Some members of ESACH at the meeting in Girona / 2018
Inspired by the announcement of a European Year of Cultural Heritage the European Students’ Association for Cultural Heritage (ESACH) was established in 2017 by university students at the University of Passau. Today, ESACH has become the first still growing interdisciplinary and cross-generational network in the field. ESACH currently brings together Bachelor, Master and PhD students at the same time as young professionals till 30 years, working with or interested in culture & heritage from all kinds of academic disciplines and is made up of members from various European universities and similar organizations.
Currently ESACH brings together academic disciplines as Heritage Conservation, Art History, Heritage Studies and Management, Anthropology and Law.
Our general vision is to actively contribute towards the reconnection of the notions of culture and heritage. That means that we understand that culture can exist because it changes, but culture is adapting and evolving with the people who create, preserve, share and use it. That’s why we think that heritage as a cultural concept in 2018 should be reconsidered in and for the specific cultural contexts of our 21st century.
Our goal is also to highlight the perspective of a group of young people asking questions around how to memorize our past and the present in the future. We are open to collaborating and developing ideas for sharing and safeguarding cultural heritage across Europe. With our engagement and research, we hope to attract interest, and have the opportunity to help make visible what we as young Europeans regard as meaningful in the heritage sector.
At the same time, we hope that ESACH will become a reference among young Europeans. We want to contribute being a new form of connection between society and the cultural heritage. Therefore, it is in the DNA of ESACH collaboration with social organizations, cultural association and cultural enterprises in different countries of the EU, approaching to the latent roots of our cultures.
Where various cultural institutions already show interest in collaborating with younger generations, we aim to establish a mutual exchange, exploring possible similar goals and potentials of our different approaches. This diversity may be challenging but also enriching for all of us to build genuine bridges.
We ask: How do we engage with heritage? How and why do we protect heritage as genuine element of a contemporary cultural system? What do young generations state as heritage and how do they want to safeguard it? We as ESACH are striving for a parti-cipatory way of involvement and with our research approaches and ideas, we are open to take part in the “heritage discourse” and in safeguarding heritage for us and future generations.
On our way we are furthermore eager to capture the lasting interest and attention for the constant scientific tasks and everyday struggles surrounding cultural heritage within the general university commu-nities even beyond the EU by focusing on its European, its connecting dimension: our cooperation with AEGEE-Europe during the EYCH 2018 is therefore our great success.