The MEMEX project promotes social cohesion through collaborative, heritage-related tools that provide inclusive access to tangible and intangible Cultural Heritage (CH) and, at the same time, facilitate encounters, discussions and interactions between communities at risk of social exclusion. These tools will empower communities of people with the possibility of welding together their fragmented experiences and memories into compelling and geolocalised storylines using new personalised digital content linked to the pre-existent European Cultural Heritage. The tools of MEMEX will allow the communities to tell their stories and to claim their rights and equal participation in the European society. To this end, MEMEX will nurture actions that contribute to, rather than undermine, practices of recognition of differences by giving voice to individuals for promoting cultural diversity.
The technological embodiment of MEMEX is an app installed on a smartphone allowing non-expert users to create and visualise stories related to their personal memories and experiences digitally linked to the geographical locations of either intangible (e.g. an event) or a tangible cultural places/object. The interface, designed on the needs of the community, will allow users to annotate using Augmented Reality (AR) any physical object or location with their memories in the form of digital images, videos, audio recordings or textual input using a smartphone. Then, the targeted communities will be able to connect their experiences and memories with a new Knowledge Graph (KG), linking CH items and places with stories that are bound and entangled within the European history. Effectively, the users of MEMEX will be active actors shaping contemporary and historical content, including new material from their experiences and memories, and personalising cultural heritage and creative media content in a meaningful and social inclusive manor.
The target communities of MEMEX are socially fragile people that are systematically blocked from various cultural opportunities and resources that are normally available to members of a different group, and which are fundamental to social integration. As an heterogeneous sample of these communities, MEMEX will deploy three distinct pilots to analyse different expectations from communities dislocated in different regions of the European territory: