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“Recording and safeguarding the intangible”: third RMSU training module

(22-23 February 2010, Palermo, Italy)
Oral history, transmission of traditional know-how: what exactly intangible heritage is about and how to identify it properly? Addressed to EH 4 projects partners working on intangible heritage, participants will be trained to tools and methods for the good management and valorisation of this huge Mediterranean value

If the concept of “intangible heritage” is almost diffused amongst cultural heritage specialists, this aspect of heritage still presents difficulties in terms of identification and management, and how it should be valued and by whom. Intangible heritage is deeply embedded in a range of social, personal, political and economic relationships, which raise questions concerning the applicability of conventional “heritage management” practices and the risks of “folklorisation” and “museumification”.

This workshop aims at providing participants with tools for the recognition, management, valorisation, and transmission to future generations of intangible heritage.
Through theoretical and practical sessions, participants will be introduced to the UNESCO Convention 2003 on the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage, one of the most important tools for the understanding of cultural heritage at the international level, and to approaches and methods for the recording and dissemination of different types of intangible heritage - oral history, skills and processes, living performances, etc. - and related practical and technical issues that will be exemplified by case studies representative of the various types of intangible heritage.

Case studies include:

  1. the analysis of a project developed in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria concerning a multi-stranded approach to the safeguarding and transmission of the oral history and cultural practices of the city;
  2. the attendance to a performance of a puppet theatre followed by informal discussion with the puppeteer. Participants will be asked to develop an “implementation strategy” for recording and safeguarding the puppet theatre heritage, an ancient expression of Sicilian art deeply rooted in the local tradition. 

The workshop will also represent an important occasion to identify and promote possible synergies between EH 4 projects and strengthen the programme network.  

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