- Heritage concepts, values and authorship – Considerations for making short heritage films
2.1 Main points
2.2 Film as part of the heritage dynamic
2.3 Heritage valuation
2.4 Heritage and authorship
2.5 Heritage categories
2.6 The use of metaphor
- Guidelines for adult educators on how to produce digital stories
3.1 The filming process
3.1.1 Starting your filming: Write a script
3.1.2 Standards for video
3.1.3 Book of shooting: Actual start and matter of revision
3.1.4 Filming tips & tricks
3.1.5 Sound recording
3.1.6 Editing and producing
3.2 Excursus: Heritage authorship and documentary typology
3.3 Excursus: Key points of promotional video creation
3.4 The project platform
3.4.1 Introduction to project platform
3.4.2 Registration on WAAT digital platform
- Instructions on how to use digital stories in training activities and how to plan lessons
4.1 Examples of digital movies on cultural heritage used for education
4.2 Teaching programme
- WAAT learning experiences and tips
WAAT aims to develop a modern and dynamic system of understanding and promoting cultural heritage through digital stories. Based on the subject cultural heritage WAAT shows how self-made short-films can be applied in adult education and at the same time WAAT contributes to disseminate heritage in its widest sense by introducing a heritage digital video platform. Besides a constructivist understanding of heritage we intend to offer an easy approach to the production of digital video stories. There is no need to have specific knowledge in filmmaking and you do not need special equipment. Based on this WAAT Guide for Educators, the camera of your mobile phone and a computer (???) as well as basic user know-how are enough to produce short digital educational video stories and upload them on the WAAT digital platform.
Dynamic, Constructivist Concept of Cultural Heritage
This chapter briefly introduces the constructivist understanding of heritage and links to filmmaking as medium to heritage preservation but at the same time as part of heritage formation. You will also learn about heritage valuation and considerations about authorship which are of specific interest for our open heritage short film platform. Last but not least heritage categories will be discussed. While in our project concept we focussed on the division into four categories of cultural heritage (intangible, tangible, digital and nature) we widened the concept including these aspects.
Production of Digital Video Stories and the WAAT digital platform
The chapter guidelines for adult educators on how to produce digital stories introduces step by step the filming process and presents the WAAT project platform. The first part includes guidelines and hints concerning script writing, equipment, the filming process itself, sound recording, editing and production. You will also learn about what to consider concerning privacy, data protection, copyright and labelling of video material with licenses. After the general description of filming specifics for WAAT are addressed: Four forms of documentaries (ego documentary, observational film, participatory film and expository mode of making film) and key points of promotional video creation are briefly presented which seem relevant for the making of film about heritage. The second part introduces the WAAT digital platform and describes how to use it.
Application of Digital Stories in Adult Education
The next chapter outlines information and instructions on how to use digital stories in training activities, provides examples for the successful integration of digital stories and also presents a whole teaching programme including different aspects of using digital video stories.
Our Learning Experiences
Finally a summary of the evaluation results and especially the experiences which we made during WAAT when developing and producing the digital stories and practical tips are presented.
In the Annex you’ll find good practices on applications of digital storytelling in education and good practices of short stories on cultural heritage, ….. [other parts of the Annex to be mentioned].
WAAT (We are all together to raise awareness of cultural heritage) is a European Cooperation Project co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme. The project consortium includes the coordinator Plunge public library (Lithuania) and the partners ICARUS HRVATSKA (Croatia), Quiosq (Netherlands), EGInA SRL (Italy), the Multidisciplinary European Research Institute Graz (Austria) and Centro de Educación de Adultos de Olmedo (Spain).
2. Heritage concepts, values and authorship – Considerations for making short heritage films
This chapter introduces key concepts to bear in mind when producing and sharing short films that are to be used to educate about cultural heritage. The video productions, that are to be shared on the online WAAT platform, will add to the exchange of European heritage values and promote heritage-related contact in an accessible and sustainable way, also making sure to further creativity and mutual respect. Key to the project is the notion of heritage as a dynamic of identification and belonging. This understanding of heritage goes beyond the idea of heritage as collections of static objects that travel through time, but rather emphasizes the ongoing interpretation of heritage – including all of its expressions, for example by means of film. In this view, we all perform heritage, and this text may help you to understand this role, its possibilities and its responsibilities.
2.1 Main points
Of particular importance to the project and its products is how we relate two concepts of heritage, the formation of heritage, heritage values and heritage authorship in relation to the production of short films. In this brief chapter, we outline these concepts.
We discuss stretching the concept of heritage from a static and object-oriented one, to one that is (also) dynamic and sociological in nature. When we depart from heritage as information-containing objects, we need to address the process of its values and valuation – that we are contributing to in the creation of films about heritage. The notion of authorship will help to see and guarantee multiple perspectives on the WAAT platform. Another important issue in the way we will be working, is choosing and connecting to heritage categories: what are they and how do we use categories for content on our platform that aims for maximal exchange? In addition to identifying the themes that are important for us in order to work with the video platform, we shall also consider some approaches for making the film itself. For that reason, we will discuss different documentary typologies, as well as the use of metaphors to relate historic information to issues in contemporary society.
What is heritage, and why does it matter?
Practically all heritage specialisms have evolved from the notion of objects, documents or buildings as carriers of cultural – often historical – information. Early heritage professions have prioritized the preservation of such material heritage objects in order for this information to be passed down to ensuing generations. In this understanding, these historic information objects are unproblematic and legible: they function as containers of physical ‘proof’ of past processes, or ‘sources’ of past events that can (and should) be disclosed by media such as exhibitions, text or visuals so audiences can be educated by their content, ingenuity or beauty. For a long time, this mediation of heritage has been seen as a secondary process, being merely the transfer of monolithic historical information to nondescript audiences. The intrinsic value of the heritage object was believed to depend on the material state of the object, and heritage work focused on material vulnerable and the constant need of physical care.
This way of looking at heritage, that emerged in the nineteenth century and is still influential, strongly focuses on the act of bequeathing material objects to generations to come. From the late twentieth century onwards, heritage theorists and professionals have shifted their attention to another side of the heritage coin, namely the act of inheriting – of accepting and interpreting the past, not only by specialists, but by society at large. Now, heritage work consists not only of stabilizing material objects, but just as much in facilitating the process of identification with the past. Many of us choose the middle ground between ‘matter and the mind’ while some theorists are extreme in their positions, the Australian anthropologist and heritage expert Laurajane Smith, for example, states that ‘All heritage is intangible’ as she finds heritage a mental construct by definition.
In short: the general tendency in theorizing heritage has firmly shifted from ‘objects’ to ‘people’, from ‘past’ to ‘present’ and from ‘information’ to ‘value’. Rather than regarding heritage as sets of static historical information objects, we more and more approach it as an ongoing cultural dynamic that has temporary (and shifting) outcomes in the present. The key difference between these stances may be explained as the difference between an essentialist and a constructivist stance to heritage. In an essentialist understanding of heritage, we see heritage objects as carriers of historical information that is tied to, or ‘intrinsic’ to a material object, while a constructivist heritage concept proposes the ongoing construction (and deconstruction) of heritage values by people in the present.
According to constructivists, heritage is dynamic, complex and contradictory, as different groups of people form and act out their heritage constructions when they try to present and preserve their version as the most genuine or true. It follows from this view that heritage is not rescued from the past, but rather performed in the present and it is also – necessarily – an arena of debate and even discord. The constructivist view on heritage also implies that people are not only bound to heritage by knowledge, but also by their personal or collective memory, emotions, nostalgia, or a sense of identity and belonging (or separation!). An interesting observation is that not only positive feelings, but also strong negative emotions influence heritage valuations and stir heritage debate.
As a result of this paradigmatic shift, academic and professional interest in heritage has expanded from content matter specialisms to looking into heritage’s contemporary role in society. Without disqualifying the practices of heritage information that is vital in many contexts (such as archives and research collections), we find that in public exchange, a constructivist approach to heritage fits best with the complexity of society, with aims for diversity and social inclusion. We choose to understand heritage as a dynamic relation with the past and with each other, that we shape with semi-stable ‘objects’, and a wide array of expressions of content and value. <back>
2.2 Film as part of the heritage dynamic
When we embrace this more sociological and dynamic stance to heritage in our project of producing and exchanging heritage film, there are a number of implications worth discussing. First of all, it is important to understand the status of film itself in the heritage dynamic – as this status depends on our understanding of heritage.
We could argue that heritage that is seen as static and robust, is not influenced by its mediation. Seen as such, the medium (such as film) only transmits heritage information, its role seems neutral, not influencing the heritage itself. But when we accept the interpretation and valuation by contemporary society as part of heritage formation, our short films are more than just heritage ‘access points’. Rather, they are part of the process of shaping heritage, thereby integral to the process of heritage formation rather than merely transmissions. We could conclude that in the light of a constructivist understanding of heritage, our films are an intrinsic part of the heritage itself.