UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Management on the Web

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Management on the Web

Maria Teresa Artese (ITC – CNR, Italy) and Isabella Gagliardi (ITC – CNR, Italy)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch527
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Background

“Intangible cultural heritage is the precious possession of communities, groups and individuals, only they can safeguard it and pass it on to generations to come” (Bokova, 2012).

The 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO focuses on the role of communities and groups in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. Safeguarding is about the transferring – or communicating heritage from generation to generation – of knowledge, skills and meaning, as emphasized in the Convention, and does not mean fixing or freezing intangible cultural heritage in some pure or primordial form.

Safeguarding concerns heritage that communities themselves consider important, placing emphasis on living heritage that is performed by people, often collectively, and communicated through living experience. It strives to contribute to the promotion of creativity and diversity, and to the well-being of communities, groups, and society at large. Communities therefore should be involved when their intangible cultural heritage is to be identified through inventorying.

In particular, the UNESCO Convention demands that “to ensure identification with a view to safeguarding, each State Party shall draw up, in a manner geared to its own situation, one or more inventories of the intangible cultural heritage present in its territory. ...” in Chapter III Article 12 (ACCU, 2004). UNESCO allows enough flexibility for a State Party to determine how it will prepare its inventories. However, intangible heritage elements should be well defined in the inventories to help put safeguarding measures into practice.

From a technological point of view, the request of safeguarding intangible assets can be satisfied by:

  • Identifying the heritage, also pointing out the ones in danger of disappearing,

  • Cataloging them in local or national inventories,

  • Spreading the knowledge on the web.

Key Terms in this Chapter

ICH Inventory: Is the enumeration and description of ICH objects existing in a State. The inventory is constantly updated and implemented by communities and individuals, holders and actors of the intangible heritage.

Data Structure: Is a schematic organization of data and relationship to express a reality of interest, usually represented in a diagrammatic form.

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH): Promoted by UNESCO, focuses mainly on intangible aspects of culture. According to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the intangible cultural heritage – or living heritage – is the mainspring of humanity's cultural diversity and its maintenance a guarantee for continuing creativity (from Wikipedia).

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): Is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). Its purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom. UNESCO pursue its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information (from wikipedia).

Database: Is an organized collection of data. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality in a way that supports processes requiring this information (from wikipedia).

Wiki: Is usually a web application which allows people to add, modify, or delete content in a collaboration with others, in a easy way. Wikipedia is the most famous wiki on the public web (Wiki, n.d.).

Portal: Is a web site that acts as an entry point to other web sites or that provides access to information on the Internet.

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