The restrictions stemming from the public health emergency have not put a halt to the activities of the Dolomites Museums. Thanks to the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation project, they are starting the new year at full speed with new digital content involving cultural operators, residents and online users in a new collective narrative.
Thirty operators of the Museums of the Dolomites met in a virtual joint planning session for the new #DolomitesMuseum campaign on Thursday 25 March. Last year’s initiative involved more than thirty museums and thousands of network users in a collective museum-led narrative about the Dolomites heritage that highlighted specific aspects of culture and life in the Dolomites. Users are, indeed, online spectators of evocative and often previously unpublished content by the Museums, but they are also asked to add pieces to the narrative by sharing stories and memories related to the proposed topics on their social media profiles.
The new edition of the #DolomitesMuseum campaign will take place between 3 May and 6 June 2021, with five new hashtags that will be translated into Italian, English and German. The Museums have set their sights on a varied panorama of themes ranging from walks and ‘unusual paths’ to an examination of the role of women in the alpine context and even a look at the ways in which the communities have inhabited, and still inhabit, the Dolomites. These are places where oral heritage and linguistic richness are among the major protagonists, too. These are some of the reflections from the operators who are ready to guide us as we dive into the stories.
The Museums have also hailed the winter season with the release of a digital glossary on the platform DOLOM.IT, which lists the specific terms and expressions relating to the snow used in the Dolomites; in a year of exceptional snowfalls, we discover that sayings related to this phenomenon are also abundant. And the beauty of this glossary is its origin; it was the participation of the social media community that brought the richness of the region’s oral heritage to light and gave life to this constantly evolving collection.
And that’s not all: the Museums of the Dolomites have also inaugurated a new newsletter which flew out for the first time in March. This newsletter will allow users to learn about and explore the Museum collections and stories within the Story Workshop, a shared digital space within the DOLOM.IT virtual museum.
All these initiatives have arisen out of the ‘Museums of the Dolomites’ project promoted by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, which has been creating new and profound synergies among the Museums of the five Dolomite provinces since 2019. The Story Workshop in particular, with some 1,000 digital resources, has become a space for in-depth analysis and a continuously evolving narrative, to which Museum curators and operators, as well as the broader community of Dolomites-heritage and culture enthusiasts, have free access.
“We are very proud of the projects that the Museums are pursuing with passion. We can look to the future with confidence; the dialogue between Museums, ecomuseums and cultural centres in the region is necessary, because it generates the appreciation this priceless heritage deserves.” These were the words of Mario Tonina, president of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, on marking a new year working on the #DolomitesMuseum campaign.