Social, Cultural Heritage

image1When I first signed up for clas­sics and archae­ol­ogy classes, I thought most of my time would be play­ing in the dirt, teach­ing, hang­ing out in libraries and the occa­sional con­fer­ences.  If you had asked me about the social side to acad­e­mia, I prob­a­bly would’ve laughed, maybe even made a joke about the Archaeologist’s cocktail/mosquito repel­lent (that would be a gin and tonic) but I prob­a­bly would never have men­tioned dig­i­tal and social media as a fun­da­men­tal aspect to archaeology.

With smart phones and even smarter peo­ple, every­thing has changed.  A whole world of archae­ol­ogy and cul­tural her­itage preser­va­tion has unfolded and opened so that archae­ol­ogy and cul­tural her­itage are now more than ever present and avail­able for any­one to explore– with­out or with­out the degree.   And it’s a lot of fun!  Over the past year or so that I jumped into the world of social media, I’ve seen some amaz­ing things (for­got­ten archae­ol­ogy in Iran, an #emp­tymet, where pho­tog­ra­phers are explor­ing an empty Met­ro­pol­i­tan Museum of Art and shar­ing).  And I’m able to see and make con­nec­tions between her­itage issues through­out the world, par­tic­u­larly the dif­fi­cul­ties we face in archae­ol­ogy and the preser­va­tion of her­itage in new, dynamic for­mats that weren’t even think­able two years ago.

The stereo­typ­i­cal clas­sics con­fer­ence is any­thing but… dis­cus­sions bring in con­tem­po­rary themes in ancient issues and con­fer­ences are acces­si­ble any­where via live stream or sim­ply by fol­low­ing a hash­tag or twit­ter account like the Clas­si­cal Association’s recent con­fer­ence.  So many of the great con­ver­sa­tions and dis­cus­sions, inter­ac­tions and friend­ships have been build­ing up online– and not just with aca­d­e­mics, but also con­ser­va­tors and non prof­its and NGOs, blog­gers, pho­tog­ra­phers, and any­one out there that is just inter­ested in learn­ing about the past. I’ve par­tic­u­larly enjoyed see­ing people’s per­spec­tives on his­tory, her­itage, archae­ol­ogy and art when they have entirely dif­fer­ent back­grounds from mine.  It’s really opened up my mind– and leaves me hun­gry for more.

Cul­tural her­itage and social media have a sim­i­lar pur­pose: to con­nect peo­ple together for discussion/preservation of an idea.  With that in mind, I thought it would be great to theme the AIRC’s 2013 Unlisted con­fer­ence  “Con­ver­sa­tion for Con­ser­va­tion” where we dis­cuss the role of social media in cul­tural her­itage. We’ve invited some great peo­ple includ­ing pho­tog­ra­phers Sam Horine and Nicolee Drake, and doc­u­men­tary film­maker Brent Huff­man.  We want every­one to come, so if you are in Rome on April 18, join us– and if you can’t be here but still want to par­tic­i­pate, please tune in at 4pm Rome (10 am EST) on April 18 for our con­ver­sa­tion. For more details, please fol­low this Unlisted link.

Discussion1 Comment Category Archaeology, Conservation, Culture, Documentaries, Latin Tags , , , , ,

One Response to Social, Cultural Heritage

  1. i must say, there aren’t that many cul­tural her­itage site for tourists. or so it isnt advis­able because it should be pre­served. but to be able to go and see this things, its amaz­ing. it should be well taken care off so it can be passed down to the next generation.

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