The digital campaign saving Ukraine’s cultural heritage
Polycam, Unesco and Blue Shield won at The Drum Awards for Social Purpose 2022 in the Grand Prix, Best Use of Technology category for its ‘BackUp Ukraine’ campaign. Here, we find out more about what went into this successful project.
Ukrainian volunteers have backed up more sculptures than the museum of Modern Art has collected since 1993
According to Blue Shield, known as the “red cross of culture”, destroying a country’s cultural heritage is the fastest way to erase its national identity. So when a nation is under attack, how can tech prevent its heritage from being lost forever?
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the nation’s cultural heritage has been under threat of destruction.
Hear what the winners had to say about their award-winning work above.
By making a digital backup in the cloud — where no bombs can reach, for the first time in history, Unesco gave every citizen the power to create high-definition 3D models of iconic cultural sites — and all they needed was their phones.
Using a smartphone’s built-in camera and GPS data lets everyone in Ukraine capture any place or monument in a matter of minutes.
With 6.800 downloads and a 44% growth in heritage scanned each week, Ukrainian volunteers have backed up more sculptures than the museum of Modern Art has collected since 1993. Everyday citizens preserve their heritage at archival standards.
Backup Ukraine secured 350+ articles and news reports in Ukrainian and international press. The story spread rapidly across social media, with 3.000+ shares and 455,000+ video views.135 civilians signed up to join a volunteer unit coordinated by local authorities, six NGOs pledged their support and five scanning firms offered equipment, funding and assistance on the ground.
Finally, Unesco’s National Commissioner even went on public broadcast urging neighboring countries to start scanning their heritage — before it’s too late.