With support of the Institute for German Culture and History in Southeastern Europe (Munich/Germany, www.ikgs.de) a group of young historians from Germany and Romania is seeking to document the daily life of the German minority in Transylvania in the 20th century. The team will interview members of the minority in an oral history approach and search for personal materials like diaries and private letters which are suitable for digitization. Continue reading “Saxonica” – digitization project on the history of daily life of the Transylvanian Saxons
The presentation of knowledge on the culture and history of a population group should not be left to non-experts or complete foreigners of the respective cultural heritage. Unfortunately exactly this is the case with most of the Wikipedia articles – one of the most important sources for public knowledge – which are not written on a solid, concerted knowledge basis but more or less extracts from often randomly selected sources. Experts and members of the respective minorities should therefore consider to form qualified working groups in order to author articles which are comprehending the basic and referenced knowledge.
Video portals respectively video-sharing websites like YouTube are more and more a substitute for the rigid TV program due to their easy and extremely flexible accessibility – you can watch the content whenever you want and literally make your own watch list – and the possibility to interact with the content and its creators by commenting, sharing or uploading your own contributions (“Web 2.0”). It makes therefore sense to consider “video blogging” as an efficient method to present, discuss, propagate and canonize knowledge on cultural heritage.
As was discussed in a former post almost everyone’s cultural canon is substantially influenced by the internet and the informational knowledge, the born-digital or digitized materials it is offering to us. In order to be able to devise efficient digitization strategies for minority heritage it is therefore necessary to get an overview on the “digital cultural landscape” which is visited, used and so to speak cultivated by minority members.
The internet provides us with the chance to analyze the cultural impact of certain terms, topics, individuals and communities in numbers. It is therefore an obvious task to try to determine the cultural reception and influence of a minority and to answer questions like: what does constitute a successful reception of a cultural heritage? What are the reasons for a lack of attention and knowledge towards the cultural products of an ethnic group? What is the formula for initiating and maintaining the “digital motorics“?
The Federal Republic of Germany faced in its early years a huge challenge by millions of displaced ethnical Germans from Eastern Europe and from former territories of the German Reich who fled to the west German occupation zones at the end of World War II. Beside the numerous material and social necessities imposed in the early postwar period the newly formed republic had to fulfill the obligation of incorporating these citizens into the new state. The legal part of the solution for this challenge was the enacting of the Federal Expellee Law (“Bundesvertriebenengesetz“, 1953). Article 96 of this law states the Federal Republic’s obligation to preserve the cultural goods of the communities of displaced Germans from Central and Eastern Europe.
The Egnatia Epirus Foundation conducted with co-funding from the Greek State and the European Union a project for the preservation and promotion of the culture and history of the historical Vlach population groups in Epirus: