01.07.2019 - UNESCO Montevideo Office

Colbert Awards Ceremony: recognition and support of UNESCO for the craft activity

The Colbert Awards Ceremony, a recognition that arises as a result of "My Trade. My Story" Contest, was held at UNESCO Villa Ocampo. This initiative seeks to rescue those creative crafts, with high level of skills, knowledge and specificity. Vice-President Gabriela Michetti, who was in the exercise of the presidency, and the Secretary of Media and Public Content, Hernán Lombardi, among other prominent authorities, attended the ceremony.

The Comité Colbert (France), UNESCO, the Federal System of Public Media and Content and the Argentine Handicraft Program of the Vice Presidency joined to dignify the trades of excellence and raise awareness about their job opportunities and social recognition.

The call involved 100 projects of Argentine and foreign traditional and contemporary artisans who live in the country, all focused on different creative experiences that give value to the cultural heritage of the regions to which they belong. Textiles, pottery, metalwork, woodwork, lutherie, were just some of the trades that were presented.

The winner was Nikole Tursi, a 32-year-old girl, who works in the headgear. This allowed her to work at the Teatro Colón and today she began her journey independently in search of new directions.

The second prize went to the Laguna Blanca collective from Catamarca, which is dedicated to weaving in vicuña, covering all the steps of the production process. Three third prizes were awarded: Paulina Francisca Canavides, which preserves the tradition of the Salta loom; Pablo Lavezzari, a Cordovan who is the only automaton builder throughout Latin America; and Hernán Costa, a young luthier from the province of Buenos Aires. There were also three special mentions for Verónica Cestac, Ricardo Marchese and Silvia Dotta.

The first two winners will benefit from a monetary prize and the winner will travel to France to participate in a meeting in one of the member houses of the Comité Colbert Committee that is linked to their trade.

The jury was composed of Gabriela Ricardes, Secretary of Public Contents of the Federal System of Media and Public Contents; Valérie Sandoz, General Secretary of Comité Colbert; Luján Cambariere, Curator of the Handicraft Program of the Vice Presidency of the Nation and Gloria Silva Seeber, Program Assistant of UNESCO Villa Ocampo.

The Vice President of the Nation who was in the exercise of the Presidency, Gabriela Michetti; the Secretary of the Federal System of Media and Public Content, Hernán Lombardi; the Minister of Education and Culture of Uruguay, María Julia, Muñoz; Frédéric Vacheron, on behalf of the Director of the Regional Office of Sciences for Latin America and the Caribbean, Lidia Brito; among other local and regional authorities had participated in the award ceremony.

The opening of the ceremony was in charge of Vacheron who stressed "in Argentina, a country of great cultural diversity, exists numerous creative trades. These trades require knowledge and special practices that form part of the cultural heritage of the country, but often do not have the social recognition they deserve. Today they also face challenges that threaten their survival, globalization, plagiarism, mass production and even environmental and climatic pressures. That is why 'Committed to Heritage and Creativity' campaign was born in Argentina, being the first case in Latin America. Its objective is to call each one to become an actor in the heritage promotion and the creativity promotion, in order to dignify the crafts of excellence".

The Secretary of the Federal System of Media and Public Content, Hernán Lombardi, stressed that in a time of technological advances, it is important to preserve the craft work which is directly related to the transformation of the matter, and he stressed that the work of UNESCO in this sense "it is a beacon, its work with heritage and creativity conveys very deep values, necessary to face this 21st century with a vision that transcends us".

Finally, the Vice President Gabriela Michetti said that the artisan counteracts the massive and collaborates to preserve the identity. "In this type of work, something is printed about the history and the environment of the person who performs it". In addition, she stated that from the Government several tasks are being carried out to support the artisans and give them tools to collaborate with the productive development of the activity. "We are sure that this will be absolutely productive for everyone, from the identity, from the cultural. And from somewhere this will have very positive side effects in generating employment, and in not losing an identity against the massification".


UNESCO defines culture as the set of distinctive features, spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional, that characterize a society or a social group, which also include arts, letters, ways of life, ways of living together, systems of values, traditions and beliefs.

The objective of safeguarding traditional crafts involves encouraging artisans to continue producing and transmitting their skills and knowledge to future generations within their own communities, providing livelihoods to their creators and reflecting creativity.

The campaign of UNESCO and the Comité Colbert in Argentina #MyTradeMyStory was an invitation for the artisan creators of excellence from Argentina to transmit their passion for the trade, showing their work and their local and international relevance.

More than half of the participants in the competition came from the provinces of Salta and Buenos Aires, with a representation of 45% of women and 56% men.

The items that more participants called are textile, pottery, carving / engraving, lutherie and jewelry. Among the 100 projects presented, 89 were individual initiatives, while the rest belonged to cooperatives.

Browse here to know some of these proposals.

Press here see the photo gallery of the award ceremony.

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