The HistoryApp – now also in Istanbul

The HistoryApp – now also in Istanbul

Innovative, integrative, and interactive: The cultural association “dieKunstBauStelle” has been realizing an interdisciplinary media and history project since 2021. A digital and location-based HistoryApp for multimedia access to history. Regional work on the platform began with eight municipalities in the Landsberg district in 2021. International cooperation with universities will now follow. In first place is Turkey’s oldest and largest university, Istanbul University with 60,000 students, founded in 1453. Now a delegation came to Landsberg for advanced training.

The cooperation agreement with Istanbul University and the dieKunstBauStelle association was signed in 2021. “It means a special recognition and requires a great deal of trust to be able to cooperate with a leading institution in the field of education in Turkey,” explains Ensa Filazi, from the university’s Faculty of Literature. First and foremost is the cooperation with the Department of Translation Studies. There, students deal with the transmission between German and Turkish culture, which means much more than just “translating”.

“We have been working with digital conferences since 2021, where topics and methods were taught,” says Wolfgang Hauck, the project leader. Together with Dr. Ensa Filazi and Dr. Neslihan Demez, they have developed a comprehensive study program. Scientific work and the method of the biographical approach were put into practice. This resulted in the “IstanbulHistoryApp” project. With the support of the German-Turkish Youth Bridge, it was now possible to finance the exchange of young people and experts.

The first reception took place in Dießen am Ammersee. There, Mayor Sandra Perzul welcomed the delegation and explained the importance for the target groups of the “DiessenHistoryApp”. Dießen is a pioneer with the HistoryApp and the first contributions are available as Turkish translations. Michael Lutzeier, a cultural officer, who is in charge of the conception and editing in Diessen, did not miss the opportunity to present the contributions to the “Unterbräu” inn and the sculpture of the “Dietz” with personal comments on site.

Photo 1: Petra Freund, Dießen:
f.l.t.r.: Dießen am Ammersee: Anke Neudel, Adil Mert Zümrüt, Dr. Neslihan Demez, Sirin Yavuzyigit, Ceren Özge Tastan, Michael Lutzeier, Alper Akbay, Sandra Perzul, Dr. Ensa Filazi, Wolfgang Hauck

University of Augsburg

The second visit was to the university in Augsburg. Dr. Ergün Özsoy, historian and lecturer in Turkish, explained the local history and how the first tulip in Augsburg is connected to the Ottoman Empire. A tulip bulb came to Augsburg as a gift from a Flemish ambassador, marking the beginning of a long history. One example of many of the common past. Now opportunities for German-Turkish exchange are to be established.

Photo 2: dieKunstBauStelle, University Augsburg:
f.l.t.r.: Sirin Yavuzyigit, Ceren Özge Tastan, Adil Mert Zümrüt, Alper Akbay, Dr. Ergün Özsoy, Dr. Neslihan Demez, Dr. Ensa Filazi, Wolfgang Hauck

“In the background of the project, other academic collaborations are also emerging,” says Hauck, chairman of the Landsberg association dieKunstBauStelle. Jonas Echterbruch from Landsberg is currently working on an audio walk in Landsberg on recent contemporary history, which he will submit as an admission thesis and publish in the LandsbergHistoryApp. The elite Eastern European Studies program at the LMU is developing an audio walk on a post-war topic in Munich.

The interdisciplinary meeting in Landsberg was not only about topics. The participants discussed the scientific methodology and the theory of didactic knowledge transfer. Historian Dr. Edith Raim reported on the current state of theory and envisages further cooperation projects on HistoryApp. Manfred Deiler, President of the European Holocaust Memorial Foundation, was able to report to the students on the work at a memorial site with the practice of research and archive work and guided the delegation through the former concentration camp IIV. Helga Deiler presented a surprise. During the research, she found data on five Jewish prisoners of Turkish origin in the transport lists.

Photo 3: Wolfgang Hauck – Landsberg/ Erpfting
f.l.t.r.: Guided tour of the former Concentration Camp IIV with Manfred Deiler

Alper Akbay, a graduate of the programme, has been involved in the workshop in Turkey from the beginning. He would like to continue working on the HistoryApp. Like many others on the course, he was born in Germany and grew up bilingual. The best prerequisite for this study. “For me, this format of the HistoryApp is a door opener for “Public History”. It makes cultural perspectives as well as historical perspectives accessible in a low-threshold way.”

“The app thus becomes an exploration and navigation tool on a source-based foundation, which opens up many didactic possibilities for us in the subjects of study,” adds Ensa Filazi, academic director of the department. This makes it possible to experience history in places directly on site.

“We have now experienced in Germany how remembrance work at memorial sites as authentic places is changing. The new media combine participatory mediation formats and professional skills,” says Neslihan Demez, also in the academic management of the department.

Photo 4: Barbara Helleis – Landsberg
f.l.t.r.:  Landsberg: Wolfgang Hauck, Anke Neudel, Dr. Edith Raim, Jonas Echterbruch, Manfred Deiler, Ceren Özge Tastan, Sirin Yavuzyigit, Dr. Neslihan Demez, Alper Akbay, Adil Mert Zümrüt, Dr. Ensa Filazi,

Photo 5: Photo Wolfgang Hauck – Landsberg
Working session on the “PeraHistoryApp” and “LandsbergHistoryApp” in Wolfgang Hauck’s media workshop

Now other faculties, such as the humanities and departments of English, French, Persian, and Arabic at the university are being integrated. Therefore, Persian and Arabic sources can now be made accessible. This interdisciplinary kick-off is another building block for the HistoryApp project and is intended to qualify and expand the multilingual version.

Quotes from the participants

“Learning about the complex history of Landsberg and the opening of the Kreiskulturtage was an unforgettable experience. I consider myself very lucky to have participated in a workshop with this wonderful team in a place like Landsberg.”

Adil Mert, Student

“It was my first visit to Germany. Since my childhood, I have only had one image of Germany before my eyes. Landsberg matched this beautiful and great image of Germany. It was like a walk through a fairy tale for me. The training was so efficient and educational. As researchers, we had the opportunity to discuss together how we can integrate our work and research even more intensively into HistoryApp. For me, an important aspect was how we can optimize our research to be able to communicate our work results in a user-friendly and source-based way.”

Ceren Özge Tastan, student and research assistant

“Landsberg am Lech really excited me from both a cultural and historical perspective. I had the opportunity to meet great people and exchange ideas with them. I took away not only interesting but unexpected information from the workshop and the different excursions. This inspires and motivates me for my further work on and with the HistoryApp.”

Alper Akbay, a graduate of the 2021 degree program

University Istanbul

With over 60,000 students, T.C. Istanbul University is one of the leading universities in Turkey. The Faculty of Literature has been training students for the interpreting and translation profession for around 25 years. The department “Interpreting and Translating German” undertakes many projects to familiarise students with partners for the demands of practice. With the translation club “İSÇEV”, the connection to the translator market in Turkey is made. This gives students an insight into the professional life of interpreters.

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