Wachtzeit Worldwide, signing off…

And so today arrives, Halloween, and my final as curator of Wachtzeit Worldwide. What a fun month it has been! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute. It’s amazing to look back to April when we, the development team, started exchanging ideas after visiting key Roman heritage sites in and around Aalen. We knew then the project would have an international element which would take place in the digital/virtual space, I’m so happy I got to oversee and curate this part of the project.

The Wachtzeit website will remain the best place to dive into the project content, I will I the coming days reorder some of the content and add more to make it even more user friendly, it will act as an archive of the project and most importantly an archive of the content we received from the public. It is from this archive that our ‘Musical Archaeologist’ Mark Wardale will uncover the inspiration for a brand-new piece of music, which will be a unique and innovative interpretation of Wachtzeit. 

Although a more formal evaluation of the project will be undertaken, here are some of my initial thoughts: 

The ambition to connect Aalen’s roman heritage with people across the world has certainly been realised. Our content across social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok) has been viewed over thirty thousand times and we’ve received interactions from all over the world, including Italy, Korea, and the United States. One of my personal favourite moments was our ‘pronunciation’ video, which saw people from various countries saying ‘Wachtzeit’ however they felt it should be pronounced, this was a lot of fun and was particularly popular with the audience on TikTok. 

I think we’ve demonstrated a new way in which social media can be used to support, improve, and facilitate projects, not only to publicise them. Genuine interaction and connection can be generated in the digital space and it’s something which I believe should be fully embraced by museums, education institutions and really any organisation with a public facing output. In addition to this, the content we received from Aalen’s facilitated Wachtzeit sessions, was fabulous. I especially enjoyed the poetry and the beautiful dreamcatchers!

I’d like to say thank you to vhs Aalen and the Limes Museum for taking this opportunity to experiment, and to allow this playful project the freedom to develop and act organically and reactively as it happened. Mostly I’d personally like to thank the people of Aalen for your warm welcome and patience with my (improving) German, I hope to visit your lovely city again sometime. Special thanks to everyone who contributed online.  I will be back briefly on Wednesday for an interview with Mark Wardale as he takes on the next, exciting stage of this wonderful project.

With warm wishes

Adam Ditchburn


@adamandthemuses (on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok)

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