Behind the Fog
The project ‘Behind the Fog’ has been implemented by ’Youth Cooperation Center of Dilijan’ NGO in Dilijan community
The project title ‘Behind the Fog’ portrays the essence of the project giving a sense of mysteriousness, which is so typical, and parallel to culture and its aspects.
The goal of the project was to contribute to the preservation of the historical and cultural heritage and cultural diversity of Dilijan community.
12 young people of Dilijan were selected to become the cultural ambassadors of their city in a virtual world. After weeks of trainings in photography, journalism, operator skills and blogging, these young people started to rekindle the hidden and forgotten stories, legends and traditions of Dilijan.
Dilijan stories blog is an innovative cultural service and perspective for the city. It provides about 30 cultural stories, legends, video interviews about the cultural heritage and traditions of Dilijan, Gosh, Haghartsin, Aghavnavank, Hovk communities. The blog is periodically updated: dilijanstories.wordpress.com.
This is the very first virtual cultural platform for presenting community in its diversity. The stories about the representatives of different nations who lived and contributed to the life of Dilijan are valuable not only for those nationalities to be recognized as old dwellers of the city but also for their Armenian peers to once again give them the credit for diverse and colourful city.
One of most active participants Tigran mentioned a key sentence portraying the essence of the project. It was quoted as follows: “We have learnt to give voice to stories.” The project has enabled the young people to make the hidden and neglected stories be heard by the community. It has contributed to the preservation and communication of the cultural heritage of Dilijan to coming generations.
The success of the story and its uniqueness were expressed in the public presentation event in Dilijan with about 70 guests. Many guests were famous characters with huge contribution to Dilijan’s culture, however even they heard about some of the stories for the first time. This project brought new opportunities for a better outreach for the community. An active blog keeps the creators and the audiences engaged and interested in Dilijan’s cultural life and traditions.
‘The story collection process was most interesting. It was like a clash of young and old generation perceptions of Dilijan. Meeting people who are legendary and asking them about old stories and legends made me look at my city from a different angle. I suddenly realized that there really is a whole different Dilijan behind the fog,’ – Atabekyan, project coordinator
The publication has been produced within the project ‘Equal Opportunities for National Minorities and Disadvantaged Groups in Realizing Cultural Rights: Richness in Diversity’ funded by the European Union under Eastern Partnership Culture Programme and implemented by GURT Resource Centre (Ukraine) in partnership with the Civil Society Partnership Foundation (Republic of Armenia) and Center for NGOs Development (Republic of Armenia) and aimed at developing cultural diversity and support the culture of national minorities through strengthening capacity of local self-government bodies, public authorities, civil society organizations, local culture institutions in communities in Ukraine and Armenia.