The project

Collaborative creation, documentation and valuation of cultures and heritages

In recent years, the development of digital technologies has given new life to the amateur figure. The web, first with blogs and then with social networks and collaborative platforms, has offered new spaces in which the pro-amateur can find an open and democratic ground where he can express himself and obtain recognition alongside the expert officially in charge of the construction of knowledge.
This phenomenon has particularly affected the field of culture. Faced with this new situation, cultural institutions have shown a growing interest in the creation of participatory approaches and the role that digital technology could play in their mediation and promotion activities. The concern of cultural institutions is not only to better understand these phenomena of participatory construction of knowledge, but above all to direct the energy and enthusiasm of amateurs towards museums, archives, libraries, theaters, etc. Cultural contribution platforms – defined as any digital device that allows amateurs, or more generally citizens, to contribute to the construction of knowledge related to cultural objects in interaction with one or more cultural institutions – have emerged as a response to this need.
Even if a certain number of cultural contribution platforms have been launched to invite amateurs to participate in the definition of cultural and heritage knowledge, the relationships between institutions and amateurs that are established through these devices are not always linear and transparent. If the institution sees the need to interact with these key figures, it is also confronted with the difficulty of giving them a place that would preserve their freedom of expression. Similarly, amateurs who begin their activity independently are often attracted to the institutional framework that can offer recognition or visibility to their action. However, within this institutional framework, they are not always comfortable.
Today, academic research on this subject, especially in France, is not yet sufficiently developed to support the associative and institutional world in this opening towards the citizen. In particular, there is not yet a scientific and technical expertise that allows the dissemination of digital platforms as a means of building a collaborative approach to knowledge. Based on this observation, the COLLABORA project aims to develop a theoretical, empirical and political reflection on new digital platforms for the creation, documentation and valorisation of cultures and heritages. To do so, the project coordinator will federate in a single interdisciplinary team the necessary expertise in order to achieve three objectives: a theoretical objective (epistemology of platforms); an empirical objective (uses of platforms); a political objective (platforms in action). From a theoretical point of view, by questioning the epistemic and political models of these platforms, between participative sciences and amateur practices, this project aims to propose a new approach privileging the relationship between amateurs and institutions and the analysis of platforms as a « frontier framework » common to the different actors acting on them. From this theoretical framework and the analysis of the uses of existing platforms, this project plans as an ultimate step the co-creation of recommendations and their validation through the co-creation of a platform, by engaging in this process the main actors of the project: institutions, amateurs, researchers and engineers.