VAST – Values Across Space and Time consists of a European H2020 project (Grant Agreement No 101004949) that aims to identify (moral) values and investigate the transformation of fundamental European values (including freedom, democracy, equality, Rule of Law, tolerance, dialogue, dignity) across space and time. Based on the analysis of values and the aim of raising awareness of their reinforcement, the project aims to understand how they are perceived by different publics and to contribute to their presence in public discourse. It aims to:
a) investigate existing collections of intangible assets (expressed in different places and at significant moments in European history) and trace and interconnect the values emerging in them, in particular in three areas: theatre (focusing on the ancient Greek drama of the 6th century BC), science (focusing on the Scientific Revolution and natural philosophy documents of the 17th century) and folklore (focusing on folktales/fairy tales of the 19th century);
b) collect and digitize the objects and study how these values (found in the narratives) are communicated implicitly or explicitly to various audiences; c) collect and digitize the experiences of audiences who are recipients of these messages, such as theatre-goers, museum visitors and pupils/students participating in educational activities.
The project aspires to bring European values to the forefront by using cutting-edge technologies to create a digital platform to facilitate the creation of continuously updated knowledge by combining storytelling with crowdsourcing. Through this platform, the project will help cultural and artistic industries to reuse and repurpose this material by improving their communication approaches and revisit moral values in the context of modern society.
The project integrates 4 post-doc researchers. The team was responsible for the preparation of several reports and the development of textual, historical and cultural analysis methodologies to be used by all project partners. In addition, short stories were collected and selected for further comparative analysis using the annotation tool created by the researchers and applied to various materials. in 2021 and 2022 the team presented papers at international events and submitted scientific papers for publication in leading journals.
Starting in 2019 and ending in 2023, the VAST project is an international consortium between eight partners from five countries: the National Centre of Scientific Research Demokritos (Greece), Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece), Lisbon NOVA University – NOVA (Portugal), Fairytale Museum (Cyprus), Semantika (Slovenia), Museo Galileo (Italy) and the Athens & Epidaurus Festival (Greece). The Portuguese participation is led by Dr. Sara Silva.