Identity Matters: enriching heritage to meet a new era

Borders blur. Disciplines merge. Barriers come down. The 21st century is a time of repositioning, and there is a key role to play for heritage. How do we (re)present ourselves, our public, our archives, our countries and our institutes? Let's regroup at Volkshotel for the end conference of RICHES

Changing society and new perspectives 
Professionals, experts and policy makers from the fields of heritage, museums and technology will gather for a two-day programme exploring future visions of heritage in a collaborative setting. Against the backdrop of Europe's changing society, we will challenge our perspectives, policies and case studies. We will question our own identities and wonder how we can help others to explore theirs.

What to expect? 
Exciting keynote speakers will reflect on our central questions. How can we enrich heritage and heritage practices to meet the challenges of a new era? How can heritage professionals create meaning for young people? For newcomers? How can technology help us?

Participation will be central to the conference. The mornings we will gather for inspirational presentations that place project results in the context of changing identities. In the afternoon, we'll travel to locations and organizations that demonstrate (or challenge) what has been discussed in the morning. Through urban safaris and visits to heritage sites, conference participants get to see Amsterdam's best practices in action.

Presentations, demonstrations and workshops will be organised around themes such as connecting, self expression, participation, power, skills and crafts, food and festivities and citizenship. 

Important note: tickets for the urban safari (afternoon programme) are limited, so be on time of you want to have a spot.


Want to know what's happening when and where? Download the Identity Matters programme booklet

Day 1: Identity Matters: How do we represent our changing selves in/with heritage?

Keynotes confirmed:

  • Judikje Kiers, director of Amsterdam Museum
  • Marleen Stikker, co-founder and director of Waag Society
  • Neil Forbes, professor of international history at Coventry University 
  • Abhay Adhikari, digital engagement specialist for the arts

Urban safaris:

  • Lecturer in cross cultural management Amy Abdou from Imagine IC will take you on a walking tour through the Bijlmer, showing you how it evolved through the years into the cultural melting pot that it is today. 
  • We will take you on a tour through the beautiful Amsterdam Botanical Gardens and hear all about their initiatives to reach out to a new public using exciting technology.
  • At the Tropenmuseum, we learn all about the #Decolonizethemuseum, that was created to discuss (re)presentation in ethnographic museums. 

Day 2: Matters of Identity: dissecting identity - what are the building blocks? How do we construct and reconstruct our identity through heritage?

Keynotes confirmed:

  • Ruben Pater, designer, on his recent work that deals with the politics of design
  • David Mulder, architect, on designing the interior for the EU Council during the Dutch presidency
  • Pnina Avidar, architect, on the Dutch landscape and it's relation to Dutch culture
  • Trilce Navarete, researcher, on the identity of innovators
  • Museum San Telmo, on reshaping a museum to strenghten both the Basque local identity and that identity in relation to Europe
  • Ellen Holleman of the Festival Industrie Cultuur, on how to create a festival that celebrates local industrial heritage in the Zaanstreek
  • Janine Prins, anthropologist and filmmaker, on how local traditions foster a sense of community even with younger generations. 

Urban safaris:

  • We'll visit de Appel Arts centre for a sneak preview of the final exhibition on the 'institute in crisis' of their exceptional curational programme.
  • In Waag Society's Fablab, a makerspace for social innovation, we will present a DIY toolkit for interactive exhibitions that has been developed in collaboration with Allard Pierson Museum and Museon.
  • We visit the Amsterdam City Archive, to hear about their crowdfunding platform Vele handen, and how they’ve added geotagging as a new tool for mapping and analysing digital collections. 

Practical info
Each day we'll meet at 9.30 at the Volkshotel in Amsterdam (Wibautstraat 150, easily reached via metro). After lunch, we split up into groups to visit local organizations that will tell us about their practice. On Thursday, we'll finish the day with drinks at the Waag in Amsterdam, Nieuwmarkt 4.

Over the past three years the RICHES consortium, consisting of ten partners from six European Union countries and Turkey, have carried out research focused on bringing cultural heritage and people together. They have found new ways to engage people in a digital world. More on the project, the partners and the deliverables can be found at the European RICHES website and Digital meets Culture

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 612789.

The European flag

donderdag 14 april 2016, 9.30 u. tot vrijdag 15 april 2016, 18.00 u.
Volkshotel, Wibautstraat 150, 1091 GR Amsterdam