What is the image of the Mediterranean today? Vines and olive trees which border the blue sea line, earth scorched by strong sun and hard wind, bare rocks and high mountains, small green patches of land with fruit and vegetable gardens. This is a space of extremes and contrasts. The lands of the Mediterranean, like the islands, were isolated from one another, but people always intermingled by virtue of trade, war, adventure or immigration. Each region struggled to preserve its own flavour and character in the midst of an extraordinary mixture of races, religions, customs and civilisations. On top of it all was the climate; the climate determined the harvest, and the harvest determined the life. (Clifford A. Wright: Climate, Harvest and Seasons in the Mediterranean)
Following the good practice of the AMMM to perceive and analyze maritime heritage in two of its aspects: tangible and intangible, the living culture at this Forum will be presented through the scope of four topics (environment, migration, diet and languages), taking into consideration museum practices, their responses towards historical heritage as well as challenges of today. Moreover, this forum will be connected to the 1st Festival of the Mediterranean Maritime Heritage which will be an opportunity to present museums’ work to a wide audience in the city of Rijeka.
To work in a museum and to deal with heritage is not only about to talk about the past, it is also to give answers to current social problems and needs of society, caring for and promoting its identity. When we refer to maritime heritage, to which extent are we aware of a specific Mediterranean environment? Are traditional economy and maritime affairs in accordance with natural landscape and do they shape a specific Mediterranean cultural landscape? To which extent does the abandonment of large maritime industry (shipbuilding) influence changes in our cultural landscape?
Migrations are a huge problem in the Mediterranean today but they were also present in the past. To what extent changed migrations the cultural map of the Mediterranean? How do museums respond to this problem? What is the relationship between maritime heritage and migrations?
When we talk about food we think of a specific Mediterranean diet. UNESCO proclaimed Mediterranean diet as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity because diet is not only about food. It is about a way of living. The Mediterranean diet constitutes a set of skills, knowledge, practices and traditions ranging from the landscape to the table, including the crops, harvesting, fishing, conservation, processing, preparation and, particularly, consumption of food. How are these aspects presented in museum practice? Can museums work on general public awareness of the importance of good nutrition based in tradition?
Mixture of cultures and ethnicities in the Mediterranean resulted in richness of languages and dialects. However different people have found a common language or a lingua franca. What is a lingua franca? Do languages of maritime affairs exist? How do languages help create a common Mediterranean heritage?
Living culture and its musealisation: Environment, migrations, diet and languages
Rijeka, 28th – 31st May 2014
For programme click here
Pictures 29-05-2014 AMMM Forum
Pictures 30-05-2014 AMMM Forum