We will follow the cultural traces of the Krabat saga from Germany to Croatia uncovering the hidden web of shared oral heritage.
In times when Europe is again facing possible disintegration, triggered mostly by economic problems, people and media focus on cultural differences which separate us. We want to reverse this process by focusing on, processing and transmitting those cultural aspects and shared beliefs that have always connected us. For this we use our common intangible heritage, since it has the power to negate national political borders. Sagas and stories about heroes are source of inspiration to all people and today gain increased popularity amongst younger people. Why not use already existing stories and uncover European narratives like Krabat, in order to start a positive discourse on the ongoing cultural exchange?
The aim we pursue with our project is to increase the public visibility of cultural connections and shared identities which are manifested in oral heritage, by uncovering the hidden web of stories. We want people to see the documentary movie, enter into dialogues and use the DCM, a tool which allows to actively - by adding data - engage with the Krabat saga also after our project ends. In this framework, the Krabat saga serves as a pilot project, whose ethnographic methodology can then be easily be transferred to similar projects of shared heritage. By doing this, we hope to encourage young people to discover other stories in their regions, to actively engage in heritage transmission and to develop an awareness of shared identities in Europe.
Fundament of our project is both research on the topic and establishment of a network of stakeholders - organisations and persons involved with the Krabat saga. Our methodology is extensive ethnographic fieldwork consisting of interviews, documentation of visual traces, photographic evidence and a register of our findings. The material collected during our fieldwork will be post-processed to serve for the production of the documentary movie. We will create the DCM, using Geographic Information System technology, to spatially and temporally show how the Krabat saga evolved, in cooperation with video and IT experts. The key step will be movie screenings and launching of the DCM, with all stakeholders. The map will be handed over to the Sorbic school in Cottbus, to administer and enlarge it.
We appreciate all kinds of input from the community and are always open constructive criticism concerning our idea, methodology and implementation.