“What may seem old-fashioned to some is actually more modern than ever” – Südtirol News

Karthaus / Laas / Glurns – Irmgard of Galsaun near Kastelbell-Tschars makes baskets, bags and even whole cupboards from willow bast. It was made into fishing lines and nets 10,000 years ago. Josin of Susch (Lower Engadine) is – like his grandfather and father – a sgraffito artist. In the 16th century, Renaissance building masters brought this special decorating technique to Graubünden. Tessanda in Santa Maria, Val Müstair is one of the last three hand weaving mills in Switzerland. There, hand weavers work on looms that are over 100 years old. These are just three of the 25 “Diversity Guardians” – personalities whose work and attitudes are told by the traveling exhibition of the same name, which runs from July 15 to October 14. The aim of the exhibition is to get to know the great richness of the cultural heritage of this region and the people behind it. The exhibition was created as part of a research project in which researchers from Eurac Research are studying the living cultural heritage of the border between Italy and Switzerland. In doing so, they want to raise awareness of the living cultural heritage of the region, increase its recognition and strengthen its resilience in the long term. The vernissage will take place on Friday, July 15 at 18:00 in the Kartause of Allerengelberg monastery in Karthaus (Schnals). The exhibition will also be shown in Laas, Glurns and Valchava (CH). Admission is free.

“A good year ago I moved to Vinschgau, and more specifically to Eyrs. What I found here captivated me from the very beginning. Many people here are deeply rooted in the community, they have a close relationship with the nature and knowledge of their ancestors, says project leader Ricarda Schmidt, archaeologist and cultural heritage expert at the Eurac Research Institute for Regional Development. “The personalities that I was able to meet during our research work associate much more value with their activities than just money. What may seem to some people an old-fashioned way of life is more modern and advanced to me than ever. ”

In her research, Schmidt looked for personalities who had a particular merit in living cultural heritage. She had numerous interviews, which she documented, assessed and prepared in the form of an exhibition.

The exhibition presents boards with information about the living cultural heritage under study. Some examples: Stilzer Pfluagziachn, seed propagation in the countryside, growing an orchard, breeding and training herding dogs. The panels are accompanied by quotes and photos of the people behind these activities. “Our exhibition presents 25 personalities and 19 examples of the cultural heritage of the region. However, we are aware that there are many other people in this frontier who make an outstanding contribution to the living cultural heritage. Therefore, the exhibition also aims to track down other “keepers of diversity”. Identifying living cultural heritage is primarily a task for local communities – as external researchers, we can only propose ideas and stimulate dialogue, ”says Schmidt.

Old traditions and craftsmanship is revived or made aware of not only in Vinschgau, but also in other parts of South Tyrol: for example, in Pustertal, where the seeds of rare and old local varieties that are characteristic of the valley are replaced.

“All these people live according to the principles of sustainable development, which should be much more strongly practiced and implemented in this country,” says Thomas Streifeneder, head of the Institute for Regional Development at Eurac Research. “In times of social unrest and climate change, it is also politically important to support South Tyrol’s living cultural heritage.”

Information about the exhibition

The exhibition takes place in the following locations:

– 15.-31. July 2022: Karthaus, Monastery of Kartause Allerengelberg
– August 6 and 7, 2022: at the “Marble and Morele” festival in Laas
– 03.-18. September 2022: at Palabira Days in Glurns
– 02.-14. October 2022: at the harvest festival and in Chasa Jaura in Valchava (CH)
Scientists plan this year to publish a book on “Keepers of Diversity” in the border regions of Vinschgau, Lower Engadine and Val Müstair.

The exhibition is carried out as part of the Interreg Italy-Switzerland project “Living Intangible Cultural Heritage” conducted by Eurac Research. The project partners are the Lombardy region, the Aosta Valley region and the Polo Poschiavo region.

From: mk

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