From a Rusty City to a New Miskolc

Edina Mato

Project Manager

North-East Passage Cultural and Academic Association

3526 Miskolc Testvérvárosok útja 8. 9/1. Hungary

http://atjarokhe.hu

http://kamaprojekt.hu

Miskolc, Hungary

EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2014


PASSAGE-From the rust-zone into a new Miskolc







Our programme on hand hand focuses on the preservation and raising awareness of the intellectual cultural heritage and on the other hand on the revitalisation and presentation of built heritage. We consider that the exploration of cultural heritage is paramount: several historical researches have been conducted and are being conducted in Miskolc and in Pereces ( which is now part of Miskolc). The research included making interviews and photographs, collection of relics, making short films and archiving and taking pictures on design drawings.

2misk3xThe Átjáró (Passage) project is a multi-level, complex programme consisting of several subprojects. Most of them have been concluded, yet some of them are still ongoing. The present programme focuses on the implementation of the most important mission of the association in which we worked together with several partners

Our objective is the development of local, Miskolcian identity so that the citizens can appropriate and „ identify the „sense of place” of urban areas and spaces in order to understand the private history of the not so distant past of the city (social history- history from underneath) and to bring its history closer to people, thereby canonizing it as an alternative urban history and to help getting over the trauma following the collapse of the heavy industry and to help making a step forward preventing it from becoming a taboo. With this we would like to support, strengthen our long-term objective i.e.: Miskolc should constitute a perspective for the youth living here. In contrast to the large-scale emigration, „brain-drain” constantly present since the change of regime the youth should try to plan their future in the city despite the difficult economic situation.

Thus the programme promotes the development of urban identity so that the concept of the town and its history is revalued in the mentality of the community and fresh pictures replace displeasing and traumatic ones as the elements of mental cultural heritage.

Our programme on one hand focuses on the preservation and raising awareness of the intellectual cultural heritage and on the other hand on the revitalisation and presentation of built heritage. We consider that the exploration of cultural heritage is paramount: several historical researches have been conducted and are being conducted in Miskolc and in Pereces ( which is now part of Miskolc). The research included making interviews and photographs, collection of relics, making short films and archiving and taking pictures on design drawings.

The Átjáró (Passage) project is a multi-level, complex programme consisting of several subprojects. Most of them have been concluded, yet some of them are still ongoing. The present programme focuses on the implementation of the most important mission of the association in which we worked together with several partners

Main activities, products: researches, exhibitions, training programmes and publications (booklets, postcards, activity-based booklets, DVD ROM, periodical) furthermore the renovation of the Pereces Open Air Stage involving the community, organisation of virtual tours, making films and publication of studies, organisation of workshops, networking, participation at scientific conferences and forums.

Thanks to our programme we managed to capture the mental cultural heritage of Miskolc ( including Pereces and Vasgyár), the local stories, and a substantial part of the local history of lifestyles in a way which enabled that students could join in the process of exploration, preservation and presentation. From the feedbacks that we receive we experience that the products which were created in the framework of the programme ( book illustrated with pictures, series on local history, exhibitions, websites) are references for many city-dwellers regarding the preservation of the values of the past.

In the case of products, programmes in the process of formation, the involved youth volunteers not only had the chance to present their own ideas but they were also involved in the implementation and decision-making, thus the activity became internal and own which means a multipled effect compared to a sheer information transfer.

2misk4xTogether with raising awareness to the importance of cultural heritage, the importance of voluntary work and civil organisations became evident. Some of the involved studentstried to conduct their own interviews. Consequently, as they managed to talk with strangers, relatives and acquaintances, the method of oral history could become an experience for them ( several participants from secondary school chose history as major).

As part of the oral history research we could involve many old people who live or lived in Miskolc and Miskolc-Pereces: they were keen on speaking about the past, they gave interviews and pictures to us (during the events many proposed pictures, so we could select from an even wider range of archive pictures for the exhibition). The publications and the exhibitions strengthened the importance of local historical consciousness in the participants, while interest could be generated in other people towards the past ( and present) of the mining colony.

In Pereces we managed to achieve the desired change, more volunteers took part in the programme than expected and we managed to carry out a far larger-scale renovation.

In Pereces, in parallel with the renovation of the stage relying on the help of volunteers, the volunteers founded a new civil organisation composed of local associations. Furthermore they managed to save and renovate the restaurant and miners’ club located next to the stage..

In our programme the strengthening of the European context consists of the foundation of an international workshop and preparations for its further extension..

Workshops pave the way for disputes and exchange of ideas with the help of which we provide a frame for a discussion which aims to form European citizens with higher awareness via issues such as European memory, common European values, European laws and interest enforcement.

Together with the participating organisations we would lay the foundations of a network across several countries of the European Union which is based on mining sites, organisations operating in industrial centres with the aim of preserving local traditions ( e.g.: museum, brass, band, choir) or revitalisation ( researchers, community-builders, environmentalists etc.)