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Accepted Paper:

Dive into smell. Rethinking documenting strategies for intangible cultural heritage  
Sophie Elpers (Meertens Institute, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

The paper addresses the significance of smell in intangible cultural heritage and discusses the question how to rethink standard visual-audio-based documentation strategies and draw more attention to olfactory elements when inventorying and documenting intangible cultural heritage.

Paper long abstract:

The paper addresses the significance of smell in intangible cultural heritage (like rituals, festive events, social practices and performing arts, but also crafts) and discusses how and for whom olfactory elements in intangible heritage could and should be documented.

Even though smell constitutes an important component of intangible heritage and people’s identification with the heritage, and serves as catalyst to access emotions and values, it is often overlooked when identifying, inventorying and documenting intangible heritage. How to rethink standard visual-audio-based strategies for documenting heritage and overcome the regime of what is traditionally understood as the ‘stronger senses’ (cf. Henshaw 2014; Davis, Thys-Senocak 2017)? How should olfactory elements in intangible heritage be documented in order to get a more complete understanding of the heritage?

The paper is based on empirical data generated from fieldwork and surveys amongst intangible heritage practitioners in the Netherlands and interviews with heritage policy makers from the Netherlands, Slowenia and France. It also makes use of a pilot study on the development and implementation of France’s law on the protection of rural sensory heritage that came into force in 2021.

Panel Perf03
Documenting performance-based cultural heritage in times of crisis
  Session 1 Thursday 8 June, 2023, -