HOP - HISTORY OF PEOPLE
HOP - HISTORY OF PEOPLE
Project HOP - History of People, Project Reference: CREA-CULT-2022-COOP 101098484 under the Creative Europe Programme (CREA) meets the Specific objectives of call CREA-CULT-2022-COOP, topic CREA-CULT-2022-COOP-1.
This Handbook is the result of the Exchange of Best Practices that took place between March and September 2023 in the four partner countries: we organized meetings with local and international researchers, writers, performers and storytellers, during which we exchanged expertise and knowledge and co-designed our project methodology.
Working closely together, we identified the skills and competencies that we deem necessary for shaping historically-relevant texts and materials that are understandable, interesting, engaging, and faithful to scientific information and research, regardless of the specific topics chosen, the technology involved, and the product or service to be created or improved.
We hope this Handbook will be useful and inspirational for other organizations and/or stakeholders interested in our same commitment.
Hosting the Mobility:
Croatia (Dubrovnik) 17-21/09/2023 (Link)
Mobilities to partner countries so far:
Macedonia (Kavadarci) 20-23/07/2023 (Link)
Italy (San Benedetto del Tronto) 04-07/05/2023 (Link)
Bulgaria (Ruse) 18-21/04/2023 (Link)
About the Project HOP - History of People
The concept behind our project revolves around the idea that history is deeply intertwined with the people’s lives. We firmly believe that history serves as a conduit for passing on traditions, customs, cultures, and ways of thinking that have permeated different eras, aspects that, being relevant to people nowadays, must not be forgotten if we truly wish to understand our present.
As Europeans, we have inherited invaluable historic sites, including natural, built, and archaeological sites, museums, monuments, artworks, historic cities, literary, musical, and audio-visual works, as well as the knowledge, practices, and traditions, and it is our responsibility to duly recognize, comprehend, and safeguard them. Seen from an economic and social perspective, cultural heritage could represent an important resource for growth, employment, and cohesion for local communities; it can play a crucial role in revitalizing urban and rural areas, promoting sustainable tourism, shaping more inclusive societies, fostering respect for cultural diversity, social equity, individual and community well-being, and, last but not least, if adequately managed and sustained, could be a key driver of stronger economic performance and a higher quality of life.
That's why, with this project, we have embarked on an innovative approach to cultural and historical communication, adapting marketing strategies to promote our cultural heritage sites.
This approach has led us to identify key ingredients that, in our view, can lead to the successful promotion of cultural heritage:
● Focus on Quality and Authenticity: Visitors are increasingly well-informed and place great importance on experiencing both quality and authenticity.
● Make the Experience Relevant to the Visitor: Understanding that visitors have diverse needs, expectations, and desires, we should shape the cultural experience around them.
● Make the Experience Participatory: We should propose interactive experiences that connect the past to the present, giving life to the assets and broadening the audience.
● Tell a Story: Based on historical evidence, storytelling should be used as a key element for emphasizing and representing an important part of our heritage interpretation.
We strongly believe in the importance of objective facts, scientific data, and verified information. Thus, at this stage, we encouraged a collaborative effort between cultural heritage professionals, researchers, storytellers, and performers from our partners, keeping accuracy and truthfulness at the core of our work.
● to promote the exchange of practices and experiences among
history, archaeology, and local folklore researchers, along with professional
● to establish a common methodology that integrates the expertise of history,
archaeology, and local folklore researchers with the storytelling skills of
● to boost cooperation, mutual respect, understanding and integration among the various disciplines and create a cohesive network of researchers, performers and storytellers.
In our pursuit to contribute to innovating how history is communicated and cultural heritage is perceived, we hence involved each project partner in discussions, shared views, and collecting ideas on how to better narrate history in museums, cultural events, and historical exhibitions. We used online questionnaires and videocalls to research how cultural heritage is treated and regarded in our partner countries, which specific audience groups we usually work with, which engagement tools are preferred by cultural heritage sites, and the kind of stories we believe would resonate best with our visitors, relating to local historic landmarks and sites.
Based on the collected insights, we began working on this Handbook, maintaining a strong cooperative attitude throughout the entire process.
Cultural heritage is about a special sense of belonging and of continuity.
A way to ensure evergreen life to our cultural heritage is to engage audiences in understanding its meaning and significance, making them relate to and empathize with the stories behind monuments, historical landmarks and sites.
Stories of persons, men and women, of their habits, passions and struggles.
Nowadays, cultural heritage institutions face significant challenges in making their collections attractive to visitors.
We believe this is due to a lack of cooperation in the EU between professional researchers, storytellers and managers of cultural heritage, who do not share their competences and knowledge. Texts and materials are indeed fixed and difficult to adapt to different auditors, are based on folklore instead of scientific information or historic research and often result from the work and sources of erudites, who dive deep on single items.
Consequently, cultural heritage managers find it difficult to offer diversified materials and to target their communication to specific groups of visitors. This inevitably reflects on the way people consider historical tourism and information: boring, neither stimulating nor captivating.
This inevitably impacts on the number of citizens that visit and enjoy cultural heritage sites, with a consequent, constant reduction of income for the sites themselves, in particular for which regards the younger generations (Millennials, Generation Y, Generation Z).
With our project, we want to create an innovative methodology that combines scientific research and storytelling, so to target different audiences with ad hoc created contents.
Thanks to a preliminary exchange of good practices and with a transnational co-design focused on the production of a common methodology, we will produce a pool of stories on cultural heritage, specifically targeted to students, children, adults, families etc. We will also sensitise on how climate change has always influenced people’s life on our planet; the only difference is that, now, we are the driving force of such changes.
At last, we will test and implement the methodology developed in the partner counties with local pilot projects, with the help of digital tools such as mobile apps, audio descriptions, 3D representations of cultural heritage sites and/or with the “traditional” information means, such as guided tours, brochures, etc. A group of professionals from each partner Country will then evaluate the results reached by each of the partners involved.
“Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EACEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.”