Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) poses urgent, contemporary questions to local concerns and global ambitions. Curating ICH turns out to be a contested site of cultural praxis: Performing Arts, Indigenous Curation, Participatory Design -all form part of a 'New Museum'.
In 2003 UNESCO proposed its 'Convention for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage'; within a short span of time this Convention secured a high number of international ratifications. A bright promise lit up for "oral traditions, languages, performing arts, social practices, traditional knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, and traditional artisanship". This panel aims to take a critical look at the framework of this Convention in terms of several historical agendas: that of Anthropology, of Colonialism, of Nationalism, Post Colonialism and of 'New Age Fetishism'. What has been achieved today and what not ? Which are the problems involved in nomination, implementation and sustainable 'safeguarding'. Critical reflection on Intangible Cultural Heritage is needed as a force that can shape Local self-awareness, dignity and identities within Global horizons. 'Curation' emerges as one of the 'Key-Concepts'in cultural policies to commit Heritage either to an Archive, or to a living Repertoire. Traditional Musea and their potential for transformation might play a crucial role here. This panel invites scholars and practitioners in the field of Curation of Intangible Cultural Heritage to share their insights, proposals and practices on: 1. Transformation of traditional Museal practices, including novel design, indigenous co-curatorship and reaching new, contemporary audiences. 2. Curation of Performing Arts by self-reflexive performers of music, dance and drama; modern media of representation, performance, exchange and storage of their Heritage. 3. Indigenous curation of ICH by local experts operating in local venues, traditional or novel of cultural encounter.