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Dear Partners, Team, Friends!
The year 2022 passed for me and for the NGO "Tustan" under the sign of HERI – Heritage Emergency Rescue Initiative. On the evening of March 3, at the beginning of a full-scale war, Ihor Poshivaylo came to Lviv with the mission of the Maidan Museum, we met in the evening at a gas station for a coffee, and within an hour we were on our way to Tustan's office to launch HERI – Heritage Emergency Rescue Initiative. The next morning, there was a meeting with the "old" museum security team from the time of the ministry-2014, and well, that’s how we started.What, in fact, can we do to save the heritage? What is really useful and within our limits? What is our resource? Who can work "day and night"? Will Kyiv be encircled? Will we be able to negotiate? Will partners abroad support us? Won't it be too late tomorrow? The VUCA world is in full swing.For me, this year consists of a lot of stories that we won't tell the kids (but maybe the followers).HERI expeditions to document the losses began with a call from Maria Zadorozhna: Borodyanka has been unoccupied, we need to save the locker with the rooster, what should we do? Well, everything was clear: a locker with a rooster should end up in the Museum [of Maidan], but first it should be documented in detail (a 3D model with the method of photogrammetry from a drone), plus logistics, emergency services, military, permits, anti-terrorist defense, checkpoint, post-apocalyptic surrealism on the ruins of the 21st century. Then there was the church in Viazivka, and objects in Kharkiv region, Chernihiv region. Expeditions have become difficult, complex, from collecting and verifying information to documenting the loss of cultural heritage for its restoration and criminal proceedings. Cooperation with WMF and SCRI-CER gave us systematicity: 4 survey areas (Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv), from verification of lists and losses to documentation for stabilization, recovery, and forensic cases.From cooperation with Berta (Berta De Sancristobal, UNESCO), the blue "lake" grew, which is the concept of the national infrastructure of heritage data, movable and immovable, based on current international standards.Capacity. "Tell me what can I do to help?" does not work during the war. It is the leadership that saves, when team members take responsibility and cover entire areas, without micromanagement and control. The skills and knowledge acquired before the war, the trust and capacity we are building do save us.Purpose. At first, there was chaos, we were trying to do everything at once, trying to help everyone: help with evacuation, materials, money. Leadership Course for Cultural Heritage Stewards in Challenging Circumstances, held by SCRI and CER, helped Ihor and I find a focus, for me it is heritage monitoring and the creation of an information system (HeMo, Heritage Monitoring Lab). Today, HERI is an umbrella initiative that unites a number of institutions, projects, and many like-minded people.Building capacity, minimizing losses, and preparing for recovery are our first goals. War creates post-traumatic stress disorder. But it can also be a boost for post-traumatic growth. This war of Russia is against our identity, history, property, a war for heritage. Therefore, the big goal is a new role and understanding of heritage in society, and careful management of it.I am very grateful for this year, for everything created and experienced together – the Team, Tustan, Partners.And incredibly grateful to Ihor for this call.
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