City tour at the end of the workshop. Photo by Marian Sterea

The mapping workshop, entitled “Teen Talks: Heritage Edition” took part in Constanța on the 29th-31st of March 2019. The participants (disadvantaged teens aged 13-19 years from Constanța and Dobrogea) were selected through an open call, on the basis of a short interview. The call for participants was promoted online, through a Facebook event, and disseminated on the Association’s social media pages. Also, a press release was distributed to local media representatives.

The aim of the workshop was two-fold:

  • on one hand, the teens improved their knowledge and awareness on the local heritage in Dobrogea/Constanța
  • on the other hand they actively contributed to the selection of cultural attractions that will be included in the mobile app.

Moreover, participants gained new knowledge on subjects such as local history and arts, promotion of heritage through story-telling, or using design thinking and new technologies to bring life to (almost) forgotten landmarks, such as the Constanța Casino.

The workshop was organised in the Museum of National History and Archeology (in Constanta’s historical centre), as well as on the premises of the “Ovidius” University in Constanta. The event was highly interactive – the youth worked together in groups, guided by trainers/youth workers, to find out information about heritage sites in Constanta and Dobrogea, propose solutions to include them in the tourist circuit, as well as design tourist routes that are both relevant and attractive for the 13-19 years age group.

The instruments used by trainers/youth workers in the delivery of the workshop included PowerPoint presentations, hand-outs, flipcharts and post-its. Each day of the workshop had a different theme, so as to make the event more attractive to local youth:

  • Day 1: UNLOCK – heritage mysteries. Together with the trainers/youth workers, participants explored the notion of “heritage” and took a closer look into the heritage of Constanta/Dobrogea. Then, in teams, participants selected the cultural sites/attractions that are most relevant to their generation in view of including them in the mobile app developed through the project
  • Day 2: REFRESH – new technologies. Participants became acquainted with the design thinking methodology. Then, using this methodology, they explored new and innovative ways to exploit and promote the local heritage. The proposals developed by the participating youth focused on the Constanta Casino, since this is the cultural attraction that was unanimously identified by students as relevant to the local generation
  • Day 3: STORY – cultural tours and stories. With the help of trainers/youth workers, participants grouped the selected cultural attractions into cultural itineraries / tourist routes and created a “story” for each of the itineraries/routes. The aim was to find new and creative ways to “tell the story” of the local heritage and promote it to the young generations.

The workshop also included a tour of the Constanta peninsula / historical city centre (together with local tour guide Diana Slav), so as to be able to see, explore and experience the city’s heritage by themselves. The results of the workshop (selected cultural attractions, proposed cultural itineraries/tourist routes) were further integrated by the youth workers and researchers into the results of the mapping process.

Photos by Marian Sterea