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The Cetate neighborhood in Timișoara under the limelights of Spotlight Heritage, through theater performances with state-of-the-art technologies
5 October 2022
Two distinct but completely opposite worlds met through a student passionate about vintage and a technology enthusiast. An urban incursion to rediscover Timișoara's heritage.
The Spotlight Heritage project took the Timișoara audience into a complex world, where the history and stories of the past of the Cetate neighborhood were experiencedthrough a theater performance, with the use of digital technology and elements of augmented reality. The two performances of the theater show "Cetate neighborhood, under the spotlight!" managed to make the culture, innovation and history of the city more visible, more palpable and more accessible to the participants, who became active explorers of the history and science of the city of Timișoara.
Hundreds of visitors, both young and old, enjoyed the many possibilities the digital world offers us, which allow us to "defy" the boundaries of time and explore the culture and heritage of our city, through means that captivate our senses, in a modern transposition of Timisoara traditions.
The event was carried out in two performances, by the Politehnica University of Timișoara and The National Museum Of Banat, together with the Thespis Student Theater and the Diogenes Association and is part of the series of events dedicated to the cultural program Timișoara European Cultural Capital 2023held within the framework of the Patrimoniul sub reflectoare / Spotlight Heritage Timișoara project, co-financed by the Municipality of Timișoara through the Project Center, Timiș County Council.
"What was", "What is" and "What will be" intertwined through technological vision and artistic creativity
The third theater show among the events that explores, neighborhood by neighborhood, the memory and stories of the residents of Timisoara yesterday and today, wanting to highlight the cultural heritage of the city, took place on two consecutive days, October 4 and 5, within the Technical Museum of the UPT – Experimentarium TM, where the participants became active explorers of history and science that have an important meaning in the city's heritage.
These two evenings were extremely special - stories were built, we connected with people from the present, but also from the past, and managed to revive our civic consciousness. In this period, Timișoara is taking important steps towards collective awareness of the need for culture, and the Spotlight Heritage Timișoara events try to support all actors in the urban life, regardless of their role, to rediscover aspects of their city life.
An Experimentarium of imagination, designed to open new perspectives in the collective mind
The Technical Museum of UPT and Experimentarium TM, the place where the two theater performances took place, represent a symbol of Timisoara's technological past and future, a place that invites you to a world of experiments, under the motto "experience it yourself".
The direction of the show was inspired by the exhibition "Spotlight Heritage Timisoara. Cetate neighborhood - A world in the mirror”, organized this very year, by Politehnica University of Timișoara and The National Museum Of Banat, which is based on the selection of literary texts collected by prof. univ. dr. Smaranda Vultur and assistant univ. dr. Roxana Rogobete, as well as the memories collected from the oral history of Timișoara, used by the Group of Oral History and Cultural Anthropology, which are combined with the original poems, created for Spotlight Heritage Timișoara, by the well-known Timișoara poet Robert Șerban.
The original aspect was provided by the use of digital technology and elements of augmented reality, elements made by students from the "Spotlight Heritage Timișoara" project team from the Politehnica University of Timișoara.
Ancient history explored using today's technology
The project aims to build multiple layers of personal memories and data from the history of neighborhoods, communities, ethnicities and their inhabitants that are presented digitally through smart applications and physically, through cultural performances, using state-of-the-art technologies.
In the cast of the Cetate neighborhood, under the spotlight! show, the dramatic adaptation and direction were made by Mădălina Ghițescu-Petre, actress at the Merlin Theater and associate director at Thespis Student Theater, theatrical production: Ionel Mărginean, head of works Faculty of Construction, Polytechnic University Timișoara, actors: Eliza Cheșa, Maria Dombrov and Alexandru Cătălin Timiș.
The concept and technical-artistic development were capitalized by Dr. Diana Andone, director of the e-Learning Center, Politehnica University of Timișoara and Marius Cornea, museographer, The National Museum Of Banat.
The creation of augmented/virtual reality experiences and projection were carried out by eng. Marius Tătaru, eng. Silviu Berzescu, Masters in Multimedia Technologies, Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technologies and Rafael Leucuța, Politehnica University of Timișoara.
The city – a chapter in our life
For an extra interaction with the spectators who were eagerly waiting for the show, the Spotlitght Heritage team invited them to play a game, where they "traveled" into the atmosphere of old Timisoara to recognize visual elements from the city's past.
On this occasion, the participants found out what the places used to look like before, places where they live their personal story today, thus contributing with their own stories to the creation of multiple layers of personal memories and data from the history of neighborhoods and communitiesMany people expressed their interest in checking their city's cultural heritage knowledge, receiving at the end of the game, prizes that will remind them of the project and this experience.
Community engagement and technology-enhanced experiences in Timisoara neighborhoods
This event represented the implementation team's desire to innovate the way a city's history and built heritage are presented to the general public, in an artistic, dynamic manner, so as to facilitate cultural awareness and education, especially of younger generations.
Through this show, Politehnica University of Timișoara , in partnership withThe National Museum Of Banat and Thespis Student Theaterpromoted and capitalized on the cultural and material heritage of Timișoara through the artistic and digital augmentation of the stories and historical buildings in the Cetate Neighbourhood, highlighting multiculturalism, the diversity of ethnicities, architectural styles and historical paths, offering stories that deserve to be perpetuated and artistically valued.
The theater performance recorded in an AR multimedia experience can be viewed here (coming soon).