The Platform Cultural Heritage Cultural Production of the Faculty of Design and Art, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, promotes an interdisciplinary discussion on the practices of cultural heritage as cultural production, interweaving the many diverse research approaches that draw on art studies, socio-cultural sciences (anthropology, cultural geography, and sociology), history, architecture, art and design. The aim of the platform is to develop research, conservation, mediation and further development of the cultural heritage in the European region/EUREGIO Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino, including social participation.
Looking at contemporary social cultural heritage practices, the platform conceives of material and immaterial cultural heritage not only as a given product, but also as a production that emerges within a polyphonic concert of different participants and which grows continuously into new historical stratifications. Cultural heritages as cultural productions are constantly renegotiated, leading to processes based both on continuity and on breaks and conflicts. Places, buildings, works of art, objects and tools as well as traditions and conservation strategies are to be understood in relation to forms of use, reception and narration, to practices of connection and transformation.
The platform explicitly refers to the “Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society” (Faro Convention) adopted by the Council of Europe in 2005, which formulates the necessity of the democratic participation of all members of society in cultural heritage (Art: 12). This also includes the issue of fellow citizens with a migration background as “travelers of the 21st century”, who bring their own cultural heritage with them, as well as they participate in the definition of culture and cultural heritage of the new place of residence.
For centuries, South Tyrol has been a country of passages between northern and southern Europe. Thus, aspects of psychogeography, transculturality, movement in the Alpine environment are called upon for the research and negotiation of cultural heritage as a social practice, which not only connect the three EUREGIO regions, but also have deep resonances in the behavior and cultural practice of their inhabitants. Bolzano, as the center of various cultural influences, is the geographical crossroads of the South Tyrol border and a meeting place, and metaphorically stands for the complexity and plurality of cultural traditions, inheritances and productions.
In the broadest sense, the platform also takes on the tasks of cohesion policy. Its initiatives coincide with the objectives of the ESF-European Social Fund, in particular those of social inclusion and education.