Since the early 1990s, language used to speak of cultural practices once thought of as "folklore" has become increasingly standardized around the term intangible heritage. Supranational intangible heritage policies promote a contradictory package that aims to preserve local identity and cultural diversity while promoting democratic values and economic development. Such efforts may contribute to the deployment of language that stresses mutual exclusivity and incommensurability, with important consequences for individual and group access to resources. This article examines these tensions with ethnographic attention to a Hungarian folk revival movement, illuminating how local histories of "heritage protection" meet with the global norm of heritage governance in complicated ways. I suggest the paradoxical predicament that both "liberal" notions of diversity and ethno-national boundaries are co-produced through a number of processes in late capitalism, most notably connected to changing relations of property and citizenship regimes.
Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Role of the Museum
Heritage has a dual character whereby it can, at the same time, be celebrated for its outstanding universal value while having a special meaning and value for local and, in particular, bearer communities. Basing protection on the former notion of heritage as a universal, global value has been the dominant approach in international law-making since the second half of the twentieth century. More recently, the significance of heritage to local actors has become much better understood and recognised. The tensions associated with this duality have in recent times become evident with the adoption by UNESCO in 2003 of the International Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. In this treaty, international cultural heritage law-making has shifted from a paradigm that gives value predominantly to the material heritage – monuments, sites, artefacts and other objects – to one that celebrates a living heritage that is primarily located in the skills, knowledge and know-how of contemporary human beings. This article examines the aforementioned shift from an emphasis on global to local heritage and the role museums can play in this with regard to safeguarding intangible aspects of heritage.
Ethnologists' Uses of the Authentic
This article deals with the often problematic connection between European and ethnological world images. After a short retrospective on the ethnological heritage, it elaborates current social and political problems and determines the ethnological position in these discourses. Finally, it recommends the imagination of an 'ethnology of the present', which increasingly focuses its lens on the European margins, across boundaries, and on movements: ethnology as a 'social ethnography' of the culturally vagrant, ambivalent and fluid.
The Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago comprises a lattice of European pilgrimage itineraries that converge at Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. This article introduces the historical and contemporary representation of these routes as a heritage complex that is imagined and codified within varied cultural meanings of a journey undertaken. Particular attention is given to the Camino Frances and the Via de la Plata, which contrast as mature and formative pilgrimage settings. Within this spatial sphere, the analysis deals with the Camino de Santiago as official heritage, as development instrument, as civil society, and as personal experience. The article concludes by offering a contemporary conceptualization of the evolving Camino de Santiago cultural heritage complex.
Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Nuclear tourism is rapidly becoming a popular industry that attracts a diverse international audience with interests in history, militarism, and anti-war activism. In some sites, nuclear tourism emphasizes the devastation of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while, at others, it draws on the past to present a future of environmental stewardship, technological achievement and scientific mastery of the earth's energy. In so doing, nuclear tourism becomes a well crafted strategy to stimulate sentiments of nationalism and civic pride, while authenticating a particular perspective of history, science and identity. This article discusses efforts to use cultural heritage of the Manhattan Project both as a marketing strategy to bring tourist dollars to the city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and as a way to celebrate the community's past as a 'Secret City' and its central role in the development of the atomic bomb. This construction of cultural heritage, however, may disregard cultural rights in respect to environmental justice, health and human rights, and serve to authenticate the history of the atomic bomb as having a single moral imperative, divorced from the international arena in which nuclear science is currently being developed and debated.
New Players and New Pedagogies in Three-Dimensional Cultural Heritage
Three-dimensional modeling and printing of museum artifacts have a growing role in public engagement and teaching—introducing new cultural heritage stakeholders and potentially allowing more democratic access to museum collections. This destabilizes traditional relationships between museums, collections, researchers, teachers and students, while offering dynamic new ways of experiencing objects of the past. Museum events and partnerships such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art “Hackathon”; the MicroPasts initiative; and Sketchfab for Museums and Cultural Heritage, encourage non-traditional methods of crowd-sourcing and software collaboration outside the heritage sector. The wider distribution properties of digitized museum artifacts also have repercussions for object-based and kinesthetic learning at all levels, as well as for experiential and culturally sensitive aspects of indigenous heritage. This article follows the existing workflow from model creation to classroom: considering the processes, problems, and applications of emerging digital visualization technologies from both a museum and pedagogical perspective.
Cross-border Activities and Relationships in the Tornio River Valley
This article concentrates on one particular local cross-border activity carried on after the Second World War. This was a type of smuggling called joppaus in the local dialect, a practice which was enabled by the post-war economic recession and the scarcity of goods from which Finland suffered. This form of unauthorised economy is said to have been responsible for the rapid revival of the region and its inhabitants after the destruction inflicted by the war. The standard of living in the Tornio River Valley has been better than in the north of Finland in general, and this has been explained in part by this type of smuggling. Furthermore, in the last few decades joppaus has become part of the local cultural heritage.
This article discusses a range of pragmatic issues associated with curating intangible cultural heritage, including collection, preservation, interpretation, presentation and representation. It uses as a case study work undertaken with Lough Neagh eel fishermen in preparation for and at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2007, setting this in a much wider curatorial context.
The Challenge for Europe
Máiréad Nic Craith
Heritage has traditionally been associated with material objects, but recent conventions have emphasized the significance of intangible culture heritage. This article advocates a holistic approach towards the concept and considers key challenges for Europe's heritage at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Reflecting on the notion of 'European', it considers the question of how one defines European heritage and which European heritage is to be protected. It explores links between national and European conceptions of identity and heritage and queries issues of ownership, language and representation. A number of ethical issues are raised - such as the role of women in the transmission of heritage and the implications of information technology for copywriting traditional practices. The author also asks how one ensures that the process of globalisation facilitates rather than eliminates local cultural heritages? How does one enhance the local so that it becomes glocal and not obsolete?
Amidst a global turn towards authoritarianism and populism, there are few contemporary examples of state-led democratization. This article discusses how Uruguay’s Frente Amplio (FA) party has drawn on a unique national democratic cultural heritage to encourage a coupling of participatory and representative institutions in “a politics of closeness.” The FA has reinvigorated Batllismo, a discourse associated with social justice, civic republicanism, and the rise of Uruguayan social democracy in the early twentieth century. At the same time, the FA’s emphasis on egalitarian participation is inspired by the thought of Uruguay’s independence hero José Artigas. I argue that the cross-weave of party and movement, and of democratic citizenship and national heritage, encourages the emergence of new figures of the citizen and new permutations for connecting citizens with representative institutions. The FA’s “politics of closeness” is an example of how state-driven democratization remains possible in an age described by some as “post-democratic.”