The young people are active creators of change and possible solutions related to social and cultural issues. Such a problem is the access to cultural heritage for visually impaired people, whose access to urban public space is additionally hampered by the urban infrastructure. The project “Interactive Workshop for Cultural Heritage – “Feel the City” will train16 young people from Varna aged between 15 and 35 in a methodology for sensory presentation of cultural heritage. This will happen in 6-day workshop based on the already established organizers’ know-how. The participants will acquire skills for sensory presentation of cultural heritage and will get familiar with the world of the visually impaired people and their difficulties. Youngsters will discuss various ways of access to the urban cultural heritage and will create an interactive exhibition held in September. The event will be public and free for residents and guests of Varna.
As a result the youngsters’ active participation for projects, dedicated to different social groups will increase. They will enrich their skills and knowledge which will enable their inclusion in publicly relevant solutions and civic initiatives with social impact. Furthermore, the project will enrich the youth events in Varna as the 2017 European Youth Capital.
Because of infrastructure urban problems the visually impaired people can access to public spaces and cultural heritage is hampered. Based on a research of ACEA “Mediator” and according to information from the National Center for Rehabilitation of Blind in Plovdiv, a large number of the visually impaired do not or rarely visit the urban central districts in Plovdiv. In Varna the situation, already described, is similar. Our team envisages a potential in the youngsters for finding a solution to it. In addition, they increasingly need to be involved in activities, trainings and seminars besides the formal education. The latter enables them acquiring new knowledge and skills, become more competitive on the labour market and providing them opportunities to express themselves, their talents and creative potential due to offering options for solving the problems related to the inclusion of people from vulnerable groups.
The project proposal “Interactive Workshop for Cultural Heritage – “Feel the City” aims at providing young people skills for sensory presentation of cultural heritage and get familiar with the world of visually impaired people and their difficulties. Within the framework of the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to discuss ways of access for visually impaired people to the urban cultural heritage and to offer possible solutions by creating an event – an interactive exhibition. The event will be public and free for residents and guests of Varna and will be held at a selected city location.
The organizers will share their experience to the young people of Varna. It includes developing and implementing a sensory methodology, realization of interactive tours for the visually impaired and sighted, and raising the levels of empathy. The participants in the interactive workshop will be 16 youngsters aged between 15 and 35 who have interest in cultural heritage, arts, tourism, mutual work with different groups, including people with disabilities, artists, and youth workers.
The project has three main activities – preparation of an interactive cultural heritage workshop 1), its implementation 2) and the realization of a youth event 3).
1) The preparation of the workshop includes a visit of the team of ACEA "Mediator" in Varna in August for establishing sustainable partnerships, logistics of the workshop, media communication and selection of places that are identified and recognized as cultural heritage.
2) The workshop will be 6 days and will be held in September. The working methods of the workshop include: lecture-based and informal learning; learning by doing; discussions. The foundation for implementation of the workshop relies on the methodology for the sensory presentation of urban cultural heritage for the visually impaired, already developed by the organizers.
3) Creating and implementing a youth event – an interactive exhibition. It will happen on the last 6th day of the workshop. The young participants will choose how to present the cultural heritage in 4 interpretive laboratories: Tactile; Verbal; Audio-Visual; Olfactory. As the youngsters will be trained in the methods of interpretation and leading visually impaired people, in order to "feel" the exhibition all its guests will be led by the participants in the workshop. For this purpose, sighted visitors will wear masks to get into the role of a visually impaired person.
The results of the project include 16 young people, trained in the sensory methodology, who will receive certificates for their participation and the public interactive exhibition, to which they are authors. The trained youngsters will enhance their skills and knowledge in order to engage in management of publicly relevant decisions and various civic initiatives. This will increase their involvement in projects linked to cultural and youth events for different social groups in Varna – European Youth Capital 2017.
The project proposal aims at giving the opportunity to young people to acquire skills for sensory presentation of cultural heritage and to get familiar with the world of the visually impaired people and their difficulties.
1. To train young people in "soft skills", in sensory interpretation of urban cultural heritage and in leading people with visual difficulties.
2. To offer new attractive ways for residents and guests of the city of Varna to explore urban areas recognized as cultural heritage.
3. To enable 16 young people to express their opinion and creative potential due to the urban cultural heritage and ways to improve the access to it from different vulnerable groups.
1. To multiply and transmit the already created know-how for a methodology for sensory presentation of cultural heritage for visually impaired people.
2. To transfer one good practice for presenting the urban heritage and its interpretation for both sighted and visually impaired residents and guests of the city.
3. To create an open space for developping entrepreneurial flair, for exchanging ideas and opinions of the young people from Varna, related to socially significant problems and needs such as the access to cultural heritage of visually impaired people.