I will give a talk on my project ‘Our craft is our heritage’, on intercultural heritage and forgotten crafts… and in this I will take you on a journey right across Europe.

April 24, 2024, 19:30 ––
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

I am developing a travelling exhibition that uses a European migration story as a starting point.

In the 12th century, the ‘Flandrenses’, now called Transylvanian Saxons, crossed Europe to migrate from the Meuse Valley (now the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg) to Transylvania (now Romania), where they established their first settlements. They took their crafts and customs with them and built up a huge cultural heritage in Transylvania over the past 850 years.

These settlers were in search of independence and a better economic life. Today we would call them work migrants or economic refugees.

The rich cultural heritage of the Transylvanian Saxons has its origins in a European cultural mix, which, moreover, was shaped by their migratory movements. This is consequently an ‘intercultural heritage’, re-mixed over time, on which you cannot stick a national label.

This historical migration story is uniquely suited to stimulate a discussion on ‘intercultural’ heritage. It serves as a positive and creative example of a cultural legacy where national borders play a secondary role. At the same time, I want to demonstrate how craft heritage is being future-proofed by contemporary creatives.

Follow my project on Instagram.

Crafting with symbols – the tulip and the hart –
objects from the Netherlands and Transylvania, Romania.

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