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Tijl Vereenooghe. Inauguration UNESCO Chair – 25 March 2009. A bottom-up initiative. 3 heritage NGOs in Flanders Heemkunde Vlaanderen vzw VCM-Contactforum voor Erfgoedverenigingen vzw FARO. Vlaams steunpunt voor cultureel erfgoed vzw

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Tijl Vereenooghe

Inauguration UNESCO Chair – 25 March 2009


A bottom-up initiative

  • 3 heritage NGOs in Flanders

    • Heemkunde Vlaanderen vzw

    • VCM-Contactforum voor Erfgoedverenigingen vzw

    • FARO. Vlaams steunpunt voor cultureel erfgoed vzw

  • Starting point = CoE declaration on the role of voluntary organizations in the field of cultural heritage (Portoroz, 2001)


Inventory of Heritage Organisations in Europewww.heritage-organisations.eu


Heritage, what’s in a name?

In the broad sense of the word

Archival heritage Documentary heritage Digital heritage Audiovisual heritage Re-enactment - living history Heritage education History      Local and regional history      Migration history      Social history      Economic history      Cultural history      Political history      Oral history

Toponymy Genealogy Numismatics Heraldry Cartography

Heritage volunteersCyber culture

Archaeological heritage Underwater heritage - underwater archaeology Immovable heritage - built heritage      historical monuments      castles      historical dwellings     fortifications      mills      ... Landscape heritage      landscapes, parks, gardens Mobile heritage - transport heritage      maritime heritage      rolling heritage      riding heritage      flying heritage Industrial and scientific heritage Religious heritageMilitary heritageMusical heritage Gastronomic heritage Funerary heritage

Museum heritage - movable heritage      Museum items and collections      Museology      Artistic heritage 

Agricultural and rural heritage Living agricultural heritage Local genetic heritage Oral and intangible heritage Folk cultureDialectology - historical linguistics Traditional crafts Traditional costumes Heritage performers - circus, popular theatre, puppet theatre Heritage performers - folk dance, folk music Festivals - parades Ethnology Folklore Traditional sports and games


European conference on civil society organisations active in the field of heritage

European Conference on Civil Society Organisations active in the Field of Heritage

European Conference on Civil Society Organisations active in the Field of Heritage

European Conference on Civil Society Organisations active in the Field of Heritage

  • 135 international participants and 45 local participants will represent the diversity of the European civil society for heritage

  • NGOs from at least 25 European countries

  • Stimulate smaller NGOs to be present

  • Focus on bringing people together and on exchanging ideas and experiences

  • GOALS

  • 135 international participants and 45 local participants will represent the diversity of the European civil society for heritage

  • NGOs from at least 25 European countries

  • Stimulate smaller NGOs to be present

  • Focus on bringing people together and on exchanging ideas and experiences


1. A question of scale: local/micro the Field of Heritage

  • Awareness about the ‘smallest’ best practices

  • Who adapts to who ? (cfr. microfunding)

  • Contractdriven process ?


  • 2. Practical questions for active citizens the Field of Heritage

  • Practical guidance and information

  • Manual/guidebook ?

  • Horizontal networking (‘bottom-bottom’): need for indepth, quality-networks (good practices!)


  • 3. Active citizens and professionals ? the Field of Heritage

  • Ideally : complementary synergy

  • Risk of a top-down in disguise ?

  • ‘heritage process’ : political context and criteria governing local choices ?


  • 4. Involving younger generations ? the Field of Heritage

  • Younger people embedding meaning/values to heritage themselves

  • importance of education as creating awareness (seduction) : sparks for future ignition

  • role of new technologies ?


  • 5. Activism and compromise: volunteers and government the Field of Heritage

  • complementary/symbiotic relationship

  • NGO’s need to guard priorities/corebusiness

  • Believe in the value of your ‘stakeholdership’ in a quality-driven democratic decision making process

  • Gov. Needs to take ‘active citizenship’ seriously for effectively solving conflicts of interest


  • 6. Heritage care and development the Field of Heritage

  • Obvious importance

  • Danger of catering the wrong interests (instrumentalization) ?

  • Danger of a ‘detachment’ from a communities’ true heritage


  • 7. Local worlds and global village the Field of Heritage

  • Local identity, sense of place as key-issue (complementary to globalization)

  • Trap of cells of anti-modernist nostalgia ?

  • Does local identity/active local citizenship as a tool of (intercultural) dialogue work in practice ?


  • 8. Motivating our volunteers the Field of Heritage

  • Series of different motivations/intentions

  • Understanding our volunteers

  • Awareness of differences between political cultures, different contexts


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