Jul 05 - 2011
On 23 June 2011, at the Cultural House of Vushtrri/Vučitrn, a ceremony was held to mark the handing over of a Memory Map to the Museum of Historical and Ethnographic Museum of the town. Ms. Shukrane Begu received the Map, which had been created during a 4-day workshop to envision protection for and the future of The Cultural Heritage of Vushtrri/Vučitrn: Challenges and Opportunities (16-19 April 2011).
The first exercise of the workshop was the discussion and visualization of the Memory Map for natural and cultural heritage in Vushtrri/Vučitrn. The participants were given time to think about and describe to the group a moment, a place, an event or an experience (related to cultural and natural heritage in Vushtrri/Vučitrn) which forms an important memory for them. The process continued by placing sticky notes on the map to visualize the place of the memory and describe why they chose those sites, events and experiences. The participants from civil society and the institutions soon became involved in the wave of nostalgia and a number of different public spaces, elements of the city’s cultural heritage, natural resources, green spaces and forgotten parts of the city were mentioned. This was then converted into the presented Memory Map, a symbol of the Workshop and of the collaborative, participatory process involved in envisioning a future for Vushtrri/Vučitrn through the valuable assets inherited from its past.
THE WORKSHOP PROCESS
The main criteria of the Workshop Process was the involvement and commitment of a wide selection of stakeholders in the municipality, by gathering them in a common space and providing the information and tools needed to conduct various analyses. This created the conditions to enable stakeholders to reach a broad vision and set out principles, goals and strategic priorities for preserving and developing cultural heritage in Vushtrri/Vučitrn.
The simple concept behind this is that it is the residents of Vushtrri/Vučitrn who know their town best.
It is the place where they live and work, where they spend most of their time, and where they are connected emotionally, through history and family. They are therefore able to provide the most valuable ideas regarding what they hope for the future of their town, and an accurate depiction of the town’s positive and negative aspects.
This knowledge is used as a starting point for the “communion of ideas” (brainstorming) and for identifying and selecting key topics for discussion, followed then by the application of an analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT). The purpose of this exercise is to encourage the stakeholders to come up with a common vision on critical issues relating to the state of Vushtrri/Vučitrn’s cultural heritage, and to identify strengths in this area which can provide a potential for local development.
In addition, the purpose of the workshop was to engage with and create opportunities for civil society, the public sector, citizens and others to work together and be active in decision-making processes. By applying the method of Multivisioning, the discussions enable broader and more creative research on many possible ideas. This approach allows the exchange and elaboration of different visions among the stakeholders, and stimulates an open discussion on points of common interest or possible matters of conflict.