Three Gorges Virtual Ecomuseum

Three Gorges Virtual Ecomuseum



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Taff Gorge (part of a gridded ecomuseum)

Every home is special to the person who lives there. However, place is often itself an event, a center of meaning. For example, ‘Ground Zero’, ‘Tiananmen Square’, and ‘Auschwitz’ are not mere locations. They are not undifferentiated spaces. All are dynamic places, expressive aspects of cultures. In their unique ways, these places say something about politics, pain, triumph, and loss. They are repositories of memory, conveyors of rhetoric. The experience of being in these cultural heritage locations is very different from the experience of being elsewhere.

A gridded eco-museum (GEM) is a virtual cultural heritage location created to exhibit the identity of a place based on local curation of its unique social objects. Eco museums originated in France, the concept being developed by Georges Henri Rivière and Hugues de Varine, who coined the term ‘ecomusée’ in 1971.The term "éco" is a shortened form for "écologie". It refers especially to a new idea of holistic interpretation of local cultural heritage as a facet of the human ecological niche. As an on-line format, the display/educational framework of an eco-museum is a geographical information system. It consists of a map which is gridded with hyperlinked ‘hot spots’ and scaled according to the topographical detail required to precisely locate social objects. The social objects are represented as digitised files and web URLs. Hyperlinks are created from the gridded map to the social objectes to sustain a local place-narrative augmented with references to their wider significance.

It is a gallery of the Three Gorges Ecomuseum, the other sites being Cwm Clydach and Cwmavon, all of are currently under development to function as exemplars about how communities can develop their own ecomuseums using free social media.


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