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The history of Timișoara, told using theater performances and state-of-the-art technologies through the digital culture project Spotlight Heritage
3 August 2022
The cultural heritage of Timișoara was discovered by a large audience, in a theater show, with the use of digital technology and elements of augmented reality, which brought stories from the past to the stage, whose echoes are felt in the present, in an atypical journey through the memories of the Iosefin neighborhood of yesteryear.
The first theater show among the three events that will highlight the cultural heritage from different neighborhoods of Timișoara took place on Tuesday, August 2, in Mocioni Square in the Iosefin neighborhood, near the home of the female character who inspired the story.
The event was organized by Politehnica University of Timișoara, through the e-Learning Center and the Multimedia Center 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 2023, held within the framework of Spotlight Heritage Timisoara Spotlight Heritage Timișoara team, project co-financed by the Timișoara City Hall through the Project Center, Timiș County Council.
Foray into the world of the Iosefin neighborhood of yesteryear
The event entitled "Iosefin neighborhood, under the spotlight!" brought to life the story of a female character who lived in the neighborhood, through a meeting between past and present, and was inspired by the exhibition "Spotlight Heritage Timișoara. Iosefin neighborhood and Valeria dr. Pintea", organized in 2019 by the National Museum of Banat and the Politehnica University of Timișoara, which is based on the novel Valeria dr. Pintea. A family novel (Marineasa Publishing House, Timișoara, 2013) by Mrs. Liana Maria Gomboșiu, Valeria's niece. The original aspect was provided by the use of digital technology and elements of augmented reality, elements created by students from the "Spotlight Heritage Timișoara" project team, from the Politehnica University of Timișoara.
In the distribution of the show Iosefin neighborhood, under the spotlight!, aadaptation and direction were made by Mădălina Ghițescu-Petre, actress at the Merlin Theater and associate director at Thespis Theater, theatrical production: Ionel Mărginean, head of works Faculty of Construction, Politehnica University Timișoara, directing and scenography assistance: Maria Dombrov, artistic director in the Diogenes Cultural Association projects, actors: Valeria: Eliza Cheșa, student at the Faculty of Architecture, Politehnica University of Timișoara, the young man: Cristian Petruș, PhD student at the Faculty of Construction, Politehnica University of Timișoara, live music : Alexandru Cătălin Timiș, graduate of the Faculty of Mechanics, Politehnica University Timișoara.
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, 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 Timișoara.
Community engagement and technology-enhanced experiences in the Iosefin neighborhood
The interaction within the show took place with the active involvement of the audience. Spectators took part in a game created by the Spotlight Heritage Timișoara team, where they had to recognize visual elements from Timișoara's past. Almost a hundred people expressed their interest in testing their knowledge about the city's cultural heritage, receiving prizes at the end that will remind them of the Spotlight Heritage Timișoara project.
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 attractive, artistic, dynamic manner, so as to facilitate cultural awareness and education, especially of younger generations.
Through this show, the Politehnica University of Timișoara, in partnership with the National Museum of Banat and Thespis Student Theatre, promoted and capitalized on the material cultural heritage of Timișoara through the artistic and digital augmentation of stories and historical buildings in the Iosefin neighborhood, highlighting multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, 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: