UNCHARTED is a four years project which aims to identify, contextualize, understand, measure and analyse the emergence and conformation of the values of culture from an interdisciplinary, collaborative and pluralistic perspective.
The starting point is the evaluation of the crucial contribution provided by cultural participation in facing some of the most current pressing problems of the European community:
- Integration of immigrant populations
- Social cohesion weakened by the crisis
- Strengthening the critical capacity of citizenship
Indeed, cultural participation has a good influence on people both on individual and collective dimension.
- At individual level it increases well-being , stimulates learning and makes an individual more sociable and responsible. In this sense, it promotes tolerance and citizen participation.
- As collective effect it generates identity and a sense of belonging promoting inclusion and social cohesion. It also has a positive influence on local territories as it increases the wellness of cities and countries.
From a European perspective culture has a very strong economic impact as it generates a high volume of employment, but it is also a powerful resource for fighting the main threats that undermine the peaceful coexistence in Europe. In this light, it is worth that cultural policies take into account the strategic plural values of culture.
These are currently fundamental challenges for Europe and the main areas in which the project plans to leave its contribution by developing new tools and guidelines for understanding, calibrating and managing the plurality of values of culture.
The main objectives of the project are:
- to provide a broader vision of the value of culture in Europe
- to identify and contextualize the emergence and configuration of cultural values in Europe
- to co-create new conceptual and methodological tools to understand, evaluate, measure and improve statistical data for capturing the plurality of values of culture
- to give tools and systematic guidelines for the reorientation of cultural policy in a pluralistic sense
The plurality of values are studied in four fundamental arenas of cultural practice:
- cultural participation in live arts and culture
- cultural participation through media
- cultural production and heritage management
- cultural administration
UNCHARTED will deliver two important results:
- the elaboration of a general, complete and integrated vision of the societal value of culture
- a roadmap for cultural policy actions favorable to acknowledge the plurality of cultural values
These will include indications for the improvement of cultural information systems and the evaluation of mechanisms and dynamics that operate in the institutional field of culture.
To carry on its investigation, UNCHARTED uses a wide range of qualitative research techniques such as:
- Focus groups
- Documentary analysis
- Statistical information and surveys
A wide range of audiences are targeted:
- Professionals, experts and researchers on Cultural Heritage
- Organizations involved in digitisation of Cultural Heritage
- Projects for experimenting innovation in Cultural Heritage
- Public administrations, regional and local entities
- SME working in the digital economy, software development, web design
In order to catch a high level of participation and maximize the impact of the project on the community of Cultural Heritage stakeholders, UNCHARTED is supported by a highly target dissemination plan that includes the following dissemination mechanisms:
- Evidence-based policy reports
- Project’s events such as workshops, seminars, conferences and participation in 3rd party events
- Liaisons with existing observatories and platforms
- A project portal that provides online resources presenting the results of the research
- A dedicated showcase hosted on digitalmeetsculture.net magazine