Slovak Competition Held Under the Auspices of UNESCO
"It is important that students look at the UNESCO heritage from the perspective of young people because it supports the diversity that builds the basis of the human heritage." This statement by Michael Mlyná, Ambassador and Director General for International Organisations, Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic appeared as a slogan for the Award Ceremony of Slovakia’s 12th EUSTORY History Competition in Bratislava on June 23rd, 2017. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs hosted the event of the Slovak competition that was held under the auspices of the Slovak Commission for UNESCO for the first time.
Forty-four students participated in the History Competition 2016/17. Their task was to look for unique historical traditions, buildings or natural elements in their local surroundings. Furthermore, they were asked what they would propose to the World’s Cultural Heritage of humanity.
Zuzana Jezerská, competition organiser and Director of the Slovak Center for Communication and Development, opened the ceremony by announcing that the jury members were impressed by the quality of the entries. "This is remarkable, especially as secondary school students are confronted with criteria of a regular research work in the competition, very often for the first time," she stated. She pointed out how the competition design is connected to the concept of global citizenship as students not only investigate Slovak and European history, but also critically reflecting on their attitudes and values. Ambassador Mlyná encouraged the young students to present their findings about Slovak history and heritage to the world by means of the new media and to actively promote its reflection.
After delivering greetings from the EUSTORY International Office in Hamburg, Katja Fausser explained how EUSTORY fosters cross-border dialogue amongst students and presented how professionals who are engaged in ambitious historical project work in their respective countries. She congratulated the prize winners and invited them to apply for the EUSTORY Next Generation Summit in autumn 2017, when 100 EUSTORY prize winners from more than 20 countries will meet in Berlin.
In total, 10 prizes were awarded in this competition and most of the prize winners presented their findings in the course of the award ceremony. The winning work was handed in by Barbora Barborová and Dominika Ježová, who attended the Milan Rúfus High School in Žiarnad Hronom. They followed the traces in their home town Štále and took a close look at the remains of what has been a flourishing farming area, which is now a collection of many quite remote empty farms that tell of better times in the past. The research duo interviewed farmers and older people from their village and collected a lot of information about everyday life, working habits, crafts and tools. Additionally, the students produced a film presenting results from their research but also artistically depicted the change that their home village has seen during the last decades. Within this filmic journey through the landscapes of their homeland they artistically commented on the transformations within their community.
Amongst others, Adam Benko, studying at the Business Academy of Poprad, presented his third-prize contribution »Blueprint shop Elemira Montka in Hranovnice«. His research focused on traditional manufacturing of blue printed fabrics that was invented in the beginning of the 17th century. The local manufacture he worked about hosts the oldest “Mangel” for blue prints that still exists in this region. Representatives from the UNESCO invited Adam to introduce his findings to the work of the group of representatives from five countries who are currently preparing an inscription of the blueprinting to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
For more details about the Slovak Competition see http://eustory.org/competition-topics-slovak-republic
Watch the winning video: