27.08.2019 - UNESCO Montevideo Office

“Conference on Intangible Cultural Heritage: Towards an intersectoral development of public policies” highlights the importance of working on intangible heritage in Paraguay

Held on 19 and 20 August at the National Library of Congress in Asunción, organized by UNESCO Montevideo, the National Secretariat of Culture, the Regional Center for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Latin America (CRESPIAL) and with support from the Network of Academic Cooperation in Intangible Cultural Heritage of Latin America and the Caribbean (ReCA PCI LAC), the conference achieved a wide call in both days.

The opening was in charge of the Minister of Culture of Paraguay, Mr. Rubén Capdevilla, the Director of the Regional Office of Sciences for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mrs. Lidia Brito, and the Director General of Cultural Heritage of the National Secretariat of Culture, Mrs. Natalia Antola, who stressed the importance of carrying out this type of actions and dealing with the issue of intangible cultural heritage in Paraguay from an intersectoral and inter-institutional perspective.

The commitment to strengthening cultural institutions in the region raises the need to identify the different actors and determine their skills and possibilities. The intersectoral articulation is placed as “one of the most relevant requirements for the effective achievement of the safeguarding of the expressions, customs and knowledge of national territories, which constitutes a scenario of rights guarantee. And it is precisely in front of this challenge that these days propose dialogue tables, on different topics with different actors (local and international, public, academic and private, analysts, managers and even artists and craftsmen who can speak in the first person) ”said Mrs. Brito.

During the public conferences, issues related to the relationship between innovation and heritage were discussed, through the possibilities of connection between the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the 2005 UNESCO Convention for the promotion and protection of the diversity of cultural expressions. The director of CRESPIAL, Adriana Molano, presented a general analysis regarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage in the region, the safeguard mechanisms derived from the UNESCO 2003 Convention, as well as the common challenges: political, institutional, conceptual, and those related to management and community participation.

Likewise, the intersectoral nature of intangible cultural heritage was highlighted in the five sectors discussed at the tables: agriculture, education, tourism, creative industries and youth. Actors from different fields discussed and presented various forms of work linked to intangible heritage, showing a panorama of varied opportunities.

The tables were moderated by members of the Network of Academic Cooperation in Intangible Cultural Heritage of Latin America and the Caribbean (ReCA PCI LAC), who supported the instance and stressed the importance of the role of academic institutions in cultural heritage capacity building for the effective training of current and new cultural managers in the country.

On the other hand, the workshops held for the strengthening of intangible cultural heritage capacities of the officials of the National Secretariat of Culture and other institutions at the municipal and government level allowed the acquisition of concepts and practical tools in inventory development, safeguard plans and community management.

In the same way, the event allowed the establishment of networks and connections between the participants of the panels, who had time to share their good practices, new ideas, as well as possible joint actions. Parallel meetings were held with some of the experts and technicians of the National Secretariat of Culture and other national bodies for the exchange of experiences and development of possible collaborations.

The conference contributed to place the intangible cultural heritage as the backbone of public policies committed to the 2030 Agenda, placing culture as a bridge for development. UNESCO Montevideo showed its commitment to accompany the work in intangible cultural heritage in the country and to promote inter-institutional work. 

Click here to see the photo gallery of the Conference

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