ALDA's Bureau Meeting

Approximately a month has passed since ALDA’s General Assembly, live-streamed online from Brussels on October 9th and here we are announcing the first, yet important, milestone of ALDA’s new Bureau!

Indeed, on Friday November 13th, 2020, the new Bureau members, together with our Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida and the Head of the Secretary General Office Francesco Pala, virtually met to follow up on the main issues brought up during the General Assembly.

Among the key topics of discussion, we highlight the preparation of the next Governing Board meeting, which will take place on December and the current situation of the LDAs network and its potential development.

To conclude, a relevant space was dedicated to a round table of shared thoughts and inputs on the new strategic views of ALDA: a complex yet complete document approved during the General Assembly whose implementation has already started by the whole team of the Association and which is supposed to bring ALDA to a whole new level by 2024.

***

Learn more about the composition of ALDA’s new Governing Board and Bureau by reading the dedicated news “Welcome to the new Governing Board of ALDA

Approximately a month has passed since ALDA’s General Assembly, live-streamed online from Brussels on October 9th and here we are announcing the first, yet important, milestone of ALDA’s new Bureau!

Indeed, on Friday November 13th, 2020, the new Bureau members, together with our Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida and the Head of the Secretary General Office Francesco Pala, virtually met to follow up on the main issues brought up during the General Assembly.

Among the key topics of discussion, we highlight the preparation of the next Governing Board meeting, which will take place on December and the current situation of the LDAs network and its potential development.

To conclude, a relevant space was dedicated to a round table of shared thoughts and inputs on the new strategic views of ALDA: a complex yet complete document approved during the General Assembly whose implementation has already started by the whole team of the Association and which is supposed to bring ALDA to a whole new level by 2024.

***

Learn more about the composition of ALDA’s new Governing Board and Bureau by reading the dedicated news “Welcome to the new Governing Board of ALDA

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Aenean et felis imperdiet, ornare enim quis, maximus libero. Pellentesque rhoncus scelerisque dolor ac rhoncus. Nullam vulputate purus nulla, sed lacinia quam luctus sit amet. Mauris non consectetur velit. Ut sodales ipsum quis magna blandit ultricies. Aliquam ut lectus sed enim sollicitudin mollis. Vivamus eget tortor sit amet eros sollicitudin facilisis porttitor ut purus. Pellentesque ullamcorper nunc id dolor aliquet tristique. Aliquam porttitor erat sit amet velit molestie ullamcorper. Aliquam malesuada egestas metus eleifend viverra. Aliquam faucibus tortor purus, in maximus mauris rhoncus id. Aliquam hendrerit lorem vitae leo lobortis, eget lobortis elit tristique. Ut vehicula odio molestie, semper lacus eget, lacinia ligula. Morbi non vulputate eros.


National narratives as part of ancestral memory of a given historical moment

An interview to Svetla Petrova, chief curator in the Archaeological Museum in Sandanski, (Bulgaria), interviewed by Ana Frangovska, art historian and curator.

 

Svetla Petrova is a PhD in archaeology and chief curator in the Archaeological Museum in Sandanski, Bulgaria. Her principal subjects are archaeology and world history, a specialist in ancient, late antique and early Byzantine Archaeology. She works on the organisation of exhibitions, scientific conferences, protection of cultural heritage, archaeological studies, excavations, as well as museum funds. Mrs Petrova used to be a member of the department of classical archaeology and a deputy head of the National Archaeological Institute and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, as well as inspector at the National Institute of Cultural Monuments. She has a competence in developmentand realisation of projects related to the ancient, late ancient and early Byzantine architecture and urban planning, early Christian Archaeology and basilica construction. She maintains excellent cooperation with Greece as well as with North Macedonia. Her professionalism and positive experience in cross-border cooperation makes her a very relevant speaker on the questions related to  ‘shared or contested heritage’.

What is heritage, how does it work and what does it mean for people with different backgrounds?

Svetla: Inheritance is what our ancestors left us with – material goods, historical memory, archaeological artefacts. When we speak about historical and archaeological heritage, it represents the ancestral memory of the people from a particular country or territory, shown through the artefacts. In any case, a person’s origin should not be relevant to the concept of heritage – it should be defined as national/ancestral memory.

Do you think that heritage institutions should be more inclusive or exclusive? Is it important to be clear about whose stories are being presented, by whom and for which purposes? Some practices point towards an inclusive approach through the restructuration of institutions and the fostering of supportive leadership.  What do you think about this approach?

Svetla: Archaeological and historical past are above all cultural, therefore the institutions dealing with Bulgarian national heritage – museums and institutes, ministry of culture; universities and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences act also as foundations. They are all committed to preserving the national cultural heritage. When the institutions operate efficiently, there is no need for them to be restructured, and it shouldn’t be a question of leadership therein, but only consideration of historical and archaeological data and facts.

Do you engage in cross-border cooperation with professionals from North Macedonia and do you find any difficulties in its realisation?

Svetla: Of course, I have cross-border cooperation with colleagues from North Macedonia in the field of archaeology – the ancient and early Byzantine eras. I have no problems and difficulties with the communication and realisation of our projects.

We do have heritage that can evoke different – sometimes difficult or competing – views and emotions, depending on the approach and viewpoint. The challenge of dealing with such divergence lies in the attempt to simultaneously convey different views and voices when presenting this heritage to the public. Do you agree and do you think that this is an essential task when dealing with heritage and histories that speak to different people in different ways?

Svetla: There may be some discrepancies. Stories are intertwined in the Balkans, but I don’t think that should disturb us. Historical facts are clear and should not be interpreted for one cause or another.

"A person's origin should not be relevant to the concept of heritage - it should be defined as national/ancestral memory"

Can you think of an example of a case study of shared or contested heritage related to your particular field of interest (ethno-music, history, archaeology, contemporary art, art history etc.) and how would you approach its presentation?

Svetla: So far, I have no case of controversial results in my scientific field – Roman and early Christian/early Byzantine archaeology.

In a context of uncertainties and dystopias, what is the role of cultural heritage?

Svetla: I don’t see any uncertainty or discrepancy from their usual places in the area where I work.

One of the challenges for researchers and practitioners in the field of cultural heritage is to develop more inclusive approaches to share heritage in order to transgress social and national boundaries. Any ideas on how this approach could be implemented into your particular field of interest?

Svetla: Since my field of work pertains to an era when modern social and national borders did not exist, I have no problems in the study of the historical and archaeological heritage of that period. I think historical facts should be interpreted correctly. For archaeology, no such problem exists.

What signifies the national narratives are that they do not include layers; they are one-sided, often chronological and has a sense of a fixed, static, historical truth, about them, said Anderson in 1991. Do you agree with this citation and why?

Svetla: I disagree, because national narratives are part of the ancestral memory of a given historical moment and there is no way, in my opinion, that they could be one-sided.

When we discuss about shared or contested heritage the issue of time is essential, and in extreme cases of recent turmoil, the best method for reconciliation might not be to address the past as individually relatable; but rather that the past should hopefully remain in the past. Do you think that this can be implemented into our context?

Svetla: The past always remains the past and cannot be interpreted as the present. In any event, as part of the cultural national heritage, it should have some impact. The past is marked by facts that, in our context, such as scientific activity, should not be distorted or adjusted to a particular situation. Cultural heritage, as a generic memory of a people, also determines its history. In the field of Roman and early Byzantine history and archaeology, I do not believe that adjustment or distortion of cultural heritage and identity can be applied, so far at least, it has never been the case.

Do you think that the realm of words can influence the way the audience read the stories related to heritage (shared or contested)?

Svetla: Words always influence if, of course, they are used accurately, clearly and correctly. Therefore, inordinate speaking in the field of cultural heritage, respectively, ancestral memory can lead to distortion and gross historical errors.

***

The interview is conducted within the framework of the project “Shared or contested heritage”, implemented by ALDA Skopje and Forum ZFD. The aim of the project is to improve cross-border cooperation between North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria. The project raises awareness of the role of contested histories and shared cultural heritage for the EU integration processes among heritage practitioners and cultural workers.  The content of the interview is the sole responsibility of the interviewee and does not always reflect the views and attitudes of ALDA and Forum ZFD.

An interview to Svetla Petrova, chief curator in the Archaeological Museum in Sandanski, (Bulgaria), interviewed by Ana Frangovska, art historian and curator.

Svetla Petrova is a PhD in archaeology and chief curator in the Archaeological Museum in Sandanski, Bulgaria. Her principal subjects are archaeology and world history, a specialist in ancient, late antique and early Byzantine Archaeology. She works on the organisation of exhibitions, scientific conferences, protection of cultural heritage, archaeological studies, excavations, as well as museum funds. Mrs Petrova used to be a member of the department of classical archaeology and a deputy head of the National Archaeological Institute and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, as well as inspector at the National Institute of Cultural Monuments. She has a competence in developmentand realisation of projects related to the ancient, late ancient and early Byzantine architecture and urban planning, early Christian Archaeology and basilica construction. She maintains excellent cooperation with Greece as well as with North Macedonia. Her professionalism and positive experience in cross-border cooperation makes her a very relevant speaker on the questions related to  ‘shared or contested heritage’.

What is heritage, how does it work and what does it mean for people with different backgrounds?

Svetla: Inheritance is what our ancestors left us with – material goods, historical memory, archaeological artefacts. When we speak about historical and archaeological heritage, it represents the ancestral memory of the people from a particular country or territory, shown through the artefacts. In any case, a person’s origin should not be relevant to the concept of heritage – it should be defined as national/ancestral memory.

Do you think that heritage institutions should be more inclusive or exclusive? Is it important to be clear about whose stories are being presented, by whom and for which purposes? Some practices point towards an inclusive approach through the restructuration of institutions and the fostering of supportive leadership.  What do you think about this approach?

Svetla: Archaeological and historical past are above all cultural, therefore the institutions dealing with Bulgarian national heritage – museums and institutes, ministry of culture; universities and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences act also as foundations. They are all committed to preserving the national cultural heritage. When the institutions operate efficiently, there is no need for them to be restructured, and it shouldn’t be a question of leadership therein, but only consideration of historical and archaeological data and facts.

Do you engage in cross-border cooperation with professionals from North Macedonia and do you find any difficulties in its realisation?

Svetla: Of course, I have cross-border cooperation with colleagues from North Macedonia in the field of archaeology – the ancient and early Byzantine eras. I have no problems and difficulties with the communication and realisation of our projects.

We do have heritage that can evoke different – sometimes difficult or competing – views and emotions, depending on the approach and viewpoint. The challenge of dealing with such divergence lies in the attempt to simultaneously convey different views and voices when presenting this heritage to the public. Do you agree and do you think that this is an essential task when dealing with heritage and histories that speak to different people in different ways?

Svetla: There may be some discrepancies. Stories are intertwined in the Balkans, but I don’t think that should disturb us. Historical facts are clear and should not be interpreted for one cause or another.

"A person's origin should not be relevant to the concept of heritage - it should be defined as national/ancestral memory"

Can you think of an example of a case study of shared or contested heritage related to your particular field of interest (ethno-music, history, archaeology, contemporary art, art history etc.) and how would you approach its presentation?

Svetla: So far, I have no case of controversial results in my scientific field – Roman and early Christian/early Byzantine archaeology.

In a context of uncertainties and dystopias, what is the role of cultural heritage?

Svetla: I don’t see any uncertainty or discrepancy from their usual places in the area where I work.

One of the challenges for researchers and practitioners in the field of cultural heritage is to develop more inclusive approaches to share heritage in order to transgress social and national boundaries. Any ideas on how this approach could be implemented into your particular field of interest?

Svetla: Since my field of work pertains to an era when modern social and national borders did not exist, I have no problems in the study of the historical and archaeological heritage of that period. I think historical facts should be interpreted correctly. For archaeology, no such problem exists.

What signifies the national narratives are that they do not include layers; they are one-sided, often chronological and has a sense of a fixed, static, historical truth, about them, said Anderson in 1991. Do you agree with this citation and why?

Svetla: I disagree, because national narratives are part of the ancestral memory of a given historical moment and there is no way, in my opinion, that they could be one-sided.

When we discuss about shared or contested heritage the issue of time is essential, and in extreme cases of recent turmoil, the best method for reconciliation might not be to address the past as individually relatable; but rather that the past should hopefully remain in the past. Do you think that this can be implemented into our context?

Svetla: The past always remains the past and cannot be interpreted as the present. In any event, as part of the cultural national heritage, it should have some impact. The past is marked by facts that, in our context, such as scientific activity, should not be distorted or adjusted to a particular situation. Cultural heritage, as a generic memory of a people, also determines its history. In the field of Roman and early Byzantine history and archaeology, I do not believe that adjustment or distortion of cultural heritage and identity can be applied, so far at least, it has never been the case.

Do you think that the realm of words can influence the way the audience read the stories related to heritage (shared or contested)?

Svetla: Words always influence if, of course, they are used accurately, clearly and correctly. Therefore, inordinate speaking in the field of cultural heritage, respectively, ancestral memory can lead to distortion and gross historical errors.

***

The interview is conducted within the framework of the project “Shared or contested heritage”, implemented by ALDA Skopje and Forum ZFD. The aim of the project is to improve cross-border cooperation between North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria. The project raises awareness of the role of contested histories and shared cultural heritage for the EU integration processes among heritage practitioners and cultural workers.  The content of the interview is the sole responsibility of the interviewee and does not always reflect the views and attitudes of ALDA and Forum ZFD.


Project officer & Administrative Assistant Internship

ALDA + SRL Benefit Corporation offers an internship in the field of administration, training and technical assistance.

The intern will work under the supervision of the Administrator of the Company who is also the tutor responsible for the internship. ALDA + SRL Benefit Corporation is a company owned by ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy, which offers different services in the field of EU funds project development and management, financial management, reporting and audit, etc.

Read the full internship opportunity.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi efficitur odio a tempor dictum. Aenean at porta dolor, a tristique lectus. Praesent leo risus, tincidunt sed arcu in, tincidunt lobortis dolor. Suspendisse nec nibh eros. Donec mi sapien, lobortis in accumsan sit amet, cursus non libero. Nulla sit amet arcu ac mauris sollicitudin vulputate et vitae tortor. Phasellus ac feugiat orci. Nullam placerat facilisis erat, non accumsan arcu lacinia sit amet. Maecenas et lectus ornare, tincidunt eros sit amet, lobortis risus.

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Aenean et felis imperdiet, ornare enim quis, maximus libero. Pellentesque rhoncus scelerisque dolor ac rhoncus. Nullam vulputate purus nulla, sed lacinia quam luctus sit amet. Mauris non consectetur velit. Ut sodales ipsum quis magna blandit ultricies. Aliquam ut lectus sed enim sollicitudin mollis. Vivamus eget tortor sit amet eros sollicitudin facilisis porttitor ut purus. Pellentesque ullamcorper nunc id dolor aliquet tristique. Aliquam porttitor erat sit amet velit molestie ullamcorper. Aliquam malesuada egestas metus eleifend viverra. Aliquam faucibus tortor purus, in maximus mauris rhoncus id. Aliquam hendrerit lorem vitae leo lobortis, eget lobortis elit tristique. Ut vehicula odio molestie, semper lacus eget, lacinia ligula. Morbi non vulputate eros.


Logistic Officer Assistant Internship

ALDA offers an internship within the Secretary General’s office as logistic officer assistant.

The incumbent will work closely with the Events Manager of ALDA, supporting day-to-day activities in the office, such as the organisation of missions and meetings, and the relations with external providers.

Read the full internship opportunity.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi efficitur odio a tempor dictum. Aenean at porta dolor, a tristique lectus. Praesent leo risus, tincidunt sed arcu in, tincidunt lobortis dolor. Suspendisse nec nibh eros. Donec mi sapien, lobortis in accumsan sit amet, cursus non libero. Nulla sit amet arcu ac mauris sollicitudin vulputate et vitae tortor. Phasellus ac feugiat orci. Nullam placerat facilisis erat, non accumsan arcu lacinia sit amet. Maecenas et lectus ornare, tincidunt eros sit amet, lobortis risus.

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Aenean et felis imperdiet, ornare enim quis, maximus libero. Pellentesque rhoncus scelerisque dolor ac rhoncus. Nullam vulputate purus nulla, sed lacinia quam luctus sit amet. Mauris non consectetur velit. Ut sodales ipsum quis magna blandit ultricies. Aliquam ut lectus sed enim sollicitudin mollis. Vivamus eget tortor sit amet eros sollicitudin facilisis porttitor ut purus. Pellentesque ullamcorper nunc id dolor aliquet tristique. Aliquam porttitor erat sit amet velit molestie ullamcorper. Aliquam malesuada egestas metus eleifend viverra. Aliquam faucibus tortor purus, in maximus mauris rhoncus id. Aliquam hendrerit lorem vitae leo lobortis, eget lobortis elit tristique. Ut vehicula odio molestie, semper lacus eget, lacinia ligula. Morbi non vulputate eros.


"Sine ira et studio" - Without passion & beyond emotions

An interview to Kristiyan Kovachev, historian, guest lecturer and PhD candidate from the South-West University “Neofit Rilski” in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria Interviewed by Ana Frangovska, art historian and curator.

Kristiyan Kovachev is a guest lecturer at the Southwestern University “Neofit Rilski” of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. He conducts seminars in Anthropology of the Middle Ages, Cultural Anthropology and Theory of Culture. He participated in the organisation and logistics of the conference “Culture, heritage and tourism for small towns” (2019) and was part of the team working on the project “Field archaeological excavations along the route of the Struma Motorway, lot 3.2 …” conducted by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He has a Master’s degree in “Medieval Bulgaria: State, Society, Culture” from the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. As a historian whose PhD thesis is related with medieval Ohrid, he is a very relevant  interlocutor in the framework of our project “Shared or contested heritage“.

We do have heritage that can evoke different – sometimes difficult or competing – views and emotions, depending on the approach and viewpoint. The challenge of dealing with such divergence lies in the attempt to simultaneously convey these different views and voices when presenting this heritage to the public. Do you agree and do you think that this is an essential task when dealing with heritage and histories that speak to different people in different ways?

Kristiyan: Yes, I think so. I think that this is an essential task that could be solved scientifically – beyond the emotional – by presenting those “alternative stories” (outside the official national narrative) that complement definitions such as “shared history”, “common heritage”, and so on.

Do you engage in cross-border cooperation with professionals from North Macedonia and do you find any difficulties in its realisation?

Kristiyan: Yes, I do. My doctoral thesis is related to medieval Ohrid and I am in constant communication with representatives of the University of Skopje, the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Institute of National History in Skopje, various museums and the Macedonian Orthodox Church. I haven’t encountered any difficulties in our collaboration.

Have you worked on collaborative projects dealing with shared memories and histories?

Kristiyan: Yes. In 2018 I participated in a project related to the study of the process of construction of the popular historical narrative in Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

Can you suggest some new and creative approaches for the presentation of  facts relating to shared or contested heritage?

Kristiyan: Firstly, a good approach is to shift the focus – from the great national stories to the daily life of ordinary people – how they lived and thought the world around them. Currently, many researchers tend to focus not so much on the study of politics and wars (glorious victories and great kings) whereas on culture, placing the research focal point on “microhistory.”

Can you think of an example of a case study of shared or contested heritage related to your particular field of interest (ethno-music, history, archaeology, contemporary art, art history etc.) and how would you approach its presentation?

Kristiyan: Ohrid, which I am exploring, is a disputed area between Bulgarians, Macedonians, Serbs and Albanians. Serbian claims to Ohrid provoked Ivan Snegaroff to write “History of the Ohrid Archbishopric” in 1924. Today Ohrid is within the borders of the Republic of North Macedonia. However, Bulgarians (including some historians) insist that Ohrid is Bulgarian territory. In 2019, Albanian flags were placed on key historical sites in Ohrid. All this shows us that Ohrid is a disputed territory. At the same time, however, we can talk about Ohrid in a different way. The cultural heritage of Ohrid, which is a sacred place for Bulgarians and Macedonians, would benefit from a new reading as a “shared Balkan” and “shared European” heritage, without distorting historical facts and without opposing the countries’ interests in their current borders. This would be possible by presenting the “alternative story” – the one that will not divide us as for example, the history of art and culture. However, this could happen by adapting the modern Western conceptions of nations as “imagined communities”” (according to Benedict Anderson) and as a product of the 18th-19th centuries. Excluding nationalist discourse, medieval Ohrid can be seen as a place of contact between East and West, which is also depicted in its image system (frescoes, icons etc.).

How we choose to remember the past and how we choose to move forward are the critical issues of today. What does cultural heritage mean in different national and regional contexts? Who can claim it as theirs, and who decides how it is preserved, displayed, or restored? How to share cultural heritage?

Kristiyan: In a national context, cultural heritage is thought of as something to be proud of. This is a relic left from the past to commemorate the glorious history of ancestors. It is used by the national governments as a tool for the formation of national consciousness, especially among adolescents. In the textbooks they are described as “strongholds of Bulgarian spirit” or “fortresses of Macedonianism”. Excursions are often made there with the task of consolidating the official national narrative in the students. In a supranational context, cultural heritage can unite the communities. In this regard, the attempt of the Council of Europe to develop Cultural Routes is indicative. They act as channels for intercultural dialogue and promote a better knowledge and understanding of European shared cultural heritage.

"Reviewing cultural heritage, a good approach is to shift the focus: from the great national stories to the daily life of ordinary people"

Another method of challenging the national narrative, regarding shared or contested heritage, would be to go from the particular to the universal. Cornelius Holtorf writes: “(…) the new cultural heritage can transcend cultural particularism by promoting values and virtues derived from humanism and a commitment to global solidarity.” What do you think about this?

Kristiyan: Yes, I think so. A good opportunity in this direction is the development of global networks for shared cultural heritage, which will strengthen universal values.

When we discuss about shared or contested heritage the issue of time is essential, and in extreme cases of recent turmoil, the best method for reconciliation might not be to address the past as individually relatable; but rather that the past should hopefully remain in the past. Do you think that this can be implemented into our context?

Kristiyan: I think not. In my opinion, this will be the case as long as the political discourse dictates how to talk about the past. This will be the case until the past ceases to be used by politics to argue current policies.

What signifies the national narratives are that they do not include layers; they are one-sided, often chronological and has a sense of a fixed, static, historical truth, about them, said Anderson in 1991. Do you agree or not and why?

Kristiyan: I agree. In the national historical narrative, there is always a victorious country whose history is presented chronologically in its “rise” to a glorious empire. This historical truth is fixed in the memory of the collective. It cannot be disputed. Any different story (from the established narrative) is perceived as an attempt to falsify the story.

Do you think that being more polyvocal, engaging, diverse, (self-)reflective and participatory may solve some of the obstacles on the way of presenting cultural heritage (shared or contested)?

Kristiyan: I hope so. However, solving these problems must become a cause. And the whole group, in this case the “historical guild”, must be involved in this cause. And its task is not easy – to talk about the past as it is, without additional embellishments influenced by current politics and nationalism. “Sine ira et studio”!

***

The interview is conducted within the framework of the project “Shared or contested heritage”, implemented by ALDA Skopje and Forum ZFD. The aim of the project is to improve cross-border cooperation between North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria. The project raises awareness of the role of contested histories and shared cultural heritage for the EU integration processes among heritage practitioners and cultural workers.  The content of the interview is the sole responsibility of the interviewee and does not always reflect the views and attitudes of ALDA and Forum ZFD.

An interview to Kristiyan Kovachev, historian, guest lecturer and PhD candidate from the South-West University “Neofit Rilski” in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria Interviewed by Ana Frangovska, art historian and curator.

Kristiyan Kovachev is a guest lecturer at the Southwestern University “Neofit Rilski” of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. He conducts seminars in Anthropology of the Middle Ages, Cultural Anthropology and Theory of Culture. He participated in the organisation and logistics of the conference “Culture, heritage and tourism for small towns” (2019) and was part of the team working on the project “Field archaeological excavations along the route of the Struma Motorway, lot 3.2 …” conducted by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He has a Master’s degree in “Medieval Bulgaria: State, Society, Culture” from the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. As a historian whose PhD thesis is related with medieval Ohrid, he is a very relevant interlocutor in the framework of our project “Shared or contested heritage“.

We do have heritage that can evoke different – sometimes difficult or competing – views and emotions, depending on the approach and viewpoint. The challenge of dealing with such divergence lies in the attempt to simultaneously convey these different views and voices when presenting this heritage to the public. Do you agree and do you think that this is an essential task when dealing with heritage and histories that speak to different people in different ways?

Kristiyan: Yes, I think so. I think that this is an essential task that could be solved scientifically – beyond the emotional – by presenting those “alternative stories” (outside the official national narrative) that complement definitions such as “shared history”, “common heritage”, and so on.

Do you engage in cross-border cooperation with professionals from North Macedonia and do you find any difficulties in its realisation?

Kristiyan: Yes, I do. My doctoral thesis is related to medieval Ohrid and I am in constant communication with representatives of the University of Skopje, the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Institute of National History in Skopje, various museums and the Macedonian Orthodox Church. I haven’t encountered any difficulties in our collaboration.

Have you worked on collaborative projects dealing with shared memories and histories?

Kristiyan: Yes. In 2018 I participated in a project related to the study of the process of construction of the popular historical narrative in Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

Can you suggest some new and creative approaches for the presentation of facts relating to shared or contested heritage?

Kristiyan: Firstly, a good approach is to shift the focus – from the great national stories to the daily life of ordinary people – how they lived and thought the world around them. Currently, many researchers tend to focus not so much on the study of politics and wars (glorious victories and great kings) whereas on culture, placing the research focal point on “microhistory.”

Can you think of an example of a case study of shared or contested heritage related to your particular field of interest (ethno-music, history, archaeology, contemporary art, art history etc.) and how would you approach its presentation?

Kristiyan: Ohrid, which I am exploring, is a disputed area between Bulgarians, Macedonians, Serbs and Albanians. Serbian claims to Ohrid provoked Ivan Snegaroff to write “History of the Ohrid Archbishopric” in 1924. Today Ohrid is within the borders of the Republic of North Macedonia. However, Bulgarians (including some historians) insist that Ohrid is Bulgarian territory. In 2019, Albanian flags were placed on key historical sites in Ohrid. All this shows us that Ohrid is a disputed territory. At the same time, however, we can talk about Ohrid in a different way. The cultural heritage of Ohrid, which is a sacred place for Bulgarians and Macedonians, would benefit from a new reading as a “shared Balkan” and “shared European” heritage, without distorting historical facts and without opposing the countries’ interests in their current borders. This would be possible by presenting the “alternative story” – the one that will not divide us as for example, the history of art and culture. However, this could happen by adapting the modern Western conceptions of nations as “imagined communities”” (according to Benedict Anderson) and as a product of the 18th-19th centuries. Excluding nationalist discourse, medieval Ohrid can be seen as a place of contact between East and West, which is also depicted in its image system (frescoes, icons etc.).

How we choose to remember the past and how we choose to move forward are the critical issues of today. What does cultural heritage mean in different national and regional contexts? Who can claim it as theirs, and who decides how it is preserved, displayed, or restored? How to share cultural heritage?

Kristiyan: In a national context, cultural heritage is thought of as something to be proud of. This is a relic left from the past to commemorate the glorious history of ancestors. It is used by the national governments as a tool for the formation of national consciousness, especially among adolescents. In the textbooks they are described as “strongholds of Bulgarian spirit” or “fortresses of Macedonianism”. Excursions are often made there with the task of consolidating the official national narrative in the students. In a supranational context, cultural heritage can unite the communities. In this regard, the attempt of the Council of Europe to develop Cultural Routes is indicative. They act as channels for intercultural dialogue and promote a better knowledge and understanding of European shared cultural heritage.

"Reviewing cultural heritage, a good approach is to shift the focus: from the great national stories to the daily life of ordinary people"

Another method of challenging the national narrative, regarding shared or contested heritage, would be to go from the particular to the universal. Cornelius Holtorf writes: “(…) the new cultural heritage can transcend cultural particularism by promoting values and virtues derived from humanism and a commitment to global solidarity.” What do you think about this?

Kristiyan: Yes, I think so. A good opportunity in this direction is the development of global networks for shared cultural heritage, which will strengthen universal values.

When we discuss about shared or contested heritage the issue of time is essential, and in extreme cases of recent turmoil, the best method for reconciliation might not be to address the past as individually relatable; but rather that the past should hopefully remain in the past. Do you think that this can be implemented into our context?

Kristiyan: I think not. In my opinion, this will be the case as long as the political discourse dictates how to talk about the past. This will be the case until the past ceases to be used by politics to argue current policies.

What signifies the national narratives are that they do not include layers; they are one-sided, often chronological and has a sense of a fixed, static, historical truth, about them, said Anderson in 1991. Do you agree or not and why?

Kristiyan: I agree. In the national historical narrative, there is always a victorious country whose history is presented chronologically in its “rise” to a glorious empire. This historical truth is fixed in the memory of the collective. It cannot be disputed. Any different story (from the established narrative) is perceived as an attempt to falsify the story.

Do you think that being more polyvocal, engaging, diverse, (self-)reflective and participatory may solve some of the obstacles on the way of presenting cultural heritage (shared or contested)?

Kristiyan: I hope so. However, solving these problems must become a cause. And the whole group, in this case the “historical guild”, must be involved in this cause. And its task is not easy – to talk about the past as it is, without additional embellishments influenced by current politics and nationalism. “Sine ira et studio”!

***

The interview is conducted within the framework of the project “Shared or contested heritage”, implemented by ALDA Skopje and Forum ZFD. The aim of the project is to improve cross-border cooperation between North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria. The project raises awareness of the role of contested histories and shared cultural heritage for the EU integration processes among heritage practitioners and cultural workers.  The content of the interview is the sole responsibility of the interviewee and does not always reflect the views and attitudes of ALDA and Forum ZFD.


The past should remain in the past

An interview with Bojana Janeva Shemova, art historian and curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, Interviewed by Ana Frangovska, art historian and curator

Bojana Janeva Shemova is an art historian and curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje. Her interests extend to the fields of individual identity of the artist and social interactions as building blocks of society. Mrs Shemova also works as an independent curator, realizing and organizing many manifestations and exhibitions locally and internationally. In 2009 she curated the Macedonian participation at the Venice Biennale with the art project “Fifty-fifty” by the artist Goce Nanevski. Since 2012 she is a co-founder of “Ars Acta-Institute for Arts and Culture”, Skopje. She first specialized in Byzantine art history, and then, in 2010, completed her Master’s degree on “Art and Cultural Heritage, Cultural Policy, Management and Education” at the University of Maastricht. Currently, her work is mostly focused on the field of contemporary art and contemporary culture. Her passion for cultural heritage is derived from her professional experience as well as its application through the touristic tours she offers in Skopje. For the purpose of this interview, Mrs Shemova will reflect on the topic “Common or disputed heritage”.

What is heritage, how does it work and what does it mean for people with different backgrounds?

Bojana: Heritage, and in particular cultural heritage has a broad scope of meanings and levels of importance to different social, cultural and ethnic groups; and it can have a different interpretation depending on a personal approach. It has an enormous role in defining self-identification as well as on the conception of a national narrative, and in the creation of a sense of belonging, which has been very often used as a “tool” in political outwitting. The main mechanism of cultural heritage development is the social selection and the community’s way of passing it on from generation to generation.

Do you think that heritage institutions should be more inclusive or exclusive? Is it important to be clear about whose stories are being presented, by whom and for which purposes? Some practices point towards an inclusive approach through the restructuration of institutions and the fostering of supportive leadership. What do you think about this approach?

Bojana: Of course, there is notable world-wide reconsideration of the narratives and position stands that have been prevailing for quite some time. One of the most important examples is the re-conceptualisation of the MOMA New York collection by including more indigenous and black artists.

It seems as an important decision because everywhere in the world it is deemed as a starting position of the institutions’ cultural identity and political inclinations. I believe that there is a lot of work to be done in the field of restructuring the institutions towards more inclusive programs of underrepresented groups.

Do you engage in cross-border cooperation with professionals from Greece and Bulgaria and do you find any difficulties in its realisation?

Bojana: As a curator in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, I will point out that in 2019 for the first time after a long hiatus; a collection from artists of the Thessaloniki Museum of Contemporary Art was finally presented in our museum. This event represented a great success since we had not seen works from Greek artists in a long time.

We do have heritage that can evoke different – sometimes difficult or competing – views and emotions, depending on the approach and viewpoint. The challenge of dealing with such divergence lies in the attempt to simultaneously convey these different views and voices when presenting this heritage to the public. Do you agree and do you think that this is an essential task when dealing with heritage and histories that speak to different people in different ways?

Bojana: It can be, but what is fundamental when dealing with cultural heritage is to take into consideration all of the aspects and stories behind it. Also, to be ready for controversial reactions, because one of the keycomponents of rethinking cultural heritage is that it takes time.

Can you think of an example of a case study of shared or contested heritage related to your particular field of interest (ethno-music, history, archaeology, contemporary art, art history etc.) and how would you approach its presentation?

Bojana: The contemporary art field is in its basis above and beyond the national agendas and historical connotations. My approach to these topics is firstly focused on the universal, human ideas, then on the national characteristics. This is why in the field of contemporary culture, very often there are examples of international manifestations that are celebrating universal qualities and values.

Dealing with cultural heritage means taking into consideration all aspects and stories behind a landmark and be ready for controversial reactions

What is the impact of Cultural Heritage on solving issues related with shared or contested history?

Bojana: Cultural heritage has enormous importance in the contested history among different countries. Especially in the countries that have overlapping history. One of the peculiar examples for me is the naming of the medieval King Marko, with different nouns Krale Marko by Macedonians, Krali Marko by the Bulgarians and Kraljevic Marko by the Serbians. We all believe that he was part of our history, which he was, because of the geo-political positions at that time.

How we choose to remember the past and how we choose to move forward are the critical issues of today. What does cultural heritage mean in different national and regional contexts? Who can claim it as theirs, and who decides how it is preserved, displayed, or restored? How to share cultural heritage?

Bojana: Nowadays, the importance of certain aspects of cultural heritage  depends a great deal on the political agendas of the country. We are witnessing changes in narratives, overlapping with the changes of Governments. This is obvious especially in the young countries like ours, who are still in the formative period of  their national pride and sense of belonging through the different parts of the oral and written heritage.

“What signifies the national narratives are that they do not include layers; they are one-sided, often chronological and has a sense of a fixed, static, historical truth, about them”, said Anderson in 1991. Do you agree with this citation and why?

Bojana: Sadly, I do agree that this has been the case in the past and still is today. Maybe, it is finally time to rethink the possibilities of multilayered and open-minded views on history.

When we discuss about shared or contested heritage the issue of time is essential, and in extreme cases of recent turmoil, the best method for reconciliation might not be to address the past as individually relatable; but rather that the past should hopefully remain in the past. Do you think that this can be implemented into our context?

Bojana: I completely agree that the past should remain in the past, especially now when the whole world is infected with globalization and interconnectedness among people. However, in our context I believe that this process will go slowly and with difficulty, considering the social, economic and political strong agendas of the different sides.

Do you think that the realm of words can influence the way the audience read the stories related to heritage (shared or contested)?

Bojana: I do. Not only the realm of words, but also the visual imagery has a strong impact on this process.

***

The interview is conducted within the framework of the project “Shared or contested heritage”, implemented by ALDA Skopje and Forum ZFD. The aim of the project is to improve cross-border cooperation between North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria. The project raises awareness of the role of contested histories and shared cultural heritage for the EU integration processes among heritage practitioners and cultural workers. The content of the interview is the sole responsibility of the interview and does not always reflect the views and attitudes of ALDA and Forum ZFD.

An interview with Bojana Janeva Shemova, art historian and curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, Interviewed by Ana Frangovska, art historian and curator

Bojana Janeva Shemova is an art historian and curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje. Her interests extend to the fields of individual identity of the artist and social interactions as building blocks of society. Mrs Shemova also works as an independent curator, realizing and organizing many manifestations and exhibitions locally and internationally. In 2009 she curated the Macedonian participation at the Venice Biennale with the art project “Fifty-fifty” by the artist Goce Nanevski. Since 2012 she is a co-founder of “Ars Acta-Institute for Arts and Culture”, Skopje. She first specialized in Byzantine art history, and then, in 2010, completed her Master’s degree on “Art and Cultural Heritage, Cultural Policy, Management and Education” at the University of Maastricht. Currently, her work is mostly focused on the field of contemporary art and contemporary culture. Her passion for cultural heritage is derived from her professional experience as well as its application through the touristic tours she offers in Skopje. For the purpose of this interview, Mrs Shemova will reflect on the topic “Common or disputed heritage”.

What is heritage, how does it work and what does it mean for people with different backgrounds?

Bojana: Heritage, and in particular cultural heritage has a broad scope of meanings and levels of importance to different social, cultural and ethnic groups; and it can have a different interpretation depending on a personal approach. It has an enormous role in defining self-identification as well as on the conception of a national narrative, and in the creation of a sense of belonging, which has been very often used as a “tool” in political outwitting. The main mechanism of cultural heritage development is the social selection and the community’s way of passing it on from generation to generation.

Do you think that heritage institutions should be more inclusive or exclusive? Is it important to be clear about whose stories are being presented, by whom and for which purposes? Some practices point towards an inclusive approach through the restructuration of institutions and the fostering of supportive leadership. What do you think about this approach?

Bojana: Of course, there is notable world-wide reconsideration of the narratives and position stands that have been prevailing for quite some time. One of the most important examples is the re-conceptualisation of the MOMA New York collection by including more indigenous and black artists.

It seems as an important decision because everywhere in the world it is deemed as a starting position of the institutions’ cultural identity and political inclinations. I believe that there is a lot of work to be done in the field of restructuring the institutions towards more inclusive programs of underrepresented groups.

Do you engage in cross-border cooperation with professionals from Greece and Bulgaria and do you find any difficulties in its realisation?

Bojana: As a curator in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, I will point out that in 2019 for the first time after a long hiatus; a collection from artists of the Thessaloniki Museum of Contemporary Art was finally presented in our museum. This event represented a great success since we had not seen works from Greek artists in a long time.

We do have heritage that can evoke different – sometimes difficult or competing – views and emotions, depending on the approach and viewpoint. The challenge of dealing with such divergence lies in the attempt to simultaneously convey these different views and voices when presenting this heritage to the public. Do you agree and do you think that this is an essential task when dealing with heritage and histories that speak to different people in different ways?

Bojana: It can be, but what is fundamental when dealing with cultural heritage is to take into consideration all of the aspects and stories behind it. Also, to be ready for controversial reactions, because one of the keycomponents of rethinking cultural heritage is that it takes time.

Can you think of an example of a case study of shared or contested heritage related to your particular field of interest (ethno-music, history, archaeology, contemporary art, art history etc.) and how would you approach its presentation?

Bojana: The contemporary art field is in its basis above and beyond the national agendas and historical connotations. My approach to these topics is firstly focused on the universal, human ideas, then on the national characteristics. This is why in the field of contemporary culture, very often there are examples of international manifestations that are celebrating universal qualities and values.

Dealing with cultural heritage means taking into consideration all aspects and stories behind a landmark and be ready for controversial reactions

What is the impact of Cultural Heritage on solving issues related with shared or contested history?

Bojana: Cultural heritage has enormous importance in the contested history among different countries. Especially in the countries that have overlapping history. One of the peculiar examples for me is the naming of the medieval King Marko, with different nouns Krale Marko by Macedonians, Krali Marko by the Bulgarians and Kraljevic Marko by the Serbians. We all believe that he was part of our history, which he was, because of the geo-political positions at that time.

How we choose to remember the past and how we choose to move forward are the critical issues of today. What does cultural heritage mean in different national and regional contexts? Who can claim it as theirs, and who decides how it is preserved, displayed, or restored? How to share cultural heritage?

Bojana: Nowadays, the importance of certain aspects of cultural heritage  depends a great deal on the political agendas of the country. We are witnessing changes in narratives, overlapping with the changes of Governments. This is obvious especially in the young countries like ours, who are still in the formative period of  their national pride and sense of belonging through the different parts of the oral and written heritage.

“What signifies the national narratives are that they do not include layers; they are one-sided, often chronological and has a sense of a fixed, static, historical truth, about them”, said Anderson in 1991. Do you agree with this citation and why?

Bojana: Sadly, I do agree that this has been the case in the past and still is today. Maybe, it is finally time to rethink the possibilities of multilayered and open-minded views on history.

When we discuss about shared or contested heritage the issue of time is essential, and in extreme cases of recent turmoil, the best method for reconciliation might not be to address the past as individually relatable; but rather that the past should hopefully remain in the past. Do you think that this can be implemented into our context?

Bojana: I completely agree that the past should remain in the past, especially now when the whole world is infected with globalization and interconnectedness among people. However, in our context I believe that this process will go slowly and with difficulty, considering the social, economic and political strong agendas of the different sides.

Do you think that the realm of words can influence the way the audience read the stories related to heritage (shared or contested)?

Bojana: I do. Not only the realm of words, but also the visual imagery has a strong impact on this process.

***

The interview is conducted within the framework of the project “Shared or contested heritage”, implemented by ALDA Skopje and Forum ZFD. The aim of the project is to improve cross-border cooperation between North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria. The project raises awareness of the role of contested histories and shared cultural heritage for the EU integration processes among heritage practitioners and cultural workers. The content of the interview is the sole responsibility of the interview and does not always reflect the views and attitudes of ALDA and Forum ZFD.


A new project for Developing Applied Foreign Language Skills

ALDA’s team in Skopje is launching a new project about the development of applied foreign language skills. The project, “Developing Applied Foreign Language Skills – DAFLS”, involves the University of Caen Normandy, The University St. Cyril et Methodius of Skopje, the University of Belgrade and ALDA’s office in Skopje.

The project, funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme, kicked off with an online event which took place on the 4th and 5th November 2020.

DAFLS project will provide new professional perspectives to philology graduates and increase their employability.

The project will provide graduates with new professional perspectives and increase their employability

DAFLS is a project aiming at responding to the needs of the Faculties of Philology in North Macedonia and Serbia to diversify their training offer in order to provide new professional perspectives to their graduates and to increase their employability. Moreover, the project will create new training courses based on applied foreign languages combining local project engineering and a European dimension.

ALDA’s team in Skopje is launching a new project about the development of applied foreign language skills. The project, “Developing Applied Foreign Language Skills – DAFLS”, involves the University of Caen Normandy, The University St. Cyril et Methodius of Skopje, the University of Belgrade and ALDA’s office in Skopje.

The project, funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme, kicked off with an online event which took place on the 4th and 5th November 2020.

DAFLS project will provide new professional perspectives to philology graduates and increase their employability.

The project will provide graduates with new professional perspectives and increase their employability

DAFLS is a project aiming at responding to the needs of the Faculties of Philology in North Macedonia and Serbia to diversify their training offer in order to provide new professional perspectives to their graduates and to increase their employability. Moreover, the project will create new training courses based on applied foreign languages combining local project engineering and a European dimension.


Go to GATE: practices of inclusive tourism

Interested in inclusive tourism? This fall 2020, starting from November 4th, a series of five workshops will take place within the context of the GATE project  – Granting Accessible Tourism for Everyone where ALDA serves as a consultant, in presentation of the outcomes of the project as well as of a number of other best practices for all to adopt in the field.

In order to allow everyone to attend despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the workshops will take place online, maintaining however a highly interactive structure so to encourage active participation and knowledge exchanges among the audience. Each event, held either in English or in Italian, will consist in a 45-50 minute presentation by a GATE project partner and by other expert guests, followed by an allotted time for questions, answers, and other contributions.

While the workshops will be particularly helpful for all those who are specifically involved in the field of tourism, everyone is invited to join and guaranteed to gain useful insights on inclusion and accessibility! The series will unfold as follows:

  1. [ENGLISH] November 4th, 3pm CEST | Accessible tourism: four case-studies
  2. [ENGLISH] November 18th, 3pm CEST | Handicap, disabilities & inclusion
  3. [ITALIAN] November 25th, 3pm CEST | Handicap, disabilità & inclusione
  4. [ENGLISH] December 2nd, 3pm CEST | Best practices on inclusive tourism
  5. [ITALIAN] December 9th, 3pm CEST | Buone pratiche di turismo inclusivo

Have a look at the AGENDA and don’t forget to register to as many workshops as you want through this link!

All workshops are free upon registration. Click above to book your chance to learn more and discuss about accessible, inclusive tourism for everyone… and invite friends!

An interactive webinar to learn practices on accessible tourism and get inspired

The GATE project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Interreg V-A Italy-Austria 2014-2020 with the aim to collaborate on a cross-border level to make sure that inclusive tourism is no longer just the “highlight” of certain alpine and pre-alpine areas, but rather expands all over, becoming a true strength and an inspiration for further practices of inclusion everywhere. Get to know the GATE project partners here

Interested in inclusive tourism? This fall 2020, starting from November 4th, a series of five workshops will take place within the context of the GATE project  – Granting Accessible Tourism for Everyone where ALDA serves as a consultant, in presentation of the outcomes of the project as well as of a number of other best practices for all to adopt in the field.

In order to allow everyone to attend despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the workshops will take place online, maintaining however a highly interactive structure so to encourage active participation and knowledge exchanges among the audience. Each event, held either in English or in Italian, will consist in a 45-50 minute presentation by a GATE project partner and by other expert guests, followed by an allotted time for questions, answers, and other contributions.

While the workshops will be particularly helpful for all those who are specifically involved in the field of tourism, everyone is invited to join and guaranteed to gain useful insights on inclusion and accessibility! The series will unfold as follows:

  1. [ENGLISH] November 4th, 3pm CEST | Accessible tourism: four case-studies
  2. [ENGLISH] November 18th, 3pm CEST | Handicap, disabilities & inclusion
  3. [ITALIAN] November 25th, 3pm CEST | Handicap, disabilità & inclusione
  4. [ENGLISH] December 2nd, 3pm CEST | Best practices on inclusive tourism
  5. [ITALIAN] December 9th, 3pm CEST | Buone pratiche di turismo inclusivo

Have a look at the AGENDA and don’t forget to register to as many workshops as you want through this link!

All workshops are free upon registration. Click above to book your chance to learn more and discuss about accessible, inclusive tourism for everyone… and invite friends!

An interactive webinar to learn practices on accessible tourism and get inspired

The GATE project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Interreg V-A Italy-Austria 2014-2020 with the aim to collaborate on a cross-border level to make sure that inclusive tourism is no longer just the “highlight” of certain alpine and pre-alpine areas, but rather expands all over, becoming a true strength and an inspiration for further practices of inclusion everywhere. Get to know the GATE project partners here


The Place to Be is in Vicenza!

Among the several participatory processes ALDA is implementing throughout Europe, a special place is taken by the project carrying on within our very neighborhood in Vicenza (Italy): the “Spark” (Scintilla) project.

Started in April 2019 with the objective of regenerating the urban area surrounding the train station, the so-called “Viale Milano area”, the project enters now a new phase. Thanks to the active involvement of a wide group of citizens, in only one-year time we succeeded in achieving a participatory process, which shed light on the priorities and served to identify the immediate and practical actions to start the transformation of the area.

On September 25th, a dedicated event was organised to present the second stage of the project, called “The Place to Be”, which inaugurates a whole set of activities to give a new impulse to the whole neighbourhood and a renewed alliance between the Neighbourhood, its citizens and the local administration. Part of a street (Via Napoli) was closed to traffic and an outdoor party was arranged, accompanied by great food and sound music, all in compliance with the anti-covid19 regulations in place.

“The Place to Be” will transform the Viale Milano area into a greener and friendly hood

Among the proposed actions, the “Place to be” will transform the Viale Milano area into a greener and friendly hood with spaces dedicated to coworking and smart businesses, entrepreneurs, play areas for families and children, as well as a general greenwashing of the district. As a result, the event was sold-out, and it was very much appreciated by the whole citizenry.

A special thanks to the local administration, associations, and all the single citizens who contributed to its successful outcome!

Among the several participatory processes ALDA is implementing throughout Europe, a special place is taken by the project carrying on within our very neighborhood in Vicenza (Italy): the “Spark” (Scintilla) project.

Started in April 2019 with the objective of regenerating the urban area surrounding the train station, the so-called “Viale Milano area”, the project enters now a new phase. Thanks to the active involvement of a wide group of citizens, in only one-year time we succeeded in achieving a participatory process, which shed light on the priorities and served to identify the immediate and practical actions to start the transformation of the area.

On September 25th, a dedicated event was organised to present the second stage of the project, called “The Place to Be”, which inaugurates a whole set of activities to give a new impulse to the whole neighbourhood and a renewed alliance between the Neighbourhood, its citizens and the local administration. Part of a street (Via Napoli) was closed to traffic and an outdoor party was arranged, accompanied by great food and sound music, all in compliance with the anti-covid19 regulations in place.

“The Place to Be” will transform the Viale Milano area into a greener and friendly hood

Among the proposed actions, the “Place to be” will transform the Viale Milano area into a greener and friendly hood with spaces dedicated to coworking and smart businesses, entrepreneurs, play areas for families and children, as well as a general greenwashing of the district. As a result, the event was sold-out, and it was very much appreciated by the whole citizenry.

A special thanks to the local administration, associations, and all the single citizens who contributed to its successful outcome!


A Europe in solidarity must be “a community of communities”

RIGHT NOW: we shall all together believe in our common European project that has to demonstrate its capacity to overcome the sanitary and economic crisis.

 

In these difficult days, all our thoughts go to all the people suffering and to the families of the victims, too many. Our mourning is infinite, and we keep it in our heart. We shall thank all those who work with dedication every day to heal the ill people, and those who keep the flow of goods circulating for the sake of the European families.

In this period there were actions of solidarity and mutual support among member states, as well as from European institutions. This must also be recalled loud and clear. This solidarity has also been expressed worldwide, with support coming from all over the world especially to Italy, very heavily affected by the crisis. This is a very encouraging sign that shall guide us also in the future.

Read the whole statement here

RIGHT NOW: we shall all together believe in our common European project that has to demonstrate its capacity to overcome the sanitary and economic crisis.

 

In these difficult days, all our thoughts go to all the people suffering and to the families of the victims, too many. Our mourning is infinite, and we keep it in our heart. We shall thank all those who work with dedication every day to heal the ill people, and those who keep the flow of goods circulating for the sake of the European families.

In this period there were actions of solidarity and mutual support among member states, as well as from European institutions. This must also be recalled loud and clear. This solidarity has also been expressed worldwide, with support coming from all over the world especially to Italy, very heavily affected by the crisis. This is a very encouraging sign that shall guide us also in the future.

Read the whole statement here.