How did we came to idea to make a book about Serbian cultural and historical heritage? When Deloitte hired us to develop a CSR project on the occasion of 25 years of its presence in Serbia, it was a challenge to find an appropriate approach. The starting point was the instruction that it had to be in accordance with Deloitte’s global motto: “Making an Impact that Matters”.
Bearing in mind that Serbia’s two largest museums have been closed due to renovation for several years, and that the awareness of the average citizen about Serbian cultural and historical heritage is very low, we concluded that supporting culture would indeed be an impact that matters. But, how should we do it?
The modest budget available for this project was a constraint. Then we came up with the idea to create a photo-monograph and a website with an overview of the entire Serbian cultural and historical heritage, from prehistory to the present day. “Serbia’s Journey through Centuries” was completely appropriate name, and the concept was to divide the website and publication into five chapters that will cover the most important historical sites, monuments and buildings in Serbia.
In the first chapter called “Prehistory” we presented the traces of the earliest known cultures on the territory of today’s Serbia; in the chapter entitled “Antiquity” we dealt with the period of the Roman and Byzantine Empires; “The Middle Ages” covers the most important monasteries and fortresses in Serbia (most of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List); The “New Century” chapter comprises the legacy of the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the “Modern and contemporary Age” chapter illustrates the most beautiful architectural and artistic achievements of the 20th century.
The next step was collecting photos, designing the publication and website, as well as creating text content. The articles had to be based on historically accurate facts, but also to be interesting enough to a wide audience. We asked the most important cultural institutions in the country to cooperate with us, and fortunately, their answer was positive. Thanks to Archaeological Institute in Belgrade, the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia, National Museum in Belgrade, the Museum of Vojvodina and others, as well as archaeologist Dragan Jovanović and many experts from the fields of history of art, architecture and other scientific disciplines, we successfully completed the task. In the end, the scope and comprehensiveness of the content of this project justified the slogan “Making an Impact that Matters”.
We also made a mini online campaign for the promotion of the website on two of the most popular national web portals, with great results. We have also successfully used Facebook teaser posts to engage users of this social network. All in all, the feedback from the public as well as from professionals in the field was fantastic. A luxurious publication has been completed recently, and activities for its promotion will be continued during this year.