The online questionnaire is supported by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, and forms part of the ‘Museums of the Dolomites’ project. It aims to solicit the views of young people between 18 and 35 years of age, with regard to the future of the Dolomites and the role museums can play in supporting change. The goal is to give voice to the younger generations and to understand how they experience the cultural heritage of their territory, and also if they feel hopeful about this culture and see it as a reason to continue living and investing in the Dolomites.
The questionnaire is available in Italian and German on the DOLOM.IT platform, and was created by the Intorn al Larin association together with the ‘Museums of the Dolomites’ project team. Over the course of the summer, it collected 30 responses from a pilot group, with comments such as those of Umberto and Margherita:
“I regard the Dolomites as a refuge, a place where I feel safe. They represent identity, a sense of belonging and a return to basic values.” (Umberto)
“I see the Dolomites as a good bet for the future: an open book that we can use to tell others what we want to invent today.” (Margherita)
The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation remarked upon the results: “The detail and emotion in the responses showed us we were on the right track. It is so important for all those involved in the care and improvement of our Heritage to be able to hear the genuine opinions of young people. Museums need young people more than ever, not only to help in their redesign after the Covid emergency, but above all to make them spaces where one can look at the past and imagine the future.”
Stefania Zardini Lacedelli and Giacomo Pompanin, coordinators of the ‘Museums of the Dolomites’ project, also added this: “Many young people leave the Dolomite valleys to look for their future elsewhere. The #DolomitesMuseum working group believes that the impetus to increase employment prospects in these areas and curb the incidence of depopulation in many Dolomite valleys could well come from the cultural sector and museums.”
The questionnaire is available at the Workshop of Stories, the new shared digital space for the Museums of the Dolomites on the DOLOM.IT platform. The Workshop of Stories was launched last July, and has already amassed more than 700 digital resources, 20 themed galleries and 7 interactive maps. From 1 October, it is also welcoming new, detailed material, curated by the 50 operators and enthusiasts who contribute to the space. There will be video interviews, in-depth articles and other content, to help users explore a new museum every week and discover its connections with the UNESCO Dolomites heritage.
The “Musei delle Dolomiti” (Museums of the Dolomites) project
The project was launched in 2019 by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, with the aim of planning and promoting ‘networking’ activities among the various museums that represent aspects of the Dolomite heritage. The digital world plays a pivotal role here, because it allows individual museums and cultural players to combine their collections in a single story. This helps make our UNESCO heritage even richer and more accessible for both residents and visitors. The project was launched in February 2019, and has so far involved more than 50 cultural experts from all the Provinces in the UNESCO Dolomites site, with a series of interviews, workshops and round table discussions. The #DolomitesMuseum campaign and Workshop of Stories digital space has now been joined by more museums and cultural bodies, with a total of 40 institutions from all five UNESCO provinces. The presentation video for the project is available online; it provides a general overview, exploring the different layers of the landscape, the Dolomite heritage, and the many museums that represent these different aspects.