Postino prolect.

ln 2016 it was 70 years since the first ltalian migrants arrived in Limburg to work in the coal mines. 0n the occasion of this anniversary, the project aspired to renew and strengthen the ties between the lta[ian Limburgers and the Limburg ltaLians. An ideaL project to introduce to the generat pubtic the industriaI past of Limburg, the mining cuLture and recent deveLopments in the mining reg



Theatre actor lef GiLis ÍPostman lef) joined us on a quest to find authentic stories and anecdotes from Limburgers and their ac-

quaintances, famity, otd Lovers and schooL riends they Left behind in ltaLy. The Limburgers wrote letters that lef Postino personalLy picked up and deLivered in ltaLy with his Piaggio Ape - a typicat ltalian three-wheeled f

vehicte. The Ape was converted into a mobil.e

post office - a meeting pLace Íor the coLLection of personaL stories. When he returned, we organised a big charity street party. Here the Betgian and ltatian letter writers and receivers were able to meet each other and their families. ln co-production, we filmed the journey f rom Be[gium to ltaly and back again. ln the autumn of 201ó, the programme was broadcast on nationaL television. Twice a week, 1

million viewers followed lef's journey.


project also made frequent appearances on social media and in a daity newspaper. ln 2018, the project won the European Union Prize for CutturaL Heritage-Europa Nostra Awa


201 8

Today, the project lives on in the book 'Postino', a summarising fiLm and an interactive

theatre performance 'Postl' which is perÍormed in schoo[s and for socio-cuLturaI organisations. lef atso travets at[ over the country with a mobile post office. Everyone is aftowed to write a Letter. He then leaves the letters on the waLL of the post office. Visitors can pick up the letters there and deLiver

them personalLy. This Leads to the deveLopment of new contacts . La forza di unalettera.

Young People BuiLd the Future with Heritage Heritage is aLL around us - inctuding in the immediate vicinity. ChapeLs, music kiosks, piltories, water pumps and wetls are invaLuable for the community. They are part of the region's identity. They telt beautifuI and fascinating stories that are passed on Írom

generation to generation. What if these char-


acteristic l.andscape elements disappear? Then we irrevocab[y Lose a piece

oÍ history. $.

That is why our department has been providing subsidies to smat[ historicaL heritage since 20'l ó. This enables [ocaI authorities, private owners and associations to maintain that heritage. Partly by roLLing up their own sleeves - which strengthens the personaI tles with heritage - and partly by hiring professionaL restaurateurs with the subsidies. Six monument supervisors from our department - who are on the road every day to check the Limburg heritage - support this. This approach works. With the project 'Jong

redt Oud' [The Young save the Old) we put



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in a vaLuable valtey area, redevetop a historic high fruit tree orchard... The sky is the Limit. Young people look at heritage, and heritage is viewed through the eyes of young peopLe. ls there any better way to secure the future of our past?

this system into practice with the target group oÍ young peopte. Even more than for adults, the story behind the neighbourhood is often unknown or highLy underestimated by this group. 'The Young save the 0ld' changes that. Under professionaI supervision, young people from Limburg work with the heritage in

their neighbourhood through school.s, chitdren's and youth councils, hobby groups, youth centres... The focus is on repairs, maintenance, {digitat) access and research performed by the young people themsetves. This is how they become acquainted with their heritage, how they start communicating about it with their friends and famiLy and strengthen and anchor the ties with the locaI heritage. The young people

actively experience work-

ing in a traditionaI miLl,, they buiLd a beehive in an historic garden, discover Gatto-Roman tumuli, maintain and study a historicaI graveyard in the province, they wattle and daub a halÍ-timbered barn, manage a protected [and dune in a ptayfut way, make hay traditionaLLy

Bridge Buitders From Facebook storytelling, the co-deve[opment of a memorial park and exhibition ['Limburg 1914-1918, Smat[ stories from a Great War'J through handwritten [etters ['lef Postino'l to young people who restore heritage ['The Young save the 0ld'J ... When starting from the right vision, participation becomes a buitder of brrdges that strengthens the support for heritage and increases its Legitimacy. 0ne that increases the invoLvement of citizens, speeds up the poLicy process, and improves the quaLity of heritage projects and p




That is why we want to give Ihe Best in Heritage participants two assignments. Visit the city, free yoursetf from the tourists, and learn about the story of Dubrovnik and Croatia. ln addition: pay extra attention to the peopte behind the presented heritage projects, the regions where they come from, who aLt hetped them. Exchange thoughts about this during the breaks. Because ... 'ptay together, share aLike'. Álso at heritage congresses.

Best in Heritage - Keynote address: Play together, share alike.  

Good advice for children as title for the keynote address for the Best in Heritage Congress 2018? It might seem strange. But these four word...

Best in Heritage - Keynote address: Play together, share alike.  

Good advice for children as title for the keynote address for the Best in Heritage Congress 2018? It might seem strange. But these four word...