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Posts Tagged ‘Community’

Registration open: Living Heritage in the Nordic Countries

International Conference on the Role of Communities and the Possibility for New Sustainable Societies  – Registration Deadline: Oct 9

Living heritage is a timely topic gaining awareness all over the world. In the era of global crises, where political instability, cultural alienation as well as political, religious and ideological extremism continue gaining validity, the seminar aims to tackle issues of sustainable development, social cohesion and cultural diversity within a context of cross-sectorial expertise.

The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has already been ratified by 178 countries that shows the willingness to act together for the safeguarding of living heritage. All the Nordic countries have ratified the Convention and cooperation across borders flourishes actively on versatile levels.

Now for the first time Nordic actors will gather together for a conference in Finland to discuss about safeguarding, joint projects and sharing good practices. As urged by the Faro Convention, the conference gives special focus on the role of communities and NGO’s.

The conference will consist of keynotes from all Nordic countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, including Greenland, Faroe Islands and Åland as well as from the Baltic countries. The presentations will highlight experiences in different fields of intangible heritage: performing arts, crafts, oral heritage, nature and social events. Several workshops will be held to give the participants room to interact with each other, learn together and to promote Nordic cooperation.

The conference is free of charge. The programme is targeted at anyone and everyone working with intangible heritage: practitioners, NGO’s, civil servants, researchers, museums professionals, etc.  The seminar language is English.

The seminar is organized by the Finnish Heritage Agency in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, Hanaholmen Cultural Centre, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO and the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

After the two-day conference the Arts Promotion Centre Finland facilitates a World Saving Clinic with the conference participants. Believing in the power of co-creation, the World Saving Clinic aims to empower experts in a new, bold future-oriented role.

View the full programme here

Register here

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The Participation in the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage: The role of Communities, Groups and Individuals

The aim of this book is to understand whether participatory methodologies are being applied in the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) or not. If it is possible to identify problems, advantages, good practices or clues that support new and more effective participatory techniques.

Confronting the theory with the practices, the author concluded that the participation of communities, groups and individuals (CGIs) is still residual. In the scope of ICH safeguard projects, Filomena Sousa identifies five aspects that make this difficult to achieve: 1) excessive centrality of the States in the heritagization process; 2) diversity of interpretations of the concepts; 3) deficit of information among the CGIs; 4) deficit of experience in the improvement of teams composed of different actors and 5) deficit of methods and professionals to operationalise the participation.

After describing each of these obstacles, the author presents a methodological suggestion that can be adapted to different moments of the safeguarding process, which should be understood as flexible and adaptable according to the cultural contexts.


O objetivo deste livro é perceber se as metodologias participativas estão a ser aplicadas no âmbito da salvaguarda do Património Cultural Imaterial (PCI). Nesta obra a autora identifica dificuldades, vantagens, boas práticas e pistas que sustentam novas e mais eficazes técnicas de participação.

Do confronto da teoria com as práticas conclui-se que, sendo a participação das comunidades, grupos e indivíduos (CGIs) enfatizada nos discursos, na realidade, esse envolvimento ainda é residual. A autora identifica cinco aspetos que dificultam essa concretização: 1) a excessiva centralidade dos Estados nos processos de patrimonialização; 2) a diversidade das interpretações dos conceitos; 3) a falta de informação entre os CGIs; 4) a falta de experiência na dinamização de equipas compostas por diferentes atores e 5) a falta de método e de profissionais para operacionalizar a participação. 

Filomena Sousa apresenta ainda uma sugestão metodológica que poderá adequar-se às diferentes fases do processo de salvaguarda e que deve ser entendida como modal e adaptável conforme os contextos culturais.

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Revising the Burra Charter: Australia ICOMOS updates its guidelines for conservation practice

This paper outlines the revisions made in 1999 to the Burra Charter, the core doctrine for heritage conservation in Australia that was first adopted by Australia ICOMOS in 1979. It examines the reasons why changes were needed, including broadened perceptions of heritage, new understandings of heritage significance, and recognition of the need for community input into conservation decisions about its heritage. The review process, which took five years, changed its procedures halfway through after members of Australia ICOMOS roundly rejected a draft, while agreeing that a revision should still take place. Following a thorough consultative process with members, the text of the 1999 revision of the Charter was resoundingly endorsed (the text is included here as an Appendix). The paper describes how the revised Charter differs from the previous text. The changes lie primarily in the recognition that heritage value, or significance, may be embodied in the uses, associations and meanings of a place, in addition to its physical fabric. Other key changes include incorporation of a flowchart explaining the conservation planning process; the seeking of community input; and the recognition that interpretation is an integral part of good heritage management practice.
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Reconsidering the interpretation of WWII shared-heritage in Thailand

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to find a different perspective of interpreting a Second World War shared-heritage based on the case in Thailand. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative study was conducted at the Second World War sites in Thailand. The paper employed observation and interview of the local residents and other stakeholders at the site. Findings – Conventional interpretation of the Second World War sites in Thailand predominantly focusses on two approaches with a little involvement of the local residents. One emphasizes cruelty, loss, torture, or inhumanity with strong influence of the Australian approach. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, such interpretation could point out the culprit and gives audiences enmity against the loser of the war. Another politically underscores a strong connection between Thailand and Japan by presenting romanticized stories of wartime. The paper suggests that the way to bring Second World War shared-heritage site to life is to put an emphasis on the voice of the local residents rather than focussing on political agenda. Practical implications – The argument and recommendation raised in this paper will be particularly useful for the local residents and those who are involved in heritage management field. It would contribute to the better understanding and respect among people with different cultural backgrounds. Originality/value – The paper is the first study of a different view of the interpretation of Second World War shared-heritage. The argument raised in the paper would lead to a wider discussion among heritage professionals.
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Our island home: Difference, marginality, community construction and implications for heritage

This paper considers considers the understandings of attachment, identity and place found within the communities of a small offshore Queensland Island: Magnetic Island, which is located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area. Individuals, as members of the island community (which is characterised by various unbounded community groups), in living their day to day lives on the island, engage in a quest for identity and authenticity that is involved in a relationship between identity-making as a process and the way in which worlds and ways of living are meaningfully constituted. One of the outcomes is that the past is selectively constructed and organised in a relationship of continuity with the lived experience of the island environment and the nostalgic recreation and reinforcement of both place and community. In so doing the various physical features and intangible aspects of the island, and indeed the community itself, is imbued with cultural meanings that also act to reinforce the islander sense of marginality, difference and separation.
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One Wedding and a Funeral: Reflections on Fieldwork, Community and Relationships in Cape York Peninsula

Marrying into the community whose culture you are studying opens up philosophical and practical quandaries for the researcher and facilitates opportunities that are not otherwise available. Marriage brings with it many subtle shifts in relationships within the community. George Orwell (1937) speaks of class difference but could equally have been talking of cultural difference when he said ‘it is not so much a stone wall as a plate glass pane of an aquarium; it is so easy to pretend that it isn’t there, and so impossible to get through it’. Does marriage enable you to cross that barrier? What difference, if any, is there in the nature of the resulting research and its benefits or otherwise to the community? This paper provides a glimpse into the author’s journey as a researcher in Northern Cape York Peninsula, Australia and reflects on the way interpersonal relationships influenced her approach to research.
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Managing intangible cultural heritage: Competing global and local values

The competition between global and local values is one that is faced on a daily basis by many of us working in heritage management. It is commonly manifest in the potential conflict between professionally ascribed heritage values – based as they are on internationally accepted standards and guidelines – and the values that arise out of community ascriptions that are grounded in local voices, knowledge and uses. This paper considers intangible heritage in the context of such ongoing uses and narratives and the way in which community values are addressed in places that have been formally ‘caught up’ in the World Heritage system. This is addressed in the first instance through the way in which the environment, community and practice remain an important part of the Port Arthur Historic Site in Australia, followed by a discussion of community attachments at Avebury in England.
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Le patrimoine immatériel religieux au Québec: Sauvegarder l’immatériel par le virtuel

Cette étude présente les résultats d’un projet pilote destiné à mettre sur pied une méthodologie de sauvegarde et de mise en valeur du patrimoine immatériel religieux du Québec, aujourd’hui menacé par l’effondrement de la pratique religieuse, le vieillissement prononcé des communautés religieuses, la fermeture des paroisses et des églises, et la vente forcée d’objets sacrés. À partir de l’étude de huit communautés, nous proposons des méthodes virtuelles novatrices d’inventorisation qui, à l’aide des nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication, visent à la fois à conserver et à communiquer efficacement ce patrimoine. La cueillette et la saisie audiovisuelles des récits de lieux, d’objets, de pratiques et de vie permettent de capter les divers aspects de ce patrimoine, de le rendre plus visible et palpable, de bien contextualiser ses usages sociaux et d’intégrer ses dimensions matérielles et immatérielles. Grâce à la grille des pratiques culturelles de Jean Du Berger, nous avons élaboré un système de classement du patrimoine immatériel religieux qui est opératoire dans toutes les communautés religieuses étudiées (catholique, protestante, juive, orthodoxe et amérindienne). Cette première grille de classification pourrait être utilisée dans d’autres cultures et dans d’autres pays en raison de son caractère souple, polyvalent, efficace et universel. Le projet pilote nous a également permis de développer une approche participative pour mettre en valeur ce patrimoine directement sur le terrain en collaboration avec les communautés par des actions culturelles diverses : des sites Web, des expositions muséales, des productions multimédia de DVD, des modules pédagogiques et des publications d’articles et de livres. Une fois numérisé, le patrimoine immatériel religieux s’offre à des adaptations et à des applications diverses, à des appropriations et à des réappropriations par de nombreux acteurs sociaux. La base de données virtuelle devient elle-même un engin d’hybridation et de création sans limites.

This article presents the results of a pilot study of eight religious communities aimed at developing virtual methodologies to safeguard and enhance the intangible religious heritage of Québec which is seriously threatened by the sharp decline in religious practice, the disappearance of many religious communities, the closing of churches and parishes, and the auctioning off of entire religious collections. With the help of new digital technologies, we have devised a multimedia digital database that offers novel ways to inventory, preserve, and communicate this heritage effectively and efficiently. The collection of materials by the audiovisual recording of narratives of places, objects, practices and life stories has enabled us to capture the various aspects of this heritage, to make it visible and palpable, to contextualize its social uses and to link its tangible and intangible dimensions. To facilitate the management of the multimedia digital archive, a classification system for intangible religious heritage was designed from the grid of cultural practices of Jean Du Berger, and was found to be operational for all of the religious communities studied (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Orthodox and Amerindian). We believe that the classification system could be used in other cultures and other countries because of its flexible, adaptable, efficient, and universal nature. This preliminary study also reveals how a participatory approach to intangible heritage conservation and management can lead to the development of very effective collaborative projects with the communities, such as: Web sites, museum exhibits, multimedia DVD presentations, educational modules, and the publication of articles and books. Once digitalized, intangible religious heritage proprieties and expressions become accessible for appropriation and reappropriation, and for mixing and remixing by different constituencies. The virtual record itself becomes an innovative engine capable of limitless acts of creation and hybridization.

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Intangible Heritage and Community Identity in Post-Apartheid South Africa

The recent geopolitical transformation in South Africa from a society in conflict to one embodying consensus invites inquiry into the use of heritage in the production of community identity, and the manner of commemoration and presentation of intangible heritage. This article presents case studies to indicate that there is an emerging shift away from hegemonic representation by the post‐apartheid state in the form of very tentative individual or community‐based expressions of struggle history.
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