The ECHN Rural Hacking Workshop, a collaborative event of 24 members from creative hubs, coworking, and coliving spaces across Europe, was a memorable one, not just for the participants but also for the community of Anceu. One of the significant outcomes of the workshop was the creation of an impactful project called 'Pegadas do Recordo', or 'Footprints of Memory'. The initiative sought to unearth and preserve the invisible heritage of Anceu, transforming forgotten narratives into tangible experiences through the power of storytelling and technology.
On the final day of the Rural Hacking Workshop, participants joined hands to embark on a unique journey, one that traced the memories of the past. Working in collaboration with local villagers, participants recorded the forgotten stories of the village, ranging from the tale of the submerged village of Eiras, memories of playful football matches, to the historic legacy of the local water mills. By working closely with the villagers, the participants ensured that each narrative starred a villager, thus honouring the lived experiences and memories of the local community.
The process of recording these narratives was more than just an activity; it was an interactive experience that nurtured connections between insiders and outsiders. Every story was a shared experience - an opportunity to connect with the community, understand their experiences, and see the world from their perspective. For instance, participants met with Pepe, who recounted the story of the flooded village, Laurita, who nostalgically recalled her visits to the mills with her mother, and Casiano, who reminisced about playing soccer with friends from three different villages.
The captured stories are being turned into tangible footprints through QR and NFC codes, which will be placed around the village. This integration of technology and heritage is a bold step towards preserving cultural narratives, allowing visitors to tap into the rich cultural fabric of the area with just a click or a touch.
The ECHN workshop might have ended, but the journey of 'Pegadas do Recordo' continues with Rural Hackers. The plan is to keep this project alive, encouraging participation from all those who wish to contribute to the preservation of the village's cultural history. As more people engage with these stories, the hope is that this initiative will create a ripple effect, inspiring other communities to undertake similar initiatives.
To celebrate the completion of the Rural Hacking Workshop and the initial phase of the 'Pegadas do Recordo', participants organised the "Comer e Cantar Event," a community gathering that perfectly embodied the spirit of the workshop. Local artist Marcelo Dobode, a passionate preserver of traditional Galician music and culture, led the event, allowing everyone to sing, dance, and celebrate the incredible connections and memories created during the workshop.
'Pegadas do Recordo' project serves as a testament to the transformative power of collective storytelling and creative collaboration in preserving cultural heritage. As it continues to evolve and grow, the project stands as a shining example of how initiatives like these can play a crucial role in maintaining the identity and vibrancy of rural communities, ensuring that the footprints of the past continue to inform and enrich the future.