ALDA Skopje has successfully finished the realization of the project “Shared or contested heritage” in cooperation with ForumZFD. The project aimed at opening a dialogue on peaceful and tolerant interpretation of cultural resources among heritage practitioners and cultural workers from Greece, Bulgaria and North Macedonia. The project objective was to raise awareness of the role of contested histories and shared cultural heritage for the EU integration processes.
The first outcome of the project were 11 conducted interviews with relevant people from these three countries from different fields and backgrounds dealing with cultural heritage. “Dystopian or problematic points of history should continue to be the subject of peaceful debates and discussions, by historians from the disputed entities, carried out with calm emotions and without passions” concludes from these interviews Ana Frangovska, collaborator on the project.
Moreover, 3 articles have been published from researchers and practitioners on cases of shared cultural heritage highlighting the importance of EU integration processes for preservation of cultural heritage. Our cultural heritage and the way we preserve and valorise it is a major factor in defining Europe’s place in the world and its attractiveness as a place to live, work, and visit. All articles could be found: here
“Dystopian or problematic points of history should continue to be the subject of peaceful debates and discussions, by historians from the disputed entities, carried out with calm emotions and without passions”
Should history be an obstacle to the future of a modern entity or state? What does history represent to each of us? A virtual panel discussion “The power of heritage and culture” discussing these questions took place in November with four high-level speakers, professors and practitioners. They talked about struggles and delight of working on this topic offering insight on their individual approaches as well as their experience with international and cross-border cooperation. To watch the video of the panel discussion: here
It has been proven that heritage can be used to establish and strengthen hegemonic history, reactivate imagined histories, or serve different political agendas. Interpretation of the past and understanding of cultural heritage has been determined to be one of the central and most problematic aspects of the recent political disputes between North Macedonia and its neighboring countries, Bulgaria and Greece” says Biljana Volchevska, Project manager from Forum ZFD.
It has been a significant project for ALDA Skopje and Forum ZFD to work on the question of intercultural dialogue in this difficult year 2020 in a particular context in the country and the region.
Ivana Petrovska, the Director of ALDA Skopje adds: “Despite the complexity of the context, the implementation of this project was crucial for us on many levels. In these days of uncertainty and isolation, it was a clear reminder of how important it is to tackle the question of intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding. Trying to understand the other is the key towards solidarity that is much needed nowadays”.
These outcomes has resulted with a final publication available for download here.