Accepted Paper:

Persistence of memory. The role of contemporary artistic practice to the safeguarding and transmission of traditional arts and crafts  
Rui Oliveira Lopes (Universiti Brunei Darussalam)

Paper short abstract:

Scholars have been debating the effects of globalization on traditional societies and the safeguarding of intangible heritage. Crafts are a major expression of ICH and its endangerment in the modern world is undeniable. Can artistic research and practice contribute to its safeguarding?

Paper long abstract:

Over the last decades, facing the growing impact that globalisation has in the shaping of cultural identities, serious concerns have been raised regarding the conservation of cultural diversity, cultural heritage, and material culture. During the last decades, the processes of globalisation have been linked to a global phenomenon of cultural loss. One of the main concerns is that globalization, in its continuous and unprecedented acceleration and intensification in the global flows of capital, human migrations, information, and technology, is having a homogenizing influence on indigenous cultures. Whilst globalization promotes interaction and tolerance between cultures and societies, there is also the danger of hegemonic and transnational cultures over traditional and regional societies, leading to the loss of cultural identity. This is particularly evident in circumstances where traditional societies are exposed to rapid 'modernization' based on models imported or imposed from outside and not gradually adapted to a new context.

However, in a realm of an affirmed dichotomy between 'mainstream art' and 'crafts', several contemporary artists have been engaging in creative processes that involve apprenticeship, the transmission of skills and traditional knowledge, and eventually the participation of the owners and practitioners of traditional crafts.

This paper discusses the effectiveness of contemporary artistic practice and curatorial theories as a method towards the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and its contribution to the transmission of traditional knowledge and skills.

Panel P068
The Future of Craft: Apprenticeship, Transmission and Heritage