By Katie Wright
The HERA Cultural Encounters & Uses of the Past conference was held on 15th and 16th September 2016 at the beautiful Břevnov Monastery in Prague. The UPIER project was represented by Catherine Schenk (Project Leader), Stefano Battilossi (PI) and Katie Wright (Project Administrator).
The conference started with an introduction and welcome from Professor Wojciech Sowa, Chair of the HERA network, who welcomed partners from both Cultural Encounters and Uses of the Past projects. In the subsequent sessions there was a mix of panel discussions, performances and installations which allowed us to discover the research outputs of the Cultural Encounters projects, as well as gain valuable advice and insight from the project partners.
The sessions attended by the UPIER team included: Managing a Successful HERA project, Exhibitions and Dissemination, Engaging with the Media and Knowledge Exchange. During the networking sessions we had the chance to get to know fellow Uses of the Past project partners, as well as speak to the Irish Research Council (IRC) staff. On the second day the Uses of the Past projects were launched, with a short presentation from each of the project leaders. There was also a poster gallery which proved useful for learning about each of the HERA projects.
The Principal Investigators also held their first management meeting while in Prague to set out the programme of activities and tasks for the next six months.
The joint conference was a great introduction to HERA and the IRC. It also allowed us to gain useful insight and advice from Cultural Encounters projects. We were able become acquainted and network with our fellow Uses of the Past project colleagues and form alliances which we hope will be jointly beneficial to our projects.