ECHO (European Cultural Heritage on Stage) is an international pilot project in the field of culture, heritage and arts that aims to enhance cultural production and reinforce the European sense of belonging by connecting contemporary artistic creation with Dark Cultural Heritage of local communities in Europe. Photography, video, painting and crafts are the means to be used to reveal the tangible and intangible local heritage.
It is argued that dealing with traumatic experiences and traumatic heritage has therapeutic effects on local communities (heritage owners) and on visitors of traumatic heritage sites (heritage receivers). In specific, ECHO focuses on “Dark Heritage” as a part of local identity shaped by the “unknown” and “unmentioned” facts that traumatize(d) a group of people and determine(d) their culture.
Villages and cities marked from traumatic events related to wars, genocides, massive killings, ethnic conflict, political or social oppression, violence and death have those moments incised in their heritage, tangible and intangible.
In addition, war, and conflict-related sites and stories are present in all the European countries, and therefore the related heritage can become the starting dialogue point for European artists and citizens.