European Heritage Policy Agora 2022 – Youth Intermezzos
The European Heritage Policy Agora “For a Value and Culture-Driven Europe”, held on 27 September at the Žofín Palace, was the concluding event of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2022 in Prague. The Policy Agora benefited from contributions from a wide variety of public and private heritage stakeholders, policy-makers at all levels, young heritage professionals and cultural actors. On the occasion of and as a contribution to the European Year of Youth 2022, the Policy Agora featured four Youth Intermezzos, in which young heritage professionals took the stage and presented challenges, projects, and solutions from the youth. These include Lesia Voroniuk, Representative of the World Vyshyvanka Day, Ares Shporta, Director of the Lumbardhi Foundation, both winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2022, Nikolaos Degleris, Coordinator of the Europa Nostra Heritage Hub in Athens, and a group of young people representing the participants of The Future is Heritage Summit.
Lesia Voroniuk drew attention to the ongoing war in Ukraine and mentioned that the main task in the country is to protect its cultural heritage. She argued that cultural heritage is much more significant than it may seem at first glance and has defensive values besides being “a mark of civilisation and democracy” and answering the question of “who we are.” She also mentioned the Public Choice Award 2022 that World Vyshyvanka Day had just won and stated that the monetary award will be used to fund a museum.
Ares Shporta recalled how, aged 23, he took on the revival of the oldest cinema in Kosovo, a landmark of crucial importance for the local collective memory and a tool for “getting to know the city’s multi-layered stories, understand the history of 20th century, and the challenges of learning and unlearning”. He highlighted that the cinema and its cultural heritage story are “a story of survival, repair, healing, communicating, learning and feeling” and that “ideas, deeds and cultures are those which remain.” He also expressed his wish for the citizens of Kosovo to be able to travel without visas.
Nikolaos Degleris emphasised that a multidisciplinary approach to co-creation is essential for active youth involvement in the collective thinking process to go beyond boundaries with virtual and augmented reality to grasp environments and landscapes.
Additionally, on the occasion of the European Cultural Heritage Summit in Prague, a four-day capacity-building event for young heritage students and professionals was organised by the initiative “The Future is Heritage”. As a result of this event, the participants shared their concerns and hopes about the heritage sector under the Without Youth, No Future for Heritage topic. They emphasised the need to be offered more equal and long-term opportunities for stability in the heritage sector, which reflect their high-quality education and volunteer experience. The young heritage students and professionals expressed concern about endangered cultural heritage sites, traditions and practices due to ongoing conflicts and climate change. They emphasised that “cultural heritage trickles down into the very fabric of our daily life and is what makes us humans through our memories and stories” and “to create a sustainable, secure and inclusive future, we must stand out for our values and advocate for tackling climate change through heritage”.
All news items about the Policy Agora
Panel “Mobilising forces and voices in solidarity with Ukraine’s cultural heritage”
Panel “Cultural heritage as a catalyst for peace and solidarity”
Panel “Beauty and sustainability at the core of Europe’s green transformation”