DECRA stands for
“Developing European Cultural Routes for All“
The ERASMUS+ DECRA project was built on the basis of a common reflection of 18 European Cultural Routes (ECR) – some of these ECR are certified as Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe. Recognizing that the transnational networks of the European Cultural Routes gather a whole richness, frequently unknown, of skills, know-how and know-how-to-be necessary to an effective implementation of European cultural cooperation, the different partners (French Federation of European Cultural Routes, Association NETZ – Media and society, Association Transromanica, Association ATRIUM on the architecture of totalitarian regimes in the 20th century, European Association for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, Danube Competence Center and the University of Avignon) aim at gathering, analysing, discussing and transmiting, thank to digital tools adapted and easy to use for a large audience, practices and skills of the members of the European networks of ECRs.
In this framework, it is about taking into account all kinds of experiences and skills, no matter what the profile of legal entities – museums, association, institutions, local and regional auhtorities, librairies, SMEs, etc. – and physical persons : thus, the project involves, for example, inhabitants devoted to the visits of their village as well as city mayors wanting to build new sustainable touristic approaches for their natural and cultural heritage, museums staffs wanting to highlight their collections as European as well as school teachers organising school trips in other European countries, etc. Through its strongly inclusive and comprehensive approach, the project aims at going beyond centre/periphery and rural/urban dichotomies by taking into account all kinds of experiences and by thinking their transferability to other persons through.
The ERASMUS+ DECRA project will apply this approach to four specific themes, linked to the European Cultural Routes:
- Faro Convention: re-appropriation of local heritage and European valorization
- Social inclusion and citizen participation
- Accessibility of monuments and knowledge, including digital accessibility and multilinguism
- Long-term development of European networks, including the Social and Solidarity Economy approach.
The 24-months duration of the DECRA project will allow to collect data about experiences in the 18 involved networks (through a bottom-up approach), to analyze them and to develop digital tools enabling different target audiences to learn and use these knowledge and skills in order to foster a dissemination and a transfer of these skills and abilities, and thus, to foster educationnal and cultural cooperation at a European level, i.e. on a non-formal education level and through peer-to-peer learning. In this process, the University of Avignon will also be a strong asset to the project team et to the quality of the reflection and methodology on mediation towards different audiences.
Motto and Topics
With the motto „Exchange, Learn, Expire“, the DECRA project gathered experiences, practices and projects implemented in the frameworks of European Cultural Routes. They are organised among 4 different topics for you to explore: Accessebility, Social inclusion, Local Heritage and Network development.
- Accessibility refers to the design of the built environment, as well as to information, communication, etc., so that it can be used and perceived by anyone without additional help.
- Accessibility therefore means that buildings and public spaces, workplaces and housing, transport and utensils, services and leisure facilities are designed to be accessible to all without outside help.
- Specifically, accessibility means that not only steps, but also a lift or a ramp lead to the town hall, that forms are not in complicated official language, but also in easy language, and that even deaf people can pursue a lecture.
- In addition, the definition must also take digital accessibility into consideration. This means that websites must be designed so that everyone can use them.
- Culture represents an important tool for contrasting social marginalisation and generating inclusion through stimulating sense of community and feeling of belonging.
- In this way culture gives citizens the chance to engage actively and respponsible toward their own territory and their own cultural heritage.
The Council of Europe promotes a logic of consensus in heritage issues, in the sense that local actors have to trigger collectively a process recognition regarding heritage items that should to be preserved. Then, people should proceed on the Faro principles that come from the convention within the heritage communities of the territories concerned. Therefore, there is no criterion on heritage values, like UNESCO standards, but a collective consensus of what constitutes heritage for society and heritage communities (NGOs, associations, etc.).
The Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society, also called “Faro Convention” (2005), is a normative tool developed, ratified and implemented by the Council of Europe (CoE) in European space. Based on human rights and democracy principles, the Faro Convention opens the borders of a strict definition of cultural heritage. Indeed, the convention stresses on a larger understanding of heritage, European heritage and heritage communities involved into the process of local recognition using innovative terms and definitions, as follows:
- “cultural heritage is a group of resources inherited from the past which people identify, independently of ownership, as a reflection and expression of their constantly evolving values, beliefs, knowledge and traditions. It includes all aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time; […]” (article 2 (a));
- “a heritage community consists of people who value specific aspects of cultural heritage which they wish, within the framework of public action, to sustain and transmit to future generations” (article 2 (b));
- The common heritage of Europe consists of “[…] all forms of cultural heritage in Europe which together constitute a shared source of remembrance, understanding, identity, cohesion and creativity, […]” (article 3 (a)).
Working together in networks is one of the most complex forms of organization. Networks are shown as a sociotechnical system of means and content. Means consist of a transmission channel and content units. Content is the information that circulates, the relationships that are built among stakeholders and users, the nature of the relationships themselves and the resources that are interchanged. The links among people, connected to the network, vary in function of intensity, duration, frequency and content. Managing organizational networks is a challenge, but also a unique opportunity to increase the social capital or relational capital as a basis for co-creation within network organization.
Further informations about DECRA you can find here.