The “Age of Participation” has caused a revolution in people’s expectations and behaviour. Our audiences now expect to participate actively; to encounter different perspectives; to share experiences; to contribute; to decide for themselves.
It is also transforming the heritage sector, with a growing ambition to play a more active role in society, and to engage visitors with social challenges as complex as climate change and conflicting histories. This, in turn, expects more of Interpretation – most importantly, stimulating reflection.
However, reflection needs time. The longer users spend engaging with content, the more likely they are to reflect on the experience. How to influence audience behaviour by creating opportunities to slow down – from simple design to co-creation – is one of our greatest challenges. Thus ‘Slow Interpretation’.
Graham is Emeritus Professor of Museum Development at Nottingham Trent University. He has worked in and with museums for over 40 years. His fascination lies in the changing nature of heritage audiences and their expectations – and what this should mean for the practice of interpretation. Museum developments in which he has acted as Interpretation Consultant have twice won the prestigious UK £100,000 Art Fund Prize alongside many other awards. He has published three books – The Engaging Museum (2005) Transforming Museums in the 21st Century (2012) and Museums and the Challenge of Change (2021) – as well as numerous articles.
, Head of the UNESCO Chair for Interpretation and Education for Enhancing Integrated Heritage Approaches (Slovenia)
Deriving from the different discourses addressed by partners research and activities, our UNESCO Chair seeks to develop approaches and skills for heritage interpretation (and education) in an integrated perspective and thus bridge the artificial divides within heritage (natural / cultural; tangible / intangible etc). With an innovative way of education (of the students and the general public), the Chair aims at overcoming these stereotypical divisions between nature and culture, nations and ethnicities, professional sectors dealing with heritage etc, and promotes inclusion, cooperation, awareness, empathy and peace. The main goal is to develop interpretation for professionals and the general public in the context of an integrated approach to heritage.
Professor Irena Lazar is a Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia, She an archaeologist, professor, research and museum counsellor and head of the Unesco Chair. Her research fields are Roman archaeology and history, archaeology of Roman provinces, ancient glass, Roman material culture, cultural heritage (management, interpretation, promotion).
General Secretary of the Global Geoparks Network and chairperson of the UNESCO Global Geoparks
Council (Vietnam). TBC