Accepted Paper:

Food heritagization in Latin America  


Esther Katz (IRD)
Charles-Édouard de Suremain (IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement))
Raul Matta (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement)

Paper short abstract:

In Latin American countries, food heritagization has been occuring at institutional and non-institutional levels. We will question its role in the negotiation of identities, in local development strategies and integration into the global economy.

Paper long abstract:

In different regional contexts, heritage politics are encouraging the revitalization and the promotion of particular and « traditional » food products with aims such as cultural recognition and market exploitation. Moreover, UNESCO has started acknowledging different food cultures as Intangible Cultural Heritage, thus encouraging States to identify food features likely to obtain universal recognition. As a consequence, food cultures have moved to the center of a triangulation between culture, identity and markets. In Latin America, heritagization of food cultures has been happening at both institutional and non-institutional levels, first through international, national and regional institutions and, besides, through restaurants, markets, food festivals, community encounters and rituals. Through case studies in Mexico, Peru and Brazil, we will wonder why and how food and culinary heritage has been increasingly promoted, who it favors, who and what has been excluded from these processes and for which reasons. We will also question the role of food heritagization in the negotiation of past and present identities, in the integration of social groups into the global economy and in the attribution of value to people and substances involved in this process.

Panel P074
Anthropology and intangible cultural heritage: new possibilities for traditional topics? (Commission on Intangible Cultural Heritage)