The project examine the potential of 3D and other digital technologies for heritage communication in a wider museum/heritage context with an aim to enhance active participation and creative potential of teenagers (13-19) and young adults (20-40), traditionally hard to reach heritage user groups.
The project is conceived towards the establishing of innovative approaches (digital heritage) to address multicultural and intergenerational issues. As a focus group of heritage users, Slovenian Australians will be observed, since as a Slovenian, I am personally interested in mentioned population.
In the 2011 Census (Australian Bureau of Statistics), 17,150 responses were towards Slovene ancestry, but according to the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Canberra, it is generally believed that a total of around 25,000 people of Slovenian descent living in Australia. Due to its small population, projects related to this target ethnic group can function well as a pilot for other similar groups in Australia.
In 2014 the Slovenian Association Melbourne organised the Essay and Lego Competition I am a Slovenian Too (e-book compiled by Draga Gelt). The aim of the essay competition was for the young Slovenians of later generations to express their feelings and if they feel a Slovenian. In 70% of all essays (33) Slovenian food culture is mentioned. As an important “indicator” of identity, food is as well noted by Dr Marina Lukšič Hacin in her video interview (from 04:00) published by the Slovenia Australia channel in 2012.
Culinary traditions of Slovenian Australians are well presented also in a printed book by Dr Elizabeth Tomažič, From Hands and Hearts: Slovenian Recipes in Australia (Melbourne, 2011). Unfortunately, the book is sold out and it can (if you or your friends don’t have it at home) only be borrow in a few libraries, such as the National Library of Australia and the State Library of Victoria. In a digital way, individual online publications, such as Facebook posts are addressing this topic and they are well “liked” and commented with positive thoughts by various users (e.g. visit a Facebook page of the Slovenian Consulate South Australia). However, a comprehensive hub of culinary heritage of Slovenian Australians is not available in an interactive online format.
Is food therefore a way of intergenerational, cross-class and multicultural collaboration of Slovenian Australians and other migrants (mixed marriages, etc.) in Australia? As intangible heritage, how well Slovenian culinary culture is preserved in Australia?
A reuse of (culinary) heritage can offer various opportunities for innovation driven society, but it needs to be communicated to the future digital generations on appropriate way. This research therefore explore on which way digital technologies can aid younger generations of Slovenian Australians to preserve and communicate Slovenian culinary heritage in Australia – and by this how their active participation and creative potential can be enhanced.