Public presentation and press conferences of the Alpine Space project AlpFoodway in Slovenia, May 9th-11th

One of the main objectives of the AlpFoodway project is to show local people that «intangible heritage is all around us. It is our past, it lives on in our present and it is an opportunity for our future», as is the message of the documentary film Traditions that live on: Black rye bread. A big challenge is to discover it, experience it and sustainably use it for green growth of local areas. The main purpose of the lead project manager Cassiano Luminati’s visit in Slovenia was thus to convince Slovenian people that Alpine cultural heritage can be one of the most important cultural, social and economic stimulator to achieve sustainable development of wider Alpine space and ensure well-being of local residents. Moreover, food heritage can connect different communities, generations, sectors and stakeholders and helps constructing a common transnational Alpine identity.

Cassiano Luminati’s visit from the 9th to the 11th of May was dedicated to meetings with the main practitioners and bearers of intangible heritage, national and regional authorities, journalists and other stakeholders, who are the main actors in successful implementation of project’s activities. Visit was also linked to the start of the European Union campaign “Europe in My Region, which encourages citizens to discover European projects in their vicinity.

On the 9th of May, Cassiano Luminati first met with national decision-makers: Blanka Bartol, the representative of the Alpine Convention (Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia), Andrea Mugerle, the representative of the EUSALP (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food), and Janez Berdavs, the representative of the Alpine Space Programme (Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy). He outlined the main challenges of the project and ways to achieve its results. The representatives of the Alpine institutions have shown great interest in the project and are looking forward to the first results. Cassiano Luminati also met with the heads of the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts - that participate in the project -, the Institute of Culture and Memory Studies and the Institute of the Slovenian Ethnology.

On the 10th of May, the project leader spent a nice day in Nova Gorica and surrounding areas of the Goriška region in the west part of Slovenia. All activities were organised by the Regional Development Agency of Northern Primorska (RDA NG), which is situated in Nova Gorica. The press conference took place at the Municipality of Nova Gorica, where Luminati had the opportunity to meet the Municipality’s mayor Matej Arčon. The mayor was very satisfied that RDA NG (which is partially financed by the Municipality) takes an active part in the project, as in this way some good practices from other regions, where project partners are coming from, can be transferred to the Goriška region. The conference was well attended and a journalist from the national television Mojca Domančič prepared a short report for the national news. She especially highlighted the activities aimed to document Alpine traditional food, which will provide the opportunity to revive their preparation and usage for different social and economic purposes (see more on http://bit.ly/2qVvmxF). Moreover, the project AlpFoodway and the statements speakers have been streamed on the local radios and newspapers. After the formal event, members of the RDA NG invited Cassiano Luminati to the Goriška Brda (vineyard plateau), where they visited the fortified village of Šmartno, villa Vipolže and wine cellar Goriška Brda. He also met with the representatives of the Municipality of Brda and its Institute for Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sport Brda.

On the last day, the 11th of May, Cassiano Luminati visited the centre of the Slovenian Alpine region, Jesenice in Gorenjska region, where he attended a press conference. He also met with some stakeholders from the village of Rateče, where the third Slovenian partner, the Development Agency of Upper Gorenjska (RAGOR), will carry out a pilot action, trying to establish intergeneration practices among the bearers of food heritage and younger generations. As the one in Nova Gorica, this press conference was very successful as well; journalists from local newspapers, national radio and television, who were asked by all project partners attending the conference to help spreading the information about the project, favourably reported about the endeavours of project partners to support local communities in their heritage activities. The journalists especially highlighted an opportunity, provided by the project, that certain local dishes from Gorenjska region (e.g. Rateški krapi) can be nominated for the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage (for more information see http://bit.ly/2qnHLaE). Guided by the employees of RAGOR, the lead project manager had been sightseeing some of the cultural and natural treasures of Gorenjska, especially the daffodils at Planina pod Golico.

The visit of Cassiano Luminati in Slovenia was very promotionally successful and encouraging for all three Slovenian partners. They now have a great opportunity to successfully implement project activities which will ensure, with the active involvement of local communities, important steps towards efficient conservation, protection, sharing and utilization of traditional knowledge of food heritage and consequently towards better and more qualitative way of life in the future

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