A Hurricane of Knowledge
By Aliena Pitts, University of California, Los Angeles
I applied to this internship while studying abroad in Spain. My time traveling ignited my curiosity about various cultures around the world, and I was curious to see how cultural heritage is preserved and protected, especially in the event of an external force threatening its conservation. Traveling opened my eyes to the various lenses through which different cultures view the world and increased my desire to be a part of efforts to preserve cultural heritage.
After over a month of data collection and research on cultural institutions, I have a much better understanding of how cultural preservation functions. Each week, we are given an assignment and organize a video call to discuss any difficulties. Our assignments thus far have been predominantly centered around data collection in order to compile master lists of contact information for various cultural heritage sites.
We worked quickly for data collection in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida because these areas were directly affected by Hurricane Dorian. These assignments helped me realize how much natural disasters truly affect our lives in ways that are not always obvious. This program’s mission is to create solutions that can aid in the preservation of cultural heritage in the event that another destructive disaster occurs. I appreciate how this work will streamline the process for the future. In addition, it has allowed me to get to know a diverse group of people who are also passionate about this project. My team is mainly composed of students on the west coast and it is fascinating to discuss the effects of our work with them and hear their unique variety of perspectives.