The first twelve Social Media Volunteers for Heritage presenting all regions of Europe – from Spain in the West to Turkey in the East, from Norway in the North to Albania and Greece in the South. The professional background of the volunteers is very diverse, too – they have education in heritage linked topics as architecture, archaeology or history of arts, but also in other fields as geography or internet technologies. All of the Social Media Volunteers had been engaged previously for heritage – by creating a non-government organisation, by managing a blog on heritage linked issues or by participating in heritage volunteering projects.
Find the profiles of the volunteers below.
Alma Kaurāte-Java was born in Riga, Latvia. She studied Management and Theory of Culture followed by Museum and Heritage studies in the Latvian Academy of Culture. Living between Riga and Sigulda, she enjoys things and spaces with (his)stories and is keen to discover and rediscover places around her. Her main interest is the evolvement and connection between traditions, crafts and lifestyles.
Benedicte Helegeer was born in Bruges, Belgium. When she was 10, she received a computer game about Tutankhamun and has been fascinated by Ancient Egypt ever since. Eight years later, she began her studies in Archaeology at the University of Leuven, with a minor in Egyptology. She recently graduated her master’s degree in Archaeology and is now pursuing a Master in European Studies. She authors the blog “Heritage on the GO” where she publishes stories about heritage based on her travels in Belgium.
Carola Neydenbock was born in Germany. She studied Colour Technology / Surface Technology in Wuppertal and Heritage Management at the Martin Luther University Halle– Wittenberg. Currently she lives in Stuttgart, where she works for a magazine specialised on paint and varnishing. Carola is enthusiastic about history, architecture from different time periods and colour – and she loves when they all come just together.
Emeline Pelzer was born in France and currently resides in Germany. She studied European Cultural Policies and Management at the University of Paris where, as part of her master’s degree, she worked at Versailles for the Association of European Royal Residences (ARRE). She is currently interning at the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg in Potsdam.
Jacopo Ibello was born in Latina, Italy and studied Geography and Industrial Heritage Management at the Universities of Bologna and Padua. He lives in Bologna and works as an Industrial Heritage consultant for companies, public institutions and NGOs. He is the founder and president of Save Industrial Heritage, an association committed to creating awareness of the value of industrial culture through exhibitions, conferences, guided tours and other projects.
Katarina Brkljačić Netopil was born in Zagreb, Croatia. She studied History and History of Art at the University of Zagreb. She lives in Zagreb and works as a conservator in the Department of Heritage Protection for the Republic of Croatia's Ministry of Culture. Her field of specialisation is the protection of mobile and intangible heritage, as well as murals and frescoes. She has conducted numerous art workshops, worked as a guide in state museums, and curated a few exhibitions. To date, she has also published some articles and catalogues. Krupali Parekh is a Software Programmer from India currently based in Oslo, Norway. Along with her full-time job as a programmer, her interest in heritage has motivated her to pursue a distance-learning course in Heritage Management at the University College Dublin in Ireland. She likes to use her free time to contribute towards the cause of heritage. One of her favourite hobbies is to travel and experience different places and cultures.
Libe Fernandez Torróntegui is an avid sportsperson and an optimist from the Basque Country, Spain. She is a qualified architect with a post-graduate degree in Refurbishment, Restoration and Architectural Heritage from the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña in Barcelona, Spain. In 2013, she started reharq.com, an online blog that acts as a reference publication for the spread of heritage in the Spanish language. The innovative way in which reharq* approaches heritage issues has made the project worthy of various national and international awards. Libe is furthermore part of the governing council of UNESCO Basque Country, holding the chair of Secretary. Besides reharq*, she also runs a communication business that works at an international level and that is based on the creation of content specialised in cultural heritage. The goal of this content is to experience heritage as it is – identity, culture, enjoyment, tradition and future.
Marita Oikonomidou comes from Greece and is studying Architecture-Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is interested in the preservation, management and promotion of cultural – and especially architectural – heritage, having participated in numerous trainings, seminars and volunteering projects across Greece and broader Europe pertaining to this field. She also works as the Volunteering and Social Media Coordinator for HERMeS, a non-profit Greek NGO for the documentation, preservation, management and dissemination of tangible and intangible cultural heritage with the aid of new technologies and digital applications.
Mirjan Sulejmani was born in Tirana, Albania. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage at the University of Tirana and he just started the second phase of his academic education studying towards a Master in Archaeology. Mirjan has participated in several regional restoration camps around Balkan region as well as in archaeological excavations in Korçë, Albania.
Özge Toktaş was born in Izmir, Turkey. She studied History at Istanbul Bilgi University and is currently doing her MSc. on the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Kadir Has University. She lives and works in Istanbul.
Stenette van den Berg was born and raised in South Africa. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the “Dynamics of Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Management” (DYCLAM) in Europe and hopes to continue with a PhD upon its completion. She loves to travel, volunteer and get involved in causes she believes in. She is interested in just about anything that concerns History or Cultural Heritage. She is a fan of amateur theatre, ‘fun facts’ and Victorian-era literature, and believes that anything can be achieved if you are willing to work hard enough for it.