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Biennale of Western Balkans, Ioannina, Greece

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Intangible Meetings

Talks: Intangible Meetings (conference)
Venue: Soufari (General Archives of Greece – Historical Archives – Museum of Epirus), D. Filosofou & Glykidon, Ioannina, Greece (map)
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018, 09:00-18:30
Download the analytical time specific programme here: Intangible Meetings Agenda

The “Intangible Meetings” are intended as presentations and on-stage dialogues that survey, analyse and debate aspects of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), offering a multi-vocal and interdisciplinary perspective.

The programme explores the emerging landscape of ICH in research and applied knowledge, with a focus on the European and Balkan region. The Intangible Meetings bring together cultural workers, theorists, artists and technologists, with the aim to consolidate contemporary definitions of ICH, its conceptual framework, art and creative practices, as well as examine new technological approaches along with existing and potential digitalities of ICH.

Read the full text of the conference announcement here.

History of Art Laboratory, University of Ioannina

Participating speakers and abstracts:

Are there borders in Intangible Cultural Heritage?

Stavroula-Villy Fotopoulou

Our current debates focus on “cultural commons”, “digital cultural heritage”, “informational commons” etc., while World Wide Web gives almost to anyone access to cultural content uploaded either by the producers themselves, or by archival depositories, or by interested third parties. So, what happens to cultural practices and traditions that have been transmitted orally, through community performance and serve as markers of identity for various groups of people (local, cultural, linguistic communities etc.)? We will reflect on this question, taking under consideration the relevant provisions of the Convention for the Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO 2003) and those of the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (UNESCO, 2005).

Stavroula-Villy Fotopoulou was born and grew up in Kalamata, Greece. She got her Bachelor’s Degree in Archaeology from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She got a Master’s Degree in Contemporary History from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, on collective memory and management of cultural heritage. She got a Master’s Degree in Folklore from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, on life-stories and gender. Her speaking and writing skills in English are excellent, while she has a moderate communicating ability in French and Spanish. She works in the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, after graduating from the National School of Public Administration. She has served in various positions since 1996; she is Director of Modern Cultural Heritage since 2014. She has represented the Ministry of Culture in UNESCO, the EU and several bi-lateral or regional meetings as expert in relevant fields of cultural management



Children’s play and intangible cultural heritage

Cleo Gougoulis

Children’s culture as a form of cultural heritage is protected by the 1972 and 2003 UNESCO conventions for the protection of global cultural and natural heritage and the safeguarding of intangible heritage. (Darian-Smith & Pascoe 2013:3). Before the development of a global toy market for children, traditional outdoor games using ad hoc materials and makeshift constructions occupied an important part of children’s culture.

Drawing i on material from the exhibit ‘ Children’s play in the region of Aitoloakarnania, Greece  1940-2010” that led to the establishment of a University Museum Collection of toys, and was organized by third year students of the Department of Cultural Heritage Management and New Technologies in cooperation with local institutions in Agrinion in  Spring 2017, the paper will discuss wider theoretical issues concerning children’s culture as a form of intangible cultural heritage.

Dr. Cleo Gougoulis is assistant professor of Folk and Popular Culture at the Department of Cultural Heritage Management and New Technologies, University of Patras Greece. Her research interest and publications revolve around material culture studies, folklore studies, anthropology and museum studies, focusing on Greek children’s culture and the anthropology of play. A researcher since 1981 and currently research associate of the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation she has served as editor of its scientific journal Ethnografphica (1993-2004). She has edited an international  interdisciplinary special volume on children’s play of the Museum Journal Ethnographica (1993) published by the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation and has co-edited  the books Παιδί και παιχνίδι στη νεοελληνική κοινωνία. 19ος– 20ός αιώνας   Children and play in Modern Greek Society. 19th and 20th Centuries), Athens Kastaniotis, 2000 with A. Kouria and Το ελληνικό παιχνίδι. Διαδρομές στην ιστορία του (Greek Toys: Historical Trajectories), Athens ELIA/MIET: 2008.) with Despina Karakatsani.  A member of the International Toy Research Association (ITRA) since its founding year in 1993 and a receiver of the BRIO prize in 2005, she is past president (2006-2014) and vice president (2014-2018) of ITRA and currently treasurer. She is on the editorial Board of the International Journal of Play and the Greek journal Ethnologia.



Capturing the Intangible Cultural Heritage using new ICT Technologies: An Introduction to the i-Treasures and Terpsichore Projects

Nikοs Grammalidis

The presentation will give an overview of the (previous and ongoing) work conducted within the FP7 i-Treasures project and the H2020 Marie-Curie Terpsichore project. The two projects leverage modern ICT technologies to improve the capture, analysis and presentation of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), raise public awareness, provide seamless and universal access to cultural resources, support new services for research and education and recommend new development strategies. i-Treasures project developed an open and extendable platform to provide access to digitized ICH resources, which allows both knowledge exchanges among researchers, as well as education of new apprentices. Terpsichore project aims at digitising, modelling, archiving and e-preserving ICH content related to folk dances by integrating the latest innovative results of photogrammetry, computer vision, semantic analysis combined with the story-telling and folklore choreography.​

Dr. Nikos Grammalidis is a Senior Researcher (Grade B’, Principal Researcher) at CERTH-ITI. He received the Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering all from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 1992 and 2000, respectively. His main research interests include: Computer vision, Machine learning, Image, Video and Multi- dimensional signal Processing, Intelligent Systems and Applications, ICT in Cultural Heritage, Analysis, Modeling and Visualization of body movement and facial expressions,. His involvement with those research areas has led to the co-authoring of more than 140 articles in refereed international journals and conferences. He has received the IET Premium Award 2012 and the Euromed 2012 Best Full Paper Award, as a co-author in scientific papers. Since 1992, he has been involved in more than 15 projects funded by the EC and 15 by the Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology. He has been the coordinator of several European and National research projects, including the FP7 FIRESENSE and i-Treasures projects.



Recovery of Knowledge in Cultural Heritage

Marinos Ioannides

One of the greatest challenges at the beginning of the 21st century is the holistic documentation of the past. This new approach of digital documentation in cultural heritage requires the full digitization of the tangible, as well as the intangible content(story and knowledge). In this presentation we will illustrate some of the current technical confrontations and how a holistic documentation in Cultural Heritage can be achieved.

Dr. Marinos Ioannides is since the 1st of January 2013 the chair of the newly established Digital Heritage Research lab of the Cyprus University of Technology in Limassol ( The lab is the fastest growing research Centre on the island and has been awarded a number of EU projects within its four years’ debut (total budget for CUT: 7.0 MEuro). Since the 1st October 2013 he is coordinating the biggest research project at CUT–www.itn-dch. eu and the only in the EU H2020 CSA project on Virtual Museums– for the setup of the Agenda on Digital Cultural Heritage in the Horizon Europe FWP.​
He is also the general secretary of ICOMOS-CY Committee and represents CY in all the EU Committees in the area of Digital Cultural Heritage. His research focus on the holistic 3D documentation in Cultural Heritage and he has received in 1995 the EU KIT Award from the European Commission. In 2010 he was awarded from the Spanish and European Association of Virtual Archaeology the Tartessos prize for his achievements in the area of 3D-documentation in Cultural Heritage. In 2018 he received for his overall achievements in the area of Digital Heritage documentation the unique CICOP Net Award and the unique UNESCO Chair award, as well as the prestigious EU ERA Chair on Digital Cultural Heritage with a total budget of 2.5 MEuro. He was involved in 68 EU funded projects since 1987 and has more than 70 publications. He is the main author of three books. All his proceedings and books have been published by the prestigious publisher Springer-Nature.​




Augmented Reality & Art

Nikolaos Kanellopoulos

Audio-visual Art is moving into a new era based on Augmented Reality (AR)Technology. This merging of technology and Art creates a new kind of world market which will be the biggest up to now in the history of computer applications.

To develop these HiTec applications we need a new kind of professionals, which I call “TechnArtists”, who acquire hybrid knowledge in both Computer Technology and Art at the Audiovisual Arts Department of the Ionian University. The educational requirements needed, examples of Art AR Applications and a developing platform forAR applications, are also described.

Dr. Nikolaos Kanellopoulos, professor in the Audiovisual Arts Department, Ionian University, specializing in Computer Systems & Applications, is the Faculty Head of the Audiovisual Arts Department of the Ionian University of Greece. He has served as Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of Ionian University, as faculty member of the Computer Science Engineering & Informatics Department of Patras University and the Archives and Library Science Department of Ionian University,as Vice-President for the Computer Science Department of the Ionian University and as President for the Greek National School of Dance. He has been a member of the National Governmental IT Committee and has served as a specialist scientific adviser, reviewer and evaluator of IT in the Ministries of Education, Research &Development, Justice, National Defense, Presidency, Mass Press & Media. He has contributed in the development of the Department of Computer Engineering &Informatics of Patras University and the Research Academic Computer Technology Institute of the Ministry of Education. Ηe has extensive experience with more than 50National and European R&D projects in the fields of Computer System Architecture,e-government and Information Technology Applications. His published work includes three international patents and about 130 papers/studies. He has presented his opinion on various scientific and cultural matters in the mass media. He has written one play for theatre as well as literature essays. Currently his main research interest is in the application of digital technology in audiovisual art interactive systems(VR/AR).



Citizens’ digital participation in intangible cultural heritage

Nikoletta Karitsioti

The previous and fast economic growth, the social rearrangement, the new technologies’ debut and the urbanization of the developing countries, are only a few of the recent changes that tend to have effect on our creativity and the cultural interaction. Given that the latest circumstances absorb more and more hours of our everyday life, the opportunities to get in touch with culture and cultural heritage get slightest. Therefore, it was a necessity, to find different ways to express our cultural quests and expand the cultural interaction. The user-centric approach of the digital services in culture aims to encourage the live experiences, the interaction between the exhibits, the visitors and the future visitors as well. The smart tools development provides the opportunity for the regional museums to enter the world cultural map and get equally evolved to travel destination museums.

The PLUGGY project through its smart tools and activities, aims to strongly interconnect both the citizens and the culture and develop strong and stable associations between the two parts. The project powered by its users and their values, aspirations and needs, provides an innovative way of creating cultural digital resources and in parallel facilitates various actors to contribute on the cultural identity setup, in the “everyday” and “ordinary”, “real” life. The PLUGGY project, through designing and implementing an innovative social platform which provides functionalities such as the already established social media (i.e. Facebook, Instagram e.t.c.), addresses both professionals and non-professionals to contribute on their own content and to construct their own personalized stories. Through PLUGGY and its Curatorial Tool, the participants will be able to “narrate” their own, personal stories and dress them up with other potentialities provided by pluggable apps such as an Augmented Reality application, a geolocation mobile application, a 3D sonic narratives application, a collaborative game e.t.c.

Nikoletta Karitsioti works as a Communications Manager – Researcher, in the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS) of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).  She is a Ph.D. Candidate in International Political Communication and has published peer reviewed papers in international conferences. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Philosophy and a Master degree in International Relations and Politics with expertise in Governance. Moreover, she participates with the identity of the researcher in the Research Unit of Southeast Europe (SEE Research Unit -SEER-Unit) in University of Peloponnese and the Research Unit of the International Relations Institute. Since 2012, she works as a Communication Manager and has taken part in various projects. She is experienced in planning, organizing and supporting the projects’ communication and dissemination activities. At the same time, she writes articles in websites and newspapers on International Relations and Communication issues.



An open museum of iso- poliphony in Albania

Dorian Koçi

My project proposal consists in building an open air museum for iso-poliphony in Albania. Iso-poliphony as part of the intangible cultural heritage is admired as a rare choral sing in the region. The singing of iso-polyphony is associated sometimes with some pipes and the performers wear traditional national costumes. One of them is fustanella, a national popular dress that can be found in Greece and Albania.

This museum will increase the interest among the young generation, local and foreign tourists in Albania. As a rare way of singing, it is transmitted to different generations, but no school exists, where iso-poliphony can be learned. The open air museum will serve as well as a traditional place of exhibiting traditional objects of the rural life.

Dr. Dorian  Koçi is historian, Director of National Historical Museum of Albania and lecturer in Tirana State University, Faculty of History and Philology. He holds a degree of M.A in International Relations and Diplomacy from Institute of European Studies of Tirana. He holds also a PhD in History from Institute of History, Academy of Albanological Studies in Tirana. Dr. Dorian Koçi is the author of the multidisciplinary monographies “Genealogy of Ali Pasha Tepelena” (2014) and “Historical, Identity and Cultural Meetings”(2016), and of several articles related to history, literature and international relations. Based on the main fields of interest on which he is furthering researches: history, literature and sociology. He has participated and held speeches in several national and international conferences and symposiums.



Intangible Commons as heritage

Stelios Lekakis

Even though segregated from the material remains of the past and laden with political speculation in the present, intangible cultural heritage has been lately recognised in UNESCO narratives as instrumental in the life of the communities in the past and a vital factor that should be sustained and celebrated in the future generations (UNESCO 2003). However, what lies behind the traditional crafts, food, stories, music and dances is the rich substratum of collaboration in the societies that gave birth and progressively shaped these living cultural common goods, as products of communal life and shared fears and aspirations. Looking at different case studies, this paper will attempt to discuss this collaborative background behind intangible heritage and try to identify catalysts that bring people together in the development of commons. Can we claim that these (pre-modern) drivers of participation and co-production are an equally important form of heritage? Can they be distilled and employed in contemporary, participatory projects or are we destined to reiterate empty promises of inclusion and democracy in heritage management for the years to come?

Stelios Lekakis studied classical archaeology at the University of Athens and after his MA studies (UCL 2005, Managing Archaeological Sites) he worked as a consultant in Greece, focusing on sustainable strategies in heritage management and the participation of local communities, thematics of his PhD (University of Athens 2013). He is a researcher at Newcastle University and he teaches cultural management at the Open University of Cyprus and commons theory at the Hellenic Open University. He works with NGOs (he is one of the founding members of MONUMENTA) and university departments on various cultural informatics projects, heritage management projects and excavations.



Enacting Musical Heritage: A subjective experience

Mikaela Minga

Discourses about intangible cultural heritage have been specifically associated to the practices of multipart singing in southeastern Europe from the moment that forms of multipart singing practiced in south Albania have been proclaimed (2005) and then inscribed (2008) in UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Since then, those in Albania who work on multipart singing (be they scholars, performers or cultural workers) have dealt with such concept and its ramifications. In this presentation, I am going to talk about the making of a musical album: Aromanian Songs from Drenova/Këngë arumune të Drenovës (Squilibri Editore: 2018) with folk songs, performed by a group of aromanian-vlachs, from Drenova, a small village in Korça’s district (southeastern Albania). This project represented a form of valorization of a musical expression, combining artistic performance with ethnomusicological work and documentation. I would like to discuss about the way I shaped my own position within this project, exploring the intricate relationship between artifact and the human experience; between the idea of heritage as something that should be preserved, safeguarded and the performance as living entity; last but no least, between the minority’s musical practices and their space in the larger map of multipart singing practices in southeastern Europe.

Mikaela Minga is an ethno/musicologist and research scholar in the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Art Studies in Tirana.  She also teaches courses on films music, jazz and popular music at the University of Arts. Her main research areas include 20th century musics, with a particular attention towards urban musical practices in Albania and the Mediterranean, film music and multimedia. She has published several books, essays and articles.



“From place to Space”. Experiences in Greece from Digital Culture

Manthos Santorineos

Digital Culture has the potential to incorporate the local actions and thoughts to an international, immaterial space. All countries, in the last decades, are characterized by this transition. Manthos Santorineos, pioneer in this course in Greece will present the most important points, from the Mediaterra Festival up to the Greek-French Master “Art, virtual reality and multiuser systems of artistic expression”.

Dr. Manthos Santorineos, since 1984, has been active in promoting art and technology, having established the Department of Art and Technology at the Ileana Tounda Centre (1987), the Fournos Center for Digital Culture (1991) and the Mediaterra Festival (1998). Since 2000 he is responsible for the multimedia/hypermedia lab in the pre-graduate course in Athens School of fine Arts. From 2012, he is also (2012) Scientific co-director of Greek – French Masters Course “Art, Virtual Reality and Multi-User Systems of Artistic Expression”,  Athens School of Fine Arts – Paris-8 University. He has directed several films and television programs (1985-1995). His works belong to the fields of video art, interactive installations, net-based projects and VR and have been shown at festivals and museums in Greece and abroad (Argos, Festival, Roma Europa, Locarno Festival, Videofest, Festival Interferences, VideoBrasil, etc.). He has participated in various conferences, committees and seminars which concerned education and digital technology and computer games. He is the author of the Books «De la civilisation du papier à la civilisation du numérique»,(From Paper to Digital Civilisation) L’Harmattan, Paris2007 and “Gaming Realities”(Editor),Fournos Center, Athens 2006. He has been honored   by the French Government as a “Chevalier dans l’ Ordre des Palmes Académiques”.



Museums and intangible cultural heritage: aspects of a controversial relationship

Esther Solomon

How does intangible cultural heritage get “musealized”? Traditionally, museums are meant to preserve, study and display material cultural evidence. The concept of intangible cultural heritage raises new and important issues of epistemological and practical nature regarding the fundamental processes of museum operation (collection, documentation, conservation, exhibition and education) as well as the relationship between museums, researchers and the social group(s) each time associated with a listed heritage category. My presentation attempts to review such issues through a series of international examples of intangible cultural heritage museum collections and seeks to open the debate on the relationship between relevant museum institutions and the public. It is argued that it is time to create and employ a “Public Museology” in the spirit of modern methods proposed by ethnographic social research.

Dr. Esther Solomon is Assistant Professor in Museum Studies at the University of Ioannina. She studied archaeology, museology and social anthropology at the University of Ioannina (BA), the Universita’ Internazionale dell’Arte in Florence (Diploma), the University of Sheffield (MA) and the University College London (PhD). She has worked as curator in several museums in Greece and abroad and has published extensively in Greek and foreign journals and edited volumes. Her research interests focus on museum representations, the social and political uses of the past, material culture and social identity as well as on cultural memory and tourism.



Empowerment of the cultural heritage bearers: a participatory approach

Ioanna Tzavara

The active participation of the intangible cultural heritage bearers in inventorying,safeguarding and promoting ICH constitutes a significant aspect of the relevant UNESCO Convention (2003), which Greece ratified in 2006. The participatory approach adopted so far for the National Inventory of ICH, as well as its significance,will be highlighted, with a reference also to partnerships towards cultural sustainability.

Ioanna Tzavara holds an MA in Cultural Management with a thesis on Ecomuseums. She works at the Directorate of Modern Cultural Heritage of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports, at the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Current professional interests, as part of the Directorate’s activities, include the enrichment of the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage as well as the elaboration of proposals for UNESCO’s International Lists of ICH. She is also a member of the task group formed by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports and the Agriculture University of Athens, in order to give prominence to the intangible cultural aspect of the Greek agricultural heritage.



Ayla culture in the municipality of Ioannina

Panagiotis Tzokas

Ioannina is a typical example as a town, because it has a rich cultural heritage with various elements of ayla culture, which creates a significant dynamic in cultural and financial level.  The town itself is now the metropolis of the extended municipality. In its modern version concerning the cultural diversity there are still enough ayla components having to do with music, dancing, customs and traditions, as well as traditional techniques and skills.

Panayiotis Tzokas studied human science, (European Culture), journalism and he is a postgraduate student in the Greek Open University in the field of public History. He is engaged in the study of traditional songs and dances, their history and culture since 1985. Introducing the various aspects of Epirus and Greece. Basically, by giving lectures, speeches, documentaries both in several parts of Greece, but overseas, as well. He is also a radio producer working for the Greek Radio since 1987, and a member of the council of the Ioannina Municipality Cultural Centre. He has also helped several organizations of Epirus to publish musical albums or books concerning the local musical tradition of the area.



The quiet revolution of low cost technological interfaces. Experiences from the Greek-French Master Art, virtual reality and multiuser systems of artistic expression

Stavroula Zoi

The transition from the 20th to the 21st century is characterized by the quiet revolution of low-cost technological interfaces. This situation has a considerable impact to contemporary artistic production, and consequently to education. The Greek-French Master “Art, virtual reality and multiuser systems of artistic expression”, between Athens School of Fine Arts and University of Paris-8 (2012-2020) is an experimental educational structure that leverages this new condition. It creatively incorporates such interfaces, in conjunction with trans-disciplinary practices and distance collaboration methodologies, towards the investigation of innovative hybrid artworks. This presentation provides an overview of the developed experiences and results.

Dr. Stavroula Zoi is a computer scientist, researcher and Instructor of the Athens School of Fine Arts since 2004. She exerts scientific and educational work, at undergraduate and postgraduate level (Multimedia – Hypermedia Laboratory, Greek-French Master “Art, virtual reality and multiuser systems of artistic expression”, in collaboration with University of Paris-8).​
Her work in Athens School of Fine Arts concerns uses of contemporary digital technologies in artistic education and expression (e.g. complex platforms for hybrid artworks, educational virtual spaces, applications for smart devices, innovative mechanisms for artwork interaction). She has participated, among others, in the organization of international workshops between Athens School of Fine Arts and other European Institutions (2004-2011), where original ideas were cultivated and tools were developed regarding collaborative artistic creation in virtual spaces. She coordinates, with Professor Manthos Santorineos the Erasmus+ programme @postasis: Virtual Artistic Laboratory (, in which a platform for real-time collaborative artistic experimentation and large-scale hybrid exhibitions is being developed. ​