EU working safeguard intangible cultural heritage in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan
Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan have just signed partnership agreements with UNESCO for the implementation of national projects focusing on the safeguard of these partner countries’ intangible cultural heritage. These agreements come within the 'MedLiHer - Mediterranean Living Heritage' project, funded by the EU in the framework of the Euromed Heritage programme.
Workshops targeting field researchers and communities are organized throughout the month of July in the three countries where cultural heritage will be inventoried. The workshops will begin with a theoretical part in which the methodological framework of the inventory will be collectively developed, followed by a field exercise. A day of reflection on lessons learned from the exercise is then foreseen.
During the three months following the training, the research teams will go to meet the communities who are the core of bearing this inventory process. In Lebanon, those will be the communities of Zajal, a widespread form of poetry across the country, while Egypt and Jordan will work with local communities in the governorates of Damietta and Madaba. The inventory work will concentrate on identifying and involving bearers (individuals, groups or communities) of intangible cultural heritage elements, focusing particularly on their transmission and present day function.
All data collected will be systematized and digitized, while a film and a photographic exhibition will make this experience available to national and international audiences.
The targeted inventorying exercises will enable the three countries to develop, on a pilot basis, a methodology which could then be applied on a wider scale to safeguard other expressions of their living heritage.
The workshops and inventory activities are part of Phase III of the MedLiHer project, supported by the European Union and UNESCO, which aims at promoting the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
EuroMed Heritage IV is a €17 million EU-funded programme which contributes to the exchange of experiences on cultural heritage, creates networks and promotes cooperation with the Mediterranean Partner Countries. It focuses on the appropriation by the local populations of their cultural heritage and favours access to education and knowledge of cultural heritage. It supports a framework for the exchange of experiences, channels for the dissemination of best practices and new perspectives aimed at the development of an institutional cultural environment. (EU Neighbourhood Info)