Project facts

Duration: 2018-06-29 - 2021-12-31
Project coordinator: De Montfort University, Leicester (UK)
Project consortium: De Montfort University, Leicester (UK); Liber pro Arte, Warsaw (POLAND); Linköping University, Linköping (SWEDEN)
Funding bodies: JPI CH
Subject areas: History, Digital Heritage, Archives, Technologies - Scientific processes, Methods - Procedures, Mediation - Education, Community involvement, Museums, Digitization
Budget: €569,584.792

Presentation

DigiCONFLICT explores the impact of digital heritage on contemporary engagements with the past in specific national frameworks in Poland, Sweden and Israel. Focusing on oral history, photography and multimedia museums as some of the most common media used to digitalise cultural heritage, the project engages with digital heritage critically, endeavouring to challenge widespread claims about its universality and democratising abilities.

While acknowledging the role digital heritage plays in shaping and distributing cultural heritage, the project's point of departure is that digital heritage cannot be considered in separation from historical, cultural and national contexts.

The project has three main aims:

- To explore how national politics affects digital definitions of cultural heritage;

- To investigate who creates and engages with digital heritage, and how;

- To study how the scope and value of cultural heritage are being negotiated and reformulated in a digital context.

The consortium elaborates innovative research approaches to digital heritage through analysis of policy documents related to a set of case studies, to understand how specific institutions, governments and communities define, mark, and share cultural heritage.

To achieve its aims, the consortium employs interviews with professionals and members of communities who participate in the digitisation and digitalisation of cultural heritage. It studys what parameters affect the creation of digital products. It inquires what is gained and lost when cultural heritage becomes digital. It equally explores who the main beneficiaries of digital heritage are. Findings are mainly disseminated via scholarly and mainstream publications, workshops and a dedicated website.

Impacts & Results

The project contributes to the development of clearer forms of understanding of the ways in which digital mediation is transforming our engagement with and understanding of our shared and diverse cultural heritage. As such it eqally elaborates knowledge on how digital mediation translates and interacts with different cultures and heritages, and about how digital methods—through coordination and cooperation between stakeholders, policymakers and professionals—can be used to create inclusive societies.

The collaboration between a diverse range of academic disciplines forms a truly interdisciplinary approach to research on cultural heritage and heritage assets, enhancing the ability of scholars in other disciplines to access and expand this area of study.

The project is designed to consolidate as well as generate innovative knowledge in heritage studies through multinational case studies, each of which considers diverse human geographies not yet fully associated with research in the field.

By the end of the project, DigiCONFLICT will have organized three international workshops/conferences. In addition it will prepare a comprehensive academic publication, designed to feature, discuss and analyse the project's themes and concerns while drawing practical and conceptual conclusions. Furthermore, the DigiCONFLICT consortium intends for the project to also result in the production of guidelines and good practice recommendations for cultural heritage institutions working on digitization and digitalization of heritage materials, as well as on the preservation of born-digital collections.

The project has involved the public through the organization and delivery of public events addressed to schools, students and the Third Age (e.g. master classes, public lectures, get-together events, community workshops), encouraging these groups to engage in active reflection, participation and contribution to the creation and shaping of digital heritage (e.g. through co-curated online and physical exhibitions/displays).

The results of the project have been disseminated in the form of peer-reviewed articles and similar academic outputs. Consortium members have also promoted their work and findings through participation in international academic conferences, talks and workshops.

DigiCONFLICT maintains a website to disseminate information about its members' activities, publications and contributions to external academic and public events.