In connection with the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the World Heritage Convention, the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre invited Gruppo Alcuni (Italy), a communication group specializing in animated cartoons, to host the 4th International World Heritage Education Workshop on 'Mobilizing Young People for World Heritage' in Treviso/Venice (Italy), The program included plenary sessions, working groups and preparation for the presentation made by the young people at the Venice Congress session on 16 November 2002.
Cuba, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Norway, Philippines, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa and Spain.
(1) Educators and Students Shared their Recent Experiences in World Heritage Education
Participants agreed on the vital importance of including WHE in classroom teaching and in the curricula for the following reasons:
(2) Proposals for Effective Means of Mobilizing Young People in the Promotion and Preservation of World Heritage
Each section should be presented in an interactive way, with a multidisciplinary approach. Classroom activities with emphasis on participatory and creative methods of learning, as well as out-of-school activities including visits to nearby heritage sites, role-play activities, festivals, round-table discussions and games, should be organized. Illustrations, photographs, drawings, bibliographies and student art work are also recommended.
Prior to the international diffusion of the CD-ROM by UNESCO, the completed material should be validated by educators and World Heritage specialists and tested in selected ASPnet schools.
The following proposals were also put forward by the young participants:
(3) Use of Animated Cartoons in Sensitizing Young People to the Importance of Safeguarding World Heritage
The workshop explored the production of cartoons and their use as a communication medium for the young. In 2002, following a storyboard competition organized by UNESCO, the first episode of the cartoon series Patrimonito's World Heritage Adventures was produced, based on the storyboard of one of the participants, Ruben Carlos Borrajo del Toro, a 14-year-old from Cuba. To introduce the series, a trailer was also made.
UNESCO emphasized its long-standing co-operation with Gruppo Alcuni in the field of communication with the young via cartoons, and stressed their role as a most powerful means of transmitting important messages to children, young people and adults. Visual and virtual communication is a major feature of twenty-first-century society. The production of the new cartoon series would allow young people to learn more about the value of World Heritage sites, their contribution to our universal civilization, the intangible heritage that surrounds them, as well as about the threats facing World Heritage sites and what young people can do to help safeguard them.
During the discussion all participants, educators and students alike, agreed that cartoons can serve as a powerful tool in mobilizing young people in support of World Heritage in the classroom as well as through television, thereby also reaching the general public. They all agreed that cartoons can be very useful because:
During a hands-on session with the students, a 'by the young for the young' poster was designed, prompting students to become Patrimonitos themselves, and introducing Patrimonito's World Heritage Adventures. The poster will be produced by UNESCO and distributed to over 7,000 ASPnet schools around the world.
The workshop noted with satisfaction the positive effect of international student encounters and underlined their potential.
The objectives of the workshop were broadly achieved. All participants made good inputs, contributions and comments. Each country reported on its recent World Heritage Education achievements, reflecting a wide range of activities.
Educators and students alike were introduced to the basics of cartoon-making, practised hands-on activities and were able to grasp the great potential of animated cartoons as a tool to raise awareness of World Heritage among both young and adults. The trailer and the first episode of Patrimonito's World Heritage Adventures series were launched and presented at the World Heritage 2002 Congress by two Patrimonitos on the very day of the 30th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, 16 November 2003, in the presence of the UNESCO Director-General, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, and some 500 participants.
The workshop attracted the attention of the Italian media, both written press and national television. A press conference held in the Sala degli Affreschi, Treviso, on 12 November 2002, was attended by the President of the Municipal Town-planning Committee, Mr Sandro Zampese; the Councillor for Health and Human Services, Mr Ermes Zanoni; the Director of the Tourist Board Association, Mr Pio Grollo; Gruppo Alcuni International Relations, Ms Giovanna Masobello; Gruppo Alcuni Director, Mr Sergio Manfio; and UNESCO World Heritage Centre Programme Specialist, Ms Vesna Vujicic-Lugassy.
The journalists asked about UNESCO activities in the field of cultural and natural heritage. They were interested in the role of young people in the process of World Heritage preservation and promotion and, in particular, the educational and awareness-raising value of animated cartoon techniques.
21 participants from Cuba, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Norway, Philippines, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa and Spain.
Observers from United Kingdom and Denmark.
UNESCO World Heritage Centre
UNESCO Amman Office
The Jordanian National Commission for UNESCO
The department of Antiquities
Members of Alcuni
The UNESCO ASPnet
The International Centre for the Study of Cultural Property (ICCROM).