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UNESCO » Culture » Intangible Heritage » Donors and partners » European Union (MedLiHer) » Meetings and workshops
With the support of the European Union and the cooperation of the Maison des Cultures du Monde (France), UNESCO launched the project MedLiHer – Mediterranean living heritage in 2009, aiming to facilitate the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic *.
The objective of the project was to build capacity in the long term for key actors at national level for the implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in these countries, particularly in developing national safeguarding projects and supporting their participation in international mechanisms. The project also intended to strengthen cooperation and exchange of expertise at the regional level, through the creation of a network of institutions and the development of a web portal including a database.
MedLiHer is cofinanced by the European Union through the Euromed Heritage program, which aims to contribute to mutual understanding and dialogue between Mediterranean cultures through the promotion of cultural heritage.
The project was organized into three phases:
The first phase has assessed the structures, programs and experiences with regard to safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in the partner countries. At the beginning of the process each country organized a workshop with the participation of government officials to set up and coordinate the assessment at the national level.
The results of the assessments were synthesized and presented at a joint meeting of all partner states with government officials and representatives of the main institutions and organizations active in the field of intangible cultural heritage designated by governments. International and national safeguarding projects have been prepared on the basis of strategies and priorities have been identified in each inventory. The participation of national and local organizations contributed to the development of an online network accessible via a multilingual interface managed by the UNESCO.
The last phase of MedLiHer was devoted to the implementation of national projects and, where appropriate, international projects, identified during the inventory. Particular attention was paid to conservation projects, which mainly took the form of inventories of the ICH and training in preparation of nominations for the list of the 2003 Convention as well as the Register of Best safeguarding practices.
The project is now coming to its end and will conclude with a final evaluation meeting at the Maison des Cultures du Monde, on 17 and 18 December.
To celebrate four years of cooperation and exchange, a celebration will be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (Room XI) on 18 December 2012 at 7:00 P.M., during which a photographic exhibition and a documentary film on intangible heritage in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon will be presented.
This event will also be an opportunity for the key people who contributed to the success of this project to meet (project managers, facilitators, photographers, filmmakers and heritage professionals in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon) and to share their experiences with the wider audience who will attend this closing celebration.
*Given the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, the activities led in Syria in the project MedLiHer have been suspended since October 2011.
As the “Mediterranean Living Heritage” (MedLiHer) project, co-funded by the European Union (EU) and UNESCO, is going to be fully implemented by the end of December 2012, the final project evaluation meeting will be organized in Paris on 17 and 18 December 2012 at the “Maison des Cultures du Monde”, which has been a partner since the beginning of this project.
This meeting will be the occasion to review the project in light of its goals in order to draw conclusions from the lessons learnt and explore possible ways to build on project outcomes in the future. The discussions will be based on a final evaluation report. The programme furthermore foresees:
At the end of the meeting, a second screening of the film and the digital photo exhibition will be organized at UNESCO Headquarters in the evening of 18 December with the participation of UNESCO Delegations.
In the context of Phase III of the Mediterranean Living Heritage (MedLiHer) project financed by the Euromed Heritage IV Programme (EU) and implemented by UNESCO, the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture are organizing a workshop on the methodology and procedures of nominating intangible cultural heritage elements to the Representative and Urgent Safeguarding Lists. This workshop will take place in Byblos from 12 to 14 October 2012.
The targeted group in the present training workshop consists of representative of the UNESCO Regional Office, the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Culture (especially who are directly involved in the administration and the preparation of the documents and deliverables of the project), in addition to the members of the Lebanese MEDLIHER Team and an expert of Zajal.
Two accredited UNESCO facilitators, Prof. Dr. Annie Tabet (Lebanon) and Prof. Dr. Hani Hayajneh (Jordan), will run the workshop.
In the context of Phase III of “Mediterranean Living Heritage” (MedLiHer) project, co-funded by the European Union (EU) and UNESCO, a workshop on the methodology and procedures of nominating intangible cultural heritage elements to the Representative and Urgent Safeguarding Lists will be held in Amman between 7 and 11 October 2012.
The Amman workshop follows the Madaba one and will focus on the preparation of nomination files for inscription on the Lists of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). It will describe the requirements of the nominations’ process, evaluate sample nominations, and discuss descriptions of the elements from the Madaba Inventory and the participation of communities.
The workshop is intended primarily for members from the Jordan National Commission for Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Culture, and especially the ones that are directly involved in the administration and the preparation of the documents and deliverables of the project. Some of them are connected to the local communities of Madaba.
Two accredited UNESCO facilitators, Prof. Dr. Hani Hayajneh (Jordan) and Prof. Dr. Mustafa Gad (Egypt), will run the workshop. They will use the UNESCO capacity-building workshop materials in training activities, and deal with some nominations predefined by the UNESCO as case studies.
Ambassadors of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in their countries and agents fostering dialogue between generations - these are key roles of the Egyptian, Lebanese and Jordanian filmmakers and photographers who met at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, from the 27th to the 29th of August 2012, under the MedLiHer project co-financed by the European Union and UNESCO.
Their goal: to raise public awareness internationally and in the project countries about the importance of safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage in today’s world.
Their ambition: to harness audiovisual means for the safeguarding of the Mediterranean living heritage – because more than ever, we need to make known these cultural practices and rituals, which are essential to peace and sustainable development.
Using audiovisual as a vector in the promotion of Mediterranean Living heritage is the ambition of the Egyptian, Lebanese and Jordanian filmmakers and photographers, who will gather at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris from 27 to 29 August 2012 in the framework of the Medliher project co-funded by the European Union and UNESCO.
The project has a strong regional component devoted to the visibility of intangible cultural heritage of the partner countries, reservoirs of cultural practices, knowledge systems and rituals essential to sustainable development. Indeed, the intangible heritage has lasting impacts on the well-being of populations, their relationships with others and their natural environment. It gives people a sense of perspective and joy.
It is in this light that filmmakers and photographers nominated by their respective governments will be responsible for producing the audiovisual components during the inventory work undertaken as part of Phase III of the project.
A documentary film and a digital photographic exhibition will thus be made honoring the heritage of the governorates of Damietta in Egypt, Madaba, Jordan and Lebanon poetry Zajal.
The film will be screened and photographs exhibited at the Maison des Cultures du Monde in Paris and in the countries participating to the project. This work will help to raise public awareness at the international level, as well as that of concerned countries on the importance of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in today’s world.
The meeting, facilitated by UNESCO and Mr Ayman Khoury, well-known documentary-maker, will aim at:
Birthplace of Egyptian civilization, the Nile is still a lifeline for many communities living along its banks. The encounter between man and the river’s ecosystem has uncovered a rich and diversified intangible cultural heritage. Over the next six months, between July and December 2012, this heritage will be the focus of a pilot inventorying activity in the governorate of Damietta.
This initiative is part of Phase III of the MedLiHer -Mediterranean Living Heritage – project co-financed 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.
Community members and others responsible for culture at the national and local level, including researchers and NGOs will benefit from extensive training on the concept of community-based inventorying under the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage; the training will cover the role of different stakeholders in the process and the tools and techniques of participatory documentation.
The workshop is intended primarily for field researchers and communities whose intangible heritage will be inventoried. It will start with a “theoretical” component in which the methodological framework for the inventory will be collectively developed, followed by a field practicum.
This inventory work will concentrate on identifying and involving bearers (individuals, groups or communities) of intangible heritage, focusing significantly on its present social functions and challenges for transmission to future generations.
The workshop will be led jointly by Mr Mostafa Gad and Mr Ismail Ali El Fihail, both belonging to the network of facilitators trained by UNESCO as part of its strategy of capacity building for the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The methodologies developed during this pilot exercise could then be applied on a wider scale to other regions of the Nile.
All data collected will be systematized and digitized. Moreover, a film and a photographic exhibition will make this inventory experience available to the Egyptian and international public.
Madaba and its 150,000 inhabitants will soon become the precursors of an experience never seen before in Jordan. Located near the capital, this region will indeed be the focus of a pilot activity of intangible cultural heritage inventorying as part of the “MedLiHer - Mediterranean Living Heritage” project, co-funded by the European Union and UNESCO.
Concretely, what is the pilot inventorying all about? Under the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, each State Party must involve communities, groups and relevant NGOs in identifying and defining elements of this heritage. Identification is the process of describing one or several specific elements of intangible cultural heritage in their context and to distinguish them from others. This process of identification and definition is what the Convention means by “inventory”. It also emphasizes that this should be done “in view of safeguarding” - that is to say that the inventory is not an abstract exercise, but a useful one. The inventory represents the first step in the development of safeguarding plans for those elements.
In order to get familiar with these concepts, those involved in inventory activities within the governorate of Madaba (community members, responsible for culture at the national and local level, researchers) will receive extensive training from 12 to 20 July. It will cover the principles of the inventory under the Convention, the role of the different stakeholders in the process and the tools and techniques of participatory documentation. This “theoretical” part will lead to the development of the methodological framework for the inventory and will be followed by a field practicum.
The workshop will be facilitated jointly by Ms. Annie Tohmé Tabet and Mr. Hani Hayajneh, both members of the network of facilitators trained by UNESCO as part of its capacity- building strategy for the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
During the three months following the training, the research teams will go to meet communities, characterized by great cultural and religious diversity, throughout the governorate. This inventory work will concentrate on identifying and involving bearers (individuals, groups or communities) of intangible heritage, focusing especially on present social functions and challenges for its transmission to future generations, in a context where rapid urbanization is disrupting the traditional socio-cultural fabric. The methodologies developed during this pilot exercise could then be applied on a wider scale to other regions of the country.
All data collected will be systematized and digitized, while a film and a photographic exhibition will make this inventory experience available to the Jordanian and international public.
The workshop and inventory activity are part of Phase III of MedLiHer, which aims at promoting the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
A widespread form of poetry in Lebanon, Zajal is chanted in daily practice, different life events and large celebrations. Weddings or funerals, parties and festivals: so many opportunities for Zajal poets (called quâl) to sing or recite texts expressing bravery, pride, love, flattery, pain, joy, conflict, violence or the call for dialogue. It is around this element of intangible cultural heritage that Lebanon has chosen to develop a pilot inventorying methodology, which may then be applied to the safeguarding of other expressions of its living heritage.
From 29 June to 3 July 2012, actors of Zajal will benefit from an extensive training on the concept of inventory and its principles under the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the role of different stakeholders in the process and tools and techniques of participatory documentation. The workshop is intended primarily for field researchers and communities whose cultural heritage will be inventoried. It will start with a “theoretical” component including the joint development of a methodological framework for the inventory, followed by a field practicum. A day of reflection on the lessons learned from the exercise is foreseen on 9 July 2012.
The workshop will be facilitated jointly by Ms Annie Tohmé Tabet and Mr. Mostafa Gad, who form part of the network of facilitators trained by UNESCO as part of its capacity-building strategy for the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
During the three months following the training, the field researchers will go to meet the Zajal communities across the Lebanese territory. This pre-inventorying work will focus on identifying and involving the bearers (individuals, groups or communities) of this element of intangible heritage, focusing particularly on how it is transmitted, and its social functions in Lebanese society today.
All data collected will be systematized and digitized, while a film and photographic exhibition will make this experience available to Lebanese and international audiences.
The workshop and inventorying activity are undertaken as part of the Phase III of the MEDLIHER project supported by the European Union and UNESCO, which aims to promote the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
What are inventories of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and why are they essential to safeguarding efforts? How to draw up these inventories with the widest participation of communities, considering the specific context of each country? These were the main issues raised at the workshop on upgrading competencies on community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage, held from March 23 to 25 in Paris in the framework of the MEDLIHER project with the teams of the three beneficiary countries (Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan).
The meeting enabled participants to gain a thorough understanding of the training materials developed by UNESCO on the theme of community-based inventorying. It was also an opportunity for them to discuss the adaptation of these tools according to the particularities of each country and the focus of their national safeguarding projects. Egypt chose inventorying the intangible cultural heritage of Damietta, which forms part of the river Nile regions; Jordan chose the region of Madaba, which is characterized by great cultural diversity. Lebanon decided to focus on inventorying the specific element of the Zajal, which is a cultural practice to be found all over the country. Planned to be launched in April 2012, these national projects will start with capacity-building workshops, followed by fieldwork.
In addition to significant advances in the planning of the national projects, participants have developed during this workshop a shared vision of the regional MEDLIHER movie, which will increase the visibility of the ICH of partner countries in the Mediterranean world and internationally.
MedLiHer Phase II is dedicated to the evaluation of the national assessments, programmes, experiences and existing structures on intangible cultural heritage, which were carried out in and by the four Mediterranean partner States* during the first phase of the project. It is on this basis that national and multinational projects, adapted to the needs and priorities of each partner States will be identified, developed, and then implemented during the third phase of MedLiHer, in 2011. This second Phase also aims at establishing a database, gathering the detailed information collected during the national assessment work. The MedLiHer database will support the creation of a regional network, facilitating exchanges of information and experiences.
The MedLiHer Phase II evaluation meeting was to be held in Cairo from 28 to 30 November 2010. It has brought together those involved in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in the Mediterranean partner States. The primary objective was to select targeted projects, based on recommendations from the evaluation of the national assessments.
According to the selected projects, the project documents - drafted during the meeting in small working groups - included safeguarding measures as recommended in articles 12 to 14 of the Convention, such as:
The meeting also represented an opportunity to present to the partners the MedLiHer database prepared by the Intangible Heritage Section of UNESCO. Participants were invited to share their observations and recommendations to optimize the functionality of the database and to support the creation of a regional network.
Finally, this meeting has also provided participants with the latest information on the life of the Convention and matters relating to its implementation, as well as models and guidelines for preparing project documents. It has also been an opportunity to review the operational implementation of the MedLiHer project and discuss ways to ensure the visibility of the various projects to be implemented during the Phase III.
The reference document to guide the conduct of the national assessments are available on the page dedicated to the national assesments.
The first phase of the MedLiHer project is devoted to drawing up surveys of existing structures, programmes and experience connected with the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in Mediterranean partner countries.
A preliminary briefing meeting brought together, in May 2009, the government officials in charge of setting up and coordinating the national assessments to be used for drawing up the surveys. This meeting also provided the participants with detailed information on the Convention as well as on the proposed safeguarding and management measures.
To assess national capacities for implementing the Convention, this first activity is based on Articles 11 to 15 of the Convention, which enumerate the measures that each State Party shall endeavour to take to safeguard its intangible cultural heritage and meet its obligations under the Convention. Partner countries received information on Convention implementation mechanisms adopted by the second General Assembly of States Partiess in June 2008, in order to build capacity quickly and lay the foundations for involving communities from the outset. UNESCO has made available all the necessary literature and materials and will continue to supply the required information after the meeting and throughout the project.
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