01 Jul, 2020
What can be considered history? What are historical facts? Are all events present in history (i.e., told in the story)? Before we even reflect on such problematic, we must take a journey through this science that studies human actions and events over time: history.
For many, history is considered a demarcated time space, which is critically analyzed by certain people in an established way, because there needs to be an investigation about the events within that space to create a narrative.
Did you know, though, that there are different ways to learn about history? In addition to theoretical books, we may mention literature, cinema and orality. Also, some objects can provide us with precious clues to understand the times that came before us. The teaching of history always asks us to broaden our points of view, dive into events and try to better understand the facts that happened.
For a more in-depth reflection, an analysis of history and technology is needed. When we talk about history, automatically we think of the past and when we think of technology, we usually imagine the future. But in what way could these words come close to one another?
Before we try to investigate, we must know that technology is always linked to history, because during history we were able to see the beginning of technologies. But, after all, what is considered technology?
Technology is linked to the functioning and control of things; it's about skills and functionalities that are needed. When we think of technology as something always futuristic, we make a relation of the word with its operation, because when we talk about technology we automatically think about an “evolution” on material improvements and facilitation of human life.
However, we cannot disentangle technology from the past, because in doing this, we reconfigure the technology symbol as a historical event, and it's not quite that. The simple discovery of how to control fire, in prehistory, is considered the development of a technology, because man's domination over such a natural element was minimal: he was in a hostage situation. Therefore, upon finding a skill that allowed him to dominate fire, he was encouraged to investigate further, finding other possible techniques that could make him a “controller” of everything. Because of that, technology was marked in history.
To understand this process, we need to broaden our perspectives about history in an organized and detailed way. Therefore, a timeline that links each event in time, synchronously, can be a very useful tool. This is exactly what we will talk about here! In this text, you will find content related to history: how to go through it, present it, study it and even teach it, taking inspiration from a timeline. When thinking about history we often imagine a synchrony of facts, drawn by a line, but such a perception is tied to the way in which we always discuss it. Not only that, but you will see through this how simple it can be to organize, or even design your own story, using tools capable of carrying out such action.
Talking about history can be really complex, because we always try to insert events into history that, however, were forgotten or deliberately erased. But thanks to current technologies, we have become capable of reframing history, or rather, telling it in a broad and modern way, in which we can include photos, videos, texts, all in one line.
History in timelines
During universal history, (creation of the world, human existence, etc.) some events stand out because they are the first things to happen, or focus on becoming major or the most notable in the history. But who decides what can be presented in the story? Who filters such facts? Such questions become even more problematic when we think that for an event to become history, it needs first happen, therefore, only after past or happened, something can become history.
We often learn about Europe in the 1920s and then about the America of the 1920s, but the decade was one thing! Everything lived at the same time time. How to reconcile and analyze these events so that their relationships can emerge? How to look at history in a living way, complex and interrelated, rather than the dryness of isolated facts? For this we will need to interpret the story, or at least organize it in a linear way so that we can at least better understand it or visualize it.
What is Timelinefy?
Timelinefy is a tool that offers a new way of telling stories, allowing for a more complete learning of the events by helping users organize the historical facts in time. But Timelinefy is not only a tool: it's a company created to help people learn and present information to others by organizing them in timelines.
This interaction with contents which can be zoomed in and zoomed out of, as well as contain a multitude of possible formats such as audios, videos, and images, are a storytelling method far superior to traditional ways of content exchange, such as writing or reading on textbooks.
Timelinefy strongly believes in its potential to develop education and promote historical knowledge. Therefore, detailed work was designed specifically for museums and educational institutions.
The technological organization presents its business based on projects, subscriptions and content sales, based on the commitment of a diverse team: designers, developers and even psychologists working together to better design and assist the users.
Numerous platforms or content supports already tell the story from timelines, such as: history books, social networks, websites, among others. Therefore, we see the great relevance in establishing timelines, which can help to narrate events and facts that emerge in history.
Developed by a Brazilian physicist named Rogério Almeida, Timelinefy is a platform that seeks to present certain historical events and periods and describe it in several layers, presenting the interconnections between the various events that took place in a given period.
Timelinefy in the museum market
Currently, with the continuous advancement of technologies, several historical and artistic institutions are adhering to interaction as the main element of their exhibitions. Museums, for example, which have always tried to preserve history and art using objects, documents, artworks and others, are already getting rid of traditional structures in favor of adhering to new digital tools, such as virtual reality.
Like museums, galleries and other cultural spaces, Timelinefy also exists to tell stories. That's why it has been presented to the museum market as an efficient tool, capable of offering a more interesting way of learning and showing content. Such a tool refreshes the way the story can be told, but also preserves historical elements in their physical form.
For example, many historical and artistic objects (including million-year old fossils) can be harmed over the years as exhibition props, even if museums or galleries do their best to preserve them by limiting exposure to touch or interactions. Such works end up being harmed in the long run even enduring minimal contact with people.
Because of this risks, fragile objects are increasingly being placed in virtual exhibitions, so that visits happen in a virtual way, preventing physical contact and safeguarding such objects of decay. See here 10 museums that can be visited without leaving your home.
Notwithstanding the deterioration, but because of the current pandemic, some museums have also adhered to technological tools that try to replace physical contact and, consequently, large crowds, by enabling virtual access.
But for what reason were these events postponed in the middle of the pandemic?
It may seem obvious, but many people still cannot identify the degree of danger that agglomerations pose in the midst of the pandemic. The coronavirus is a virus that is easy to spread, so that being in contact with anyone, especially in closed environments, can promote contagion in a large scale, and fast.
The closure of museums and galleries shows not only the consequences of COVID-19 for the art world and the comprehension of history, but all the impacts that this pandemic can cause in industries as different as the economy, technology, education, etc.
When the closing of museums are deemed necessary and exhibitions are postponed, shows are cancelled, a big part of the population may see itself as an “orphan” of culture. There is, therefore, an attempt to somehow reframe the experience of visiting and to access artistic and historical content in new ways, as was already mentioned.
Museums such as the CIBA (Interpretation Center for the Battle of Aljubarrota) are adhering to Timelinefy technology that aims to organize the history in a linear, but innovative way. Many museums have also adhered to this technology in order to replace physical tours with online study!
So don't underestimate such technologies, as users trying museums' new virtual experiences report a veracity and strong approximation to artistic works, to the point of imagining themselves immersed in the exhibitions. It's an opportunity to get to know art, even amid the current limitations.
See how important digital tools are for new knowledge of history and how practical they can be? From this article, you can problematize the relations of time, history and technology in the midst of a pandemic and rethink these elements so that they can provide new knowledge.
Know that with the support from Timelinefy you will be able to develop your own story in simple and practical way. Also remember that technology will keep advancing — and a tool like this will also be part of history someday!
The digital age invites us to rethink history, facts, life, marks of time and the future. So make your story too, give these tools a chance and start expanding your knowledge or information in a linear, simplified way that is also unique.
As previously discussed, numerous museums were already adhering to the use of digital tools that facilitate the access of its visitors, but now, with the arrival of the world pandemic, such artistic and historical institutions felt obliged to adopt, as soon as possible, measures to “replace” these physical visits. Including tools like Timelinefy! This tool is very important for a new knowledge of history and totally practical.
After reading this piece, you could problematize a little more the relations of technology and art and rethink these elements in order to provide new knowledge!
By browsing Timelinefy, you will realize that history can be accessed from anywhere and at anytime: you just need a connection to the Internet. Such technologies are not limited to erasing or ending traditional ways of storytelling, but they broaden and amplify the possible ways to tell stories!