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HermaHUB 2019: Fostering communities

Our goal in organizing HerMaHUB 2019 was to locate groups and initiatives from all over Greece that work with local communities in heritage, and invite them to meet and network. The conference as a whole was dedicated to community engagement. It had a theoretical aspect, with presentations and discussions with academics from around the world. But it was also strongly oriented into building a network of grassroots and local heritage initiatives. The second day of the conference opened with a big public event that we called agora, where all groups presented their work, taking a first step in forging collaborations and networks.  In the afternoon, we held a workshop with representatives from all groups, aimed to establish their needs and capacities and plan for future action. This was the first time that such initiatives came together in public, and it resulted in many new synergies and plans for future collaborations.

The participation and engagement of local cultural associations from Elefsina was a big challenge for us, which we met through the workshop on planning cultural routes. The workshop was initiated during the conference, where every cultural association brought a significant object and told a story relating it to the history of the locality it represents. In total, there were six meetings with cultural associations from Elefsina, from November 2019 to January 2020, where participants collectively worked on researching, collecting, curating and presenting objects, oral histories, and audiovisual material related to their heritage. The foundations of a heritage route in Elefsina designed from below are now set.

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