A group of students and trainers during training on the architectural recording of a historic mosque in the city of Stolac.ICCROM Sharjah, alongside the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) and the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme of the University of Cambridge, partnered with the International Forum Bosnia (IFB) in organizing the 18th International Summer School: Youth and Heritage (ISSYH18), held 27 July to 12 August 2023.  

The International Summer School Youth and Heritage (ISSYH) has been organized by the International Forum Bosnia (ITB) every summer since 2005 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has developed an alumni network of 1 000 people from more than 60 countries. Participants from diverse educational backgrounds from 12 countries around the world gathered in Sarajevo, Mostar and Stolac for this year’s ISSYH.

The three-week programme focused on cultural heritage as a component of identity and belonging and heritage reconstruction as a part of peacebuilding and social recovery. This was explored through subjects and case studies taken from challenging experiences in the country's history. In addition to theoretical seminars and on-site lectures, the summer school's core activities are based on learning through hands-on methods, which aimed at restoring vernacular heritage places in Stolac – a historic town still in the process of post-war recovery.

Additionally, trainers and lecturers conducted practical training sessions on wood carving, stone sculpting, heritage drawing and heritage documentation. 

ICCROM contributed lectures from our staff during the summer school. Through these lectures, we shared our experience in the field of cultural heritage crisis management. Dr Zaki Aslan, Director of the ICCROM-Sharjah Regional Office, gave a theoretical overview of post-conflict recovery and reconstruction and ICCROM’s related policies and actions. Aparna Tandon, Senior Programme Leader of the ICCROM First Aid and Resilience for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAR) and Sustaining Digital Heritage (SDH) programmes, spoke on heritage vulnerability and heritage protection capacity assessment.

3D historic mosque StolacQR code for AR

We also helped manage an 8-day workshop on built heritage recording, presenting the concept and importance of documentation in the context of heritage preservation and presentation. This included information management, documentation and architectural recording and its tools, whether traditional, modern or high-tech. Emphasis was placed on digital photography and photogrammetric surveying as effective and accessible tools for a wide range of specialists and heritage users.

Augmented Reality workshop BosniaAfter completing the workshop, students were acquainted with surveying techniques and the establishment and processing of photogrammetric data to generate three-dimensional models of built heritage and artefacts. This process was used to produce accurate orthographic images and apply the products in various applications, such as virtual and augmented reality visits. This was applied to historical buildings in Stolac.   

The architectural recording workshop was led by ICCROM-Sharjah's Anwar Sabik, an architect and project officer specializing in cultural heritage conservation, with assistance from Ahmed Fattal, an engineer specializing in documentation and surveying.  

ICCROM also contributed to providing scholarships for students from the joint ICCROM-University of Sharjah MSc programme in Cultural Heritage Management to participate in the summer school to enhance their theoretical skills.