VAST project partner, University of Lisbon, launched a new online survey (in english) on “Associating the words of VAST annotation schema with Schwatz’s personal values”.

They goal of this survey is to understand how people associate particular words with values.

In order to start the survey, click here


Within the framework of the Ancient Greek Drama pilot of the VAST Project, partner FESTIVAL staged a contemporary adaptation of the ancient Greek drama Antigone by Sophocles. Through this performance and case study, the Athens Epidaurus Festival investigated questions regarding the way core European values, such as freedom, democracy, equality, tolerance, dialogue, human dignity, and rule of law, are related to the present, the role of ancient drama in relation to the communication of values, and the way that values are perceived and interpreted by theatre artists and audiences in modern society.

The performance of “Antigone” by Sophocles

The research was based on a mixed methods approach, encompassing both qualitative and quantitative methods and addressing the perception of values by theatre artists, as value communicators, as well as by audiences, as value recipients and final co-authors of meaning. In what concerns qualitative methods, eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with theatre artists (the director, the dramaturgist, the set and lighting designer, the costume designer, and four actors in key roles), and two focus groups were held with audience members. Concerning quantitative methods, an audience questionnaire based on 33 variables was prepared and circulated during all three performances, and it was answered by a random and representative sample (15,06%) of the audience.

Post-performance discussion between theatre artists and the audience

Research results demonstrated a strong engagement with values by both theatre artists and the audience. At the same time, both groups coincide in their positive assessment of contemporary ancient drama adaptations as a means of addressing values in the present. Antigone’s spectators, in particular, clearly display the features of the “knowing” audience, while a multivariate analysis demonstrates the significance of age and professional or educational involvement in theatre regarding the perception of values and ancient drama adaptations.

The Athens Epidaurus Festival presented its research results at the AIMS Conference in a paper titled “Televising Antigone? Understanding the political values of ancient Greek drama in a contemporary media environment”, at the Reconnecting & Recovering Conference, in a paper titled “The values of democracy and the politics of adaptation: Remaking Sophocles’ Antigone in a contemporary political and media landscape” and at The Off-Screen Conference  in a paper titled “Democracy on and off screen: Political values and discursive oppositions in a contemporary adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone.”


VAST partner Athens Epidaurus Festival was represented by Dr. Aristotelis Nikolaidis at The Off-Screen Graduate Student Conference, which was held in hybrid mode at Georgia State University, USA and online on 23 and 24 February 2023, with a paper titled “Democracy on and off screen: political values and discursive oppositions in a contemporary adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone“.

Abstract: Based on a modern theatrical performance of Sophocles’ Antigone, which is set in a contemporary political and media environment, the paper revisits Antigone through the lens of its current interpretation, examines spatial and discursive oppositions of meaning, and discusses the connection between ancient drama, performance space, and cultural politics.  The paper also presents the main research results on the communication and reception of values, addressing theatre artists (as value communicators) through semi-structured interviews, as well as audiences (as recipients of the communicated messages and final co-authors of the meaning) through focus groups.


The VAST project was presented at the Conference on Information and Research Science Connecting to Digital and Library Science IRCDL 2023 -XIX which was held in Bari, Italy on 23-24 February 2023.   Dr. Martin Ruskov of partner UMIL  presented the paper “Grimm Hallucinations: Prompt Engineering with Midjourney to Illustrate Fairytales”.

A few words about the IRCDL 2023 Conference

The Italian Research Conference on Digital Libraries (IRCDL) is a yearly date for researchers on Digital Libraries and related topics, organized by the Italian Research Community. IRCDL encompasses the many meanings of the term “digital libraries”, including new forms of information institutions; operational information systems with all manner of digital content; new means of selecting, collecting, organizing, and distributing digital content; and theoretical models of information media, including document genres and electronic publishing. For 2023 the conferences focuses on Artificial Intelligence and Semantic Web Technologies Empowering Digital Libraries.

VAST was represented by Dr. Aristotelis Nikolaidis of partner Athens Epidaurus Festival in the online conference Reconnecting & Recovering: The Second LFA/AAS  on 16 February 2023. A paper was presented with the title:  The values of democracy and the politics of adaptation: remaking Sophocles’ Antigone in a contemporary political and media landscape.
The paper is based on the performance/case study of Antigone by Sophocles, which was commissioned for the VAST project, and the original research conducted at the Athens Epidaurus Festival in July 2022. It addresses a contemporary adaptation of Antigone, set in a television studio and a modern political context resembling a western parliamentary democracy. The paper examines the representation of key political values, such as democracy, equality, and the rule of law whilst also focusing on the adaptation of Antigone through a mixed methods approach that combines qualitative and quantitative research methods. It also reflects on adaptation as a shared discourse that involves both artists as value communicators and audiences as recipients of the communicated messages and final co-authors of meaning.
The presentation of Dr. Nikolaidis is available here: RR Presentation FINAL

The VAST project continues its research on the present of values through interactive and co-creative activities, which give valuable feedback to the study regarding the transformation and the perception of values through space and time.

Specifically, on Friday 27 January 2023, Dr. Dora Katsamori, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications (IIT) at NCSR Demokritos realised an educational workshop at the University of the Peloponnese (UoP). The workshop was addressed to post-graduate students of the Social and Education Policy Department of UoP,  aiming to raise awareness and investigate students’ perceptions about values.

The activity was based on an excerpt from the tragedy Antigone by Sophocles, where the students were motivated to reflect on the values found in the excerpt, and interlink them through team working and dialogue, whilst creating their personal and group mind maps.

Using the experience, methodologies and tools developed through research in the VAST project, the partner Fairy Tale Museum in Cyprus created a handbook which assists in Conducting Effective Co-creation Activities/Workshops.

The booklet is addressed to anyone who wants to organise and implement an educational activity or a workshop for raising awareness, teaching, or enhancing skills, and is available in the link Conducting Effective Co-creation Activities/Workshops.

Through this initiative, VAST offers a step-by-step guide on how to plan, design, and implement high-quality, integrated and inclusive educational and co-creation activities or workshops adjusted to meet the needs of specific audiences and capture their experience.  Specifically, the guidelines include all the steps necessary to be followed prior to the activity (planning & preparation), during the activity (implementation), and after the activity (evaluation).


Partners NCSR Demokritos and Museo Galileo (IMSS) represented the VAST Project at the UNCHARTED central event: Tensions in Societal Values of Culture: Can Value Conflicts be managed or mitigated?  that took place between 12-13 January 2023 at the University of London.


During the interactive poster session of the event, partners’ representatives showcased the VAST poster, explaining the VAST objectives, the developed digital tools, and the way they can be used by stakeholders in the cultural heritage domain.

Additionally, during the event, our VAST representatives had the chance to attend presentations and participate in open dialogues on the
conceptual findings produced by the UNCHARTED Consortium, which interrogates contemporary tensions in the societal values of culture.

A few words about the event

The symposium Tensions in Societal Values of Culture comprises debates, provocations, and discussions interrogating the value conflicts and tensions that surround cultural production, consumption, and administration. This symposium explores how such conflicts can be managed or mitigated by cultural practitioners, administrators, and policymakers and builds upon the conceptual learnings of the UNCHARTED research consortium.


The second year of the VAST project was completed successfully with a very constructive plenary meeting held physically in Milan on 15 and 16 December 2022 at partner’s University of Milan premises.

During the meeting, partners presented the project’s progress and research results that emerged from the second year, as well as the roadmap for the project’s next steps for the achievement of objectives and exploitation plan.

Specifically, partners had the chance to work on the research of values through a scientific and analytical study of the historical and political base of values and to present the mapping results. Through workshops and hands on sessions where partners worked on the digitization of VAST activities, the data collected so far, the content of the VAST ontology, and the content expected to be collected until the end of the project.

Not all of it was work though! Partners also enjoyed the beautiful city of Milan in a social setting during the Christmas mood.