Intangible Heritage in Cultural Strategy of UNESCO
A new paper on the Intangible Heritage in Cultural Strategy of UNESCO has just been published by our Chair, D.Spivak, in the International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2021, No. 3 (44). For basic ideas of the article, see its
Safeguarding intangible heritage forms a focal part of the cultural strategy of UNESCO, which is now being most actively elaborated and promoted. Basing on one of the two essential definitions, contained in the main text of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, approved by UNESCO in 2003, one may regard it as comprising five main subject fields, i.e. ‘(a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage; (b) performing arts; (c) social practices, rituals and festive events; (d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; (e) traditional craftsmanship’ (I.2.2). This kind of heritage is directly and deeply linked with two adjacent concepts, belonging to the same level of description, that is, with tangible heritage, on the one hand, and with cultural diversity, on the other hand. As a result, one feels authorized to regard the text of the corresponding three ‘great UNESCO conventions’, i.e. Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), and Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), as parts of a single ‘mega-text’, regarding them in turn as three different facets of the same mega-concept of heritage. Forming an integral part of the cultural strategy of UNESCO, implementation of this concept is indispensable for the attainment of such overarching objectives as social coherence and sustainable development. As to the inner elaboration of the concept of intangible heritage, this seminal concept is presently linked with the implementation of Strategic objectives 7 and 8 of the Medium-Term Strategy, consisting respectedly in giving impetus to advanced identification and documentation, protection and safeguarding, promotion and enhancement, as well as revitalization and transmission of all basic types of heritage; and in promoting its creative facet, especially by all kinds of ‘marginalized and vulnerable communities and individuals, in particular indigenous communities’. UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy for a new eight-year term (2022-2029), which now being most actively elaborated and discussed in the framework of expert community, forms the nearest perspective for the development of the topic of the intangible heritage.