Our keynote speakers

Lenka Mrázová

The role of interpretation at the borderline
of heritage declarations and reality

Heritage is unquestionably recognised as a treasure of society. It is the mark of history, nature and human beings. Its importance and social value is emphasised in conventions that have undeniable political implications. But, are these conventions really alive? Where is the crossover between heritage declarations and reality and what limitations do European citizens face? What lies behind the conscious process of using heritage and what role should heritage interpretation play in all of this? We investigated some of these borderlines.

Lenka Mrázová coordinates the UNESCO Chair of Museology and World Heritage and is a Fellow at the Centre of Museology in the Department of Archaeology and Museology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. She is a vocational training lecturer for museum and heritage professionals and works as a methodologist on educational projects for primary and secondary schools which focus on history, intercultural education and active citizenship. Her personal interest is discovering practical ways of understanding and using history and heritage in learning processes.

Full paper (download)

Jelena Močević

European heritage: The art of sharing

We explored inspiring stories on crossing borders in both the real and the online world and how the European Heritage Days (EHDs) are using heritage interpretation in the midst of the challenges we face. The EHDs are the most widely celebrated participatory cultural events shared by the citizens of Europe. In today’s world, they undertake an immense endeavour to celebrate diversity and join human beings across Europe in a well-connected network of communities taking responsibility for the living heritage that surrounds them. What is it that makes this unique initiative so successful that it results in over 70,000 events in 50 European States, with 30 million visitors every year? Is it the grass-root level nature of the programme, with 100,000s of volunteers? Or perhaps the importance of heritage when it comes to identity?

Jelena Močević is Programme Manager of the European Heritage Days at the Department of Culture and Heritage, Council of Europe. Together with managing one of the most widely celebrated cultural programmes, Jelena is passionately involved in the development of local communities across Europe. She is an expert in relationship building in the digital environment and transforming virtual communities into real-life networks. One of her personal goals is highlighting the importance of participatory governance and education in creating open platforms with the potential to explore common values and celebrate diversity.

Steven Timoney

Degrees of understanding:
How do we cross the border between
interpretation theory and practice?

Almost 20 years ago David Uzzell called for interpreters to recognise the key role of theory in underpinning practice, and that the development of research that informs theory was critical to the development of interpretation as a whole. Since then interpretation has developed within higher education, but today it is still predominantly an element of other degrees, rather than a subject in its own right. What does this say about the development of interpretation, both as an academic discipline and in wider practice? How do we ‘cross the border’ to create stronger connections between higher education and interpretation practice to develop the discipline, increasing awareness of its roles and values, for the benefit of all? These were some of the questions that were brought up.

Dr Steven Timoney is Programme Leader for the MSc Interpretation: Management and Practice programme at the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland. Alongside running the programme Steven has undertaken a variety of heritage interpretation projects and research into different aspects of interpretation practice. His wider research interests focus on: interpretation of cultural heritage; the visitor experience at heritage sites; public and community archaeology; and social geography, particularly landscape and societies past and present.

Full paper (download)

Borders? I have never seen one.
But I have heard they exist
in the minds of some people.

Thor Heyerdahl