Conference in Caen

At the Abbaye aux Dames in Caen (Normandy), the French AWE partner La Fabrique de Patrimoines en Normandie organized a conference in the context of Atlantic Wall Europe on 21 January 2020. The central question was how knowledge about the Atlantic Wall and the Second World War can be transferred to diverse audiences, and what new approaches and forms of interaction lend themselves to this.

Improve interactions with visitors

Participants had the opportunity to share experiences and get new ideas to improve interaction with their visitors. After a brief introduction to the origins of European Bunker Day and AWE's plans to extend it to all Atlantic Wall countries, the first of three roundtable discussions took place with examples of innovative ways of transferring knowledge. Theater on location and storytelling based on historical documents or objects were discussed.

During the second round, participants presented and discussed examples of innovative discourse and new forms of contact with the public such as art manifestations, re-enactment or festivals such as the Bunker Love festival in Denmark.

School classes

The third and final round of discussion was devoted to a specific group of visitors, namely school classes. Participants tried to find answers to questions such as: how do you approach school groups, how can you adapt the conversation with students to their wishes and needs, and how do you deal with sensitive topics pedagogically? Pierre Schmidt, director of La Fabrique de Patrimoines en Normandie, concluded at the end of the day that the different interpretations and forms of transmission, together with the work of museums, keep history alive. By approaching history from different points of view, interesting interaction arises. It is therefore important that this work continues, says Schmidt.