inSIGHT: play and manage heritage together!

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inSIGHT is a tabletop game that increases disaster risk awareness and action in local communities, by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property).

During 2020, museums and cultural heritage sites suffered issues from natural disasters, to looting and funding cuts. We stated many times in our articles during the past year that one of the priorities in the field is setting preventive policies for sustainable heritage management.

The game serves as a community effort to identify heritage assets, potential threats and local capacity, thus everyone gains an understanding of heritage management. inSIGHT involves 20-50 players of various backgrounds and is set in two stages, Discovery and Priorities for Acting Together.

Materials include white sheets of paper, coloured pencils and markers, sticky notes, building blocks and play-dough, they can differ and include other aspects depending on the environment and the players.

First, the players meet, discuss the rules and are divided into subgroups of 5-10 people. There are facilitators and a note-takers for each group. The facilitators are 4-5 in total, as are the note-takers, and have expert knowledge of heritage management, disaster risk reduction, local governance etc.

During stage 1, for 1 and a half -2 hours, each group has to draw a map of their area, where they identify places of interest, heritage assets, risks and local strengths and capacities. Afterwards, each group presents their map and findings.

©Example of an inSIGHT map created by different community members in Racha, Georgia, 2019. Photo: Georgian National Committee of the Blue Shield

For stage 2, for 1 and a half -2 hours, all participants work in a group and with the facilitators, list and assess the significance of heritage, risks and capacities.  Then the players split into two groups who discuss 4 of heritage assets, silent risks and strengths.

Following the second stage, all players prioritise their findings and decide on a five-step action plan to be taken up from the community and local authorities.

According to ICCROM, the learning outcomes are:

  • Clarity on what constitutes significant heritage for the people.
  • Enhanced understanding of the root causes and chains of impacts that contribute to the creation of disaster risk in a given context.
  • Recognition of how heritage may contribute to a community’s well-being and help to reduce the risk of disasters.
  • Ideas for enhancing disaster resilience, which mainstream concerns for cultural heritage with the proactive engagement of the local community.

inSIGHT serves as a valuable learning exercise and simple approach for local communities to manage their heritage. All community members work together and understand their heritage and the reality of its’ needs and management. Moreover, this game can serve as a team-building activity for community projects or as a tool during introductory meetings.

Overall inSIGHT is a creative and inclusive approach to heritage management, and we cannot wait to use it on our future projects.

I want to learn more:

inSIGHT: A Participatory Game for Enhancing Disaster Risk Governance

Download Game Guide (also attached)

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