Emphasizing intangible and tangible expressions of heritage in a publication on World Heritage and Cultural Diversity presents the opportunity to discuss a variety of current and potential future challenges. These can be either epistemological concepts that promise potential for scientific investigation and reconstruction, professional challenges in the application of models and guidelines, or educational needs for the heritage community, and its academic development in the early twenty-first century. The difficult and often contested role of intangible heritage expressions in the context of World Heritage Sites is one of the aspects triggering ongoing discussion. Equally, the section heading invites an exploration of the interrelation of the two relevant UNESCO instruments, the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention)(UNESCO, 1972) and the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Intangible Heritage Convention)(UNESCO, 2003). Such explorations could be aimed at evaluating their early attempts at cooperation and their potentials for mutual enforcement. However, these aspects seem to have been discussed previously at a number of international university seminars, such as the University of Montreal round table–“Tangible and intangible heritage: two UNESCO Conventions”(Cameron and Boucher, 2007), or the Cambridge Heritage Seminar–“Tangible-intangible cultural heritage: a sustainable dichotomy?”(Baillie and Chippindale, 2007). Yet another focus could be on cultural diversity and the processes which link the representation of intangible and tangible heritage expressions to the promotion of cultural diversity under the auspices of UNESCO. It is this aspect which this …
The United States has always been diverse. Now it is more so than ever. Yet historic preservation has done little to address this reality. How should historic preservation present racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse historical experiences? How should it serve diverse constituencies?
La prise en compte du patrimoine culturel immatériel occupe une position centrale dans les nouveaux défis auxquels sont confrontées aujourd’hui les diverses communautés culturelles. Françoise Lempereur resitue brièvement la mondialisation et la diversité culturelle et montre que, face à ces deux orientations de base, les réactions des communautés peuvent être radicalement opposées : acceptation ou refus des métissages et, dans le cas de refus, approche essentialiste ou évolutionniste. Cette dernière sacrifie le patrimoine au profit de modes, sous-tendues par de nouvelles technologies ; la première privilégie le recours au passé idéalisé, dans ce que l’auteur nomme une politique de « folklorisation ». Fort heureusement, certaines communautés réussissent un métissage positif et rajeunissent leur patrimoine grâce à de nouvelles formes de communication. C’est le cas de la municipalité de Clare en Nouvelle-Écosse, porte-drapeau d’une identité acadienne en plein essor.
Facing the new cultural challenges: the Acadians of Nova Scotia
Taking into consideration the intangible cultural heritage holds a central position in the new challenges confronting today’s various cultural communities. Françoise Lempereur briefly repositions globalization and cultural diversity and shows that, faced with these two basic guidelines, communities’ reactions can be radically opposed: acceptance or refusal of the fusion and in the case of refusal, an essentialist or evolutionary approach. The latter sacrifices heritage for the benefit of trends, supported by new technologies; the first emphasizes the use of an idealised past in what the author identifies as a policy of “folklorisation”. Fortunately, some communities accomplish a positive combination and revitalize their heritage through new forms of communication. This is the case of the municipality of Clare in Nova Scotia, the flag-bearer of a growing Acadian identity.
Cultural diversity is one of the major characteristics of old Bangkok resulting from various groups of local people of different race and religion. Unfortunately, the development of old Bangkok has always been tied up with the interests of politicians. Therefore, lack of public dialog and acknowledgement of cultural diversity remain as major issues.