Now online: NEMO Webinar on using digital storytelling to foster social cohesion

© Zeeuws Museum, Image: Anda van Riet One girl is using a tablet to film another girl who is talking with an older man, presumably about the painting behind them.

© Zeeuws Museum, Image: Anda van Riet

On 27 April 2022, the project MEMEX (MEMories and EXperiences) facilitated a NEMO Webinar about inclusive digital storytelling and how to contribute to stronger social cohesion amongst marginalised communities at risk of sociocultural exclusion. MEMEX is developing an app that allows people to interact and connect with outdoor heritage with the aim of shaping a more inclusive society.

Have a look at the recording of the NEMO Webinar below to learn how MEMEX promotes social cohesion through collaborative, heritage-ICT (Information and Communications Technology)-related tools that provide access to tangible and intangible cultural heritage (CH) and facilitate encounters, discussions, and interactions between communities at risk of sociocultural exclusion. The speakers included Corinne Szteinsznaider (Michael Culture Association), Alessio Del Bue (Italian Institute of Technology of Genoa), Cristina Da Milano (ECCOM), Fran Gracia Badiola (Interarts) and Ivo Oosterbeek (Mapa das Ideias).

MEMEX is an example of how cultural heritage and its re-interpretation and reuse through digital storytelling is a key medium in shaping a more inclusive society and creating inclusive audience development strategies. Webinar participants were introduced to the audience & mobilization engagement strategy and digital storytelling that have been developed by the project. Strategic similarities and differences are showcased with learnings from three project pilots in Paris (France), Lisbon (Portugal) and Barcelona (Spain).

The pilots did not only allow the participants to gain new skills about digital storytelling, MEMEX was also able to test its app and develop it further. The speakers shared insights into the challenges that they experienced during the pilots, such as difficulties with using the technology and drop-outs of participants. They also shared achievements such as that the participants felt heard and that they felt more connected to the city/ area where the pilot took place. Participants were also pleased that they were able to increase their digital skills.

Download the presentation.

MEMEX envisions that the project and the app will contribute to overcoming the digital divide of social and cultural organizations, such as museums, by:

Creating New Relation with Audience

  • Digital audience engagement (more interactive and participatory).
  • Enabling beneficiaries (users) to interact with cultural assets and heritage through a digital tool at their fingertips.
  • Transforming social and cultural organizations into agile responsive members of their audience.

Understanding Beneficiaries’ needs

  • Increasing digital literacy on the cultural heritage of communities at risk of exclusion.
  • Create a stronger and deeper connection with communities at risk of exclusion based on collaboration, co-creation, sharing and opening.

Valuing Beneficiaries’ Needs

  • Beneficiaries needs have been and will be valuable for the app development.
  • Added value: The feedback collected from the audience will feed the development of the app in terms of sustainability requirements.

MEMEX has also published two policy recommendations:

Register to NEMO's next webinar “Collect, Curate & Communicate – Sharing a transnational history of Europe“ with the House of European History on 7 June at 11:00 CEST.

More about MEMEX - MEMories and EXperiences for inclusive digital storytelling

The final tools of MEMEX will allow the communities to tell their stories and to claim their rights and equal participation in the European society.

The technological embodiment of MEMEX is an app installed on a smartphone allowing non-expert users to create and visualise stories related to their personal memories and experiences digitally linked to the geographical locations of either intangible (e.g. an event) or a tangible cultural places/object. The interface, designed on the needs of the community, will allow users to annotate using Augmented Reality (AR) any physical object or location with their memories in the form of digital images, videos, audio recordings or textual input using a smartphone. Then, the targeted communities will be able to connect their experiences and memories with a new Knowledge Graph (KG), linking CH items and places with stories that are bound and entangled within the European history. Effectively, the users of MEMEX will be active actors shaping contemporary and historical content, including new material from their experiences and memories, and personalising cultural heritage and creative media content in a meaningful and social inclusive manor.

MEMEX is funded under the Horizon 2020 programme.