By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 7 December 2014:
Libya’s rich heritage could face a more certain future once a new scheme to raise . . .[restrict]public awareness about the importance of historic sites and artefacts is underway, with one training programme specifically aimed at children.
“Now the most important thing for the country’s heritage is to improve public awareness,” Head of research in the Department of Archaeology Mustafa Turjman told the Libya Herald. “We will be running workshops about how to use theatre and music as a method of raising awareness of culture, especially with children.”
He said that culture and heritage was a tool that could be used to help to promote a more stable and cohesive society.
This was echoed by UNESCO’s coordinator of the cultural programme in Libya Chiara Dezzi Bardeschi. “Culture is at the heart of communities, and their involvement in the preservation of cultural assets and expressions is vital,” she said. “Heritage and culture can be a powerful tool of healing and has a role to play in promoting a mutual understanding, dialogue and reconciliation.”
The new training programme would bring together Department of Antiquities staff members, and representatives from national NGOs and Libyan cultural associations, to start developing extra-curricular education activities to boost children’s interest in, and awareness of, cultural heritage, Bardeschi explained. This would then be further developed to include aspects of heritage protection, something urgently needed for Libya’s important historic buildings and archaeological sites.
“In this first workshop, around 30 trainees will be coached on storytelling techniques, including theatre, music and singing,” she explained. “Collective writing projects and developing basic structures of arts management and arts education will also be covered.”
The programme would also promote “cultural healing activities,” she said, with a special focus on involving the children and youth of internationally-displaced persons (IDPs). After this initial training, it is planned that these events will be held in public buildings and schools across Libya.
The public-awareness training is part of a three-year capacity-building programme between the Department of Antiquities and UNESCO, which is funded by the Libyan and Italian governments.
As part of this community outreach work, last week representatives from the Department of Antiquities and UNESCO gave two presentations to senior officials from Sebha, for crisis management training. These presentations focused on the need for heritage protection and looked specifically at some of the important historic sites in the South of Libya. It also outlined some successful collaborative projects, both completed and ongoing, in Western Libya.
“The people from Sebha were very impressed with, and really surprised by, the teamwork between the Department of Antiquities and UNESCO,” said the Department of Antiquities media manager Toufik Nael. “It was a great way to show people what huge progress has been made through such collaboration.” [/restrict]