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Awarded, and now what? Negotiating uncertainty and Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO) in rural areas 
Mirko Uhlig (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Manuel Trummer (University of Regensburg)
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Saturday 10 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Prague

Short Abstract:

What is the significance of Intangible Cultural Heritage as a resource in rural regions? Using empirical examples, the panel will discuss opportunities and problems of participation and endogenous development against the backdrop of the uncertainties of rural transformation in Europe.

Long Abstract:

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in Europe's rural areas is characterized by a twofold uncertainty. Current studies show on the one hand that the conferral of ICH status (UNESCO) by the respective national committees can lead to conflicts in the local communities. Questions of representation, inclusion, and of economic and ecological impacts arise – a result of a fundamental uncertainty: how should the award be dealt with, and who should participate? Often the joy over the “honour” is followed by disillusionment and the question – what now? Who actually benefits from it? Especially in peripheral rural regions, the lack of expertise, a hindered knowledge circulation, and an insufficient integration of local actors and networks pose key problems.

On the other hand, many rural areas in Europe are themselves marked by uncertainties. Infrastructural and demographic shrinkage, and the transformation of 20th century rural industry and agriculture form a “sea of uncertainties” that require new forms of governance.

This panel explores to what extent forms of ICH can strengthen the resilience of rural areas. The focus is on forms of heritage that have already been designated ICH status by the national committees. Several questions are at the forefront:

- What uncertainties arise AFTER the conferral of ICH status?

- What conflicts might arise in a community following the conferral?

- Which "dynamics of valorization" (Bendix 2013) generate uncertainty?

We are interested in empirical contributions that use examples to focus on the perspective of actors in the field.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Saturday 10 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Saturday 10 June, 2023, -