An Urban Neighbourhood is Trapped in Transformation: The Past and Present of Old Qingdao (城市空间的转型困境:青岛老城区的历史与近况)

By Philipp Demgenski

Public talk given at the Research Centre for Land and Cultural Resources at the Department of Cultural Heritage and Museology of Fudan University, China.

The talk was the seventh in a series titled “Fudan Cultural Heritage Preservation Series”. 5. April 2017 at Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

The talk was given in Chinese and addressed the problems revolving around a run-down inner city neighbourhood in the northeastern Chinese city of Qingdao that was not so long ago rediscovered as a place of historical and cultural importance. So-called experts have been calling for the preservation of its “tangible” artefacts, namely the architectural remains. The talk questioned the distinction between “tangible” and “intangible” by focusing on how the neighbourhood, its architecture and spatial composition had specific meaning and “use-value” to different predominantly disadvantaged urban groups. The talk also highlighted that the neighbourhood itself is an evolved urban entity whose value is to be found in its transformation over the past century, a transformation that is still ongoing. Finally, the talk addressed some more fundamental issues pertaining to urban development and so-called “preservation-oriented redevelopment” projects in China.

A summary with photos can be found here (in Chinese).

Participatory frictions across ICH global governance: The Brazilian channels of community participation

By Chiara Bortolotto and Morena Salama.

Presentation of the paper at the panel  “Imperatives of participation in the heritage regime: statecraft, crisis, and creative alternatives” (Cultural Heritage and Property Working Group).

This panel took place at the 13th Congress of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore- SIEF2017 titled ” Ways of dwelling. Crisis craft and creativity” (Gottingen, Germany – 27th March 2017).

 

“Participation” of “communities”, keywords of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, are far from being globally understood in the same way. These global buzzwords compromise with national and local institutional approaches to heritage management, with existing national legislations, political priorities as well as with available technical skills and academic corporations. The first part of this presentation introduces the project “UNESCO frictions: heritage-making across global governance” which ethnographically follows the social life of the UNESCO Convention across the different scales of its implementation in China, Brazil and Greece and explores the tensions arising in the translation of the imperative of participation imposed by an international norm into national heritage institutions and local projects.

In the second part the attention is drawn to the Brazilian case study.  We will focus on the main channels created by the Brazilian state in order to foster the participation of communities in the implementation of safeguarding processes that take place after an intangible element is officially declared “National Cultural Heritage”. These participative tools are: the constitution of deliberative committees, the drafting of safeguarding plans and the “shared management” of public cultural centres.

Drawing on the safeguarding process of the samba de roda we will illustrate the controversies, limitations and achievements triggered by these participative channels while exploring the issues that have been challenging the application of the participative call of the ICH Convention on the ground.

Les politiques de l’UNESCO, quelles répercussions sur les projets de restauration ?

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Institut national du patrimoine, Séminaire de recherche

30 janvier 2017, INP, 2 rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris, salle Champollion, 18h15

Chiara Bortolotto, Anthropologue, responsable du projet UNESCO frictions : heritage-making across global governance, et Claire Bosc-Tiessé, historienne de l’art, chercheur au CNRS, affiliée à l’IMAF (institut des mondes africains), co-directrice du projet archéologique et historique « Lalibela »

UNESCO FRICTIONS : explorer la fabrique globale du patrimoine culturel immatériel

Cette intervention présente le projet UNESCO frictions : heritage-making across global governance. A partir d’une discussion des travaux existants sur l’Unesco et ses effets, nous allons introduire la démarche adoptée dans ce projet collectif visant à suivre la vie sociale de la Convention pour la sauvegarde du patrimoine culturel immatériel dès débats diplomatiques dans les salles de réunion de l’Unesco à la mise en œuvre de projets patrimoniaux à l’échelle locale dans trois pays (Grèce, Brésil et Chine) choisis comme études de cas en fonction de la diversité de leurs régimes patrimoniaux nationaux. Pour dépasser l’opposition entre « norme globale » et « réactions locales » et explorer la fabrique globale du patrimoine, nous proposons d’interroger la tension créative qui surgit lorsque des régimes de patrimonialité spécifiques doivent se confronter aux principes proposés par une norme internationale.

“Halfie” anthropology of global heritage governmentality: from methodological anxieties to heuristic discomfort

 

Capture d’écran 2016-04-27 à 00.43.07PROGRAMA DE DOUTORAMENTO FCT EM ANTROPOLOGIA: POLÍTICAS E IMAGENS DA CULTURA E MUSEOLOGIA

FCSH/NOVA • ISCTE-IUL

18:00 ISCTE-IUL, Edifício II, Auditório B203

This paper considers the methodological challenge of exploring global heritage governmentality as a “halfie” anthropologist belonging at once to the academic community and to the epistemic community associated with the implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

As intangible cultural heritage (ICH) domains overlap with the traditional objects of anthropological research (oral traditions, rituals, craftsmanship), anthropologists are “natural” interlocutors for heritage organisations and bureaucracies at international, national and local levels. This often-serendipitous complicity is a key methodological condition for exploring global heritage governmentality by following the social life of the UNESCO ICH Convention along the trajectory of its implementation. Collaborative approaches are inherently embedded in research on the “contact zones” where the international standard is translated into national policies and laws or appropriated by local NGOs and cultural brokers. Access to field sites depends in fact on the anthropologist’s engagement, as an expert, with heritage policies and cultural brokerage.

The establishment of “symmetrical anthropology” as near orthodoxy has made investigation of policy-making institutions a legitimate subject of anthropological enquiry. Yet collaborative approaches that have become canonical in the exploration of the worlds of marginal, dispossessed or dominated interlocutors are regarded as suspect when the subjects in question are powerful organisations. We know how useful it is to study the colonizers, but engagement with governmental agendas and dominant institutions exhumes anthropology’s skeletons in the closet, raising difficult questions about ethics and power.

Drawing on autoetnographic data, this paper describes the constant movement back and forth between different positionalities, far from the comfort zone of the “hands-off” approach. Considering the methodological anxieties stemming from an intellectual commitment to both communities leads me to interrogate the heuristic potential of ethnographic uneasiness, as reflexive analysis of these anxieties allows the researcher to investigate the tension between action and knowledge, thereby contributing to broader anthropological, social and political debate.