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Posts Tagged ‘Nara Document’

Reflections on the application of the conventions and charters concerning heritage in Latin America

Reflexiones sobre la aplicación de las convenciones y cartas sobre el patrimonio cultural en américa latina

» El patrimonio natural y cultural de América tiene una particular significación a nivel mundial. Es el ultimo continente en ser poblado por la Humanidad; durante siglos estuvo alejado de la influencia del resto del mundo hasta que la conquista y colonización europea alteró radicalmente su entorno natural y cultural que por miles de años logró mantener.

Tradicionalmente se nos divide en dos grandes áreas culturales y económicas: los Estados Unidos y Canadá, por una parte, y América Latina, y el Caribe por la otra. En realidad, tanto ayer como hoy las fronteras de tales divisiones son difusas y están en constante proceso de transformación;
las migraciones siguen igual de activas y los fundamentos culturales indígenas, coloniales y modernos están presentes y en contradicción junto a desarrollos desiguales, democracias inestables y el anhelo de construir un mundo más libre y mejor para todos … »

America’s natural and cultural heritage has a special significance worldwide. It was the last continent that was populated by Humanity and for thousands of years it was far from the influences of the rest of the world until the European conquest and colonization radically altered its natural and cultural environment that it had held on to for thousands of years.

We are split, traditionally, into two large cultural and economic areas: the United States and Canada on the one hand and Latin America and the Caribbean on the other. As a matter of fact, both before and now, the borders of such a division are hazy and in constant flux; migrations continue as active as ever and the indigenous, colonial and modern fundaments are still present, contradicting unequal development, shaky democracies and an overwhelming desire to build a freer and better world for all. It is in this context that cultural heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean is undergoing a special process, littler studied and analyzed in its context…. 

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Rethinking the global heritage discourse – overcoming ‘East’ and ‘West’?

This article illustrates how Japan’s involvement in international heritage discourse, in particular since the Nara Conference in 1994, played an important role in the development of a global understanding of heritage and what it constitutes. It explores the way the Ise Shrine came to be represented as an iconic example of an ‘Eastern approach’ to heritage to become central in the paradigm shift within global heritage discourse towards acknowledging cultural diversity. In this article, however, I argue that the presentation and understanding of the Ise Shrine has perpetuated a number of misconceptions about an Eastern approach to heritage conservation. In particular, its presentation and interpretation as a cultural site devoid of its distinct religious and political significance, limits what can be learned from it. This article argues that without full recognition of the religious beliefs intimately embedded in the traditional social structures, practices and attitudes related to heritage sites, recognition of cultural diversity would remain limited.
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Authenticity, Value and Community Involvement in Heritage Management under the World Heritage and Intangible Heritage Conventions

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage and Intangible Heritage Conventions illustrate a broader trend towards greater appreciation of the role of communities concerned in identifying, managing and protecting their heritage today. This paper will discuss requirements for greater community involvement in heritage identification and management under the two Conventions, with special attention to the determination of heritage value and the question of authenticity. The Nara Document on Authenticity of 1994, incorporated into the Operational Guidelines of the World Heritage Convention in 2005 (: Annex 4), encouraged a broader definition of authenticity that is sensitive to cultural context. Nevertheless, the determination of heritage value and authenticity remains in the hands of experts rather than communities associated with World Heritage properties. Although there is no reference to authenticity in the Intangible Heritage Convention, States Parties are specifically requested to ensure that it is communities, groups or individuals concerned who identify the value of their own intangible heritage. Yet because of a lack of oversight mechanisms under the Convention, it is difficult to ensure that this is done, especially since there is no permanent mechanism for community representation to the Organs of either Convention.
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