Île du Monde association’s core expertise lies in safeguarding translocal Intangible Cultural Heritage (translocal ICH), meaning the ICH carried out by the migrant communities in their new urban environments, through a variety of tangible initiatives, from research-oriented projects to field work and cultural events. The association also conducts specific actions when it comes to safeguard local ICH. Tools, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces related to ICH are also included in Île du Monde’s scope of safeguard.
Since its creation in 2012, the NGO’s action aims to translate its founding members’ ambition and conviction: safeguarding translocal ICH, and therefore promoting the cultural diversity it implies, enables to build bridges between cultures in order to foster mutual understanding and respect for diversity. Such intercultural dialogue is key to sustain inclusive and peaceful societies, in environments where social exclusion and tensions arise when cultural diversity is stigmatised and prejudiced.
Île du Monde positions itself as an engaged stakeholder in the mission of safeguarding ICH, both in international contexts, supporting local communities with their ICH, and also in cosmopolitan urban environments, working with a lot of different diaporas who have immigrated and settled down (translocal ICH).
Year of accreditation: 2018
Domain(s): Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage; Performing arts; Social practices, rituals and festive events; Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; Traditional craftsmanship
Main Safeguarding measures:
– Identification, documentation, research (including inventory-making)
– Preservation, protection
– Promotion, enhancement
– Transmission, (non-) formal education
Île du Monde’s team includes anthropologists, sociologists, cultural mediators, communication and social economy experts.
The team, supported by the French Ministry of Culture, closely works with the communities in order to create an inventory of the identified elements of ICH. Such elements would then be documented and promoted, not only in the eyes of the Ministry but also in the eyes of a variety of experts, cultural institutions and the general public.
Such promotion is conducted through the writings of reports and articles, as well as production of documentaries, in order to reach a wide audience.
At the moment, various research projects have been conducted sucessfully: some deal with translocal ICH, carried out by diaporas in Paris and its region (Chinese New Year’s Eve, Georgian polyphonic music, the arts of African storytellers – griots, the Nowruz celebration, the Sikhs community…), some others deal with ICH to be protected directly in the country of its origins (the ICH of the indigenous community of Bushinengue in French Guiana for example).
In addition to its work related to the identification, documentation and research in order to safeguard ICH, Île du Monde also works with the communities directly in the field. Two main projects that are being conducted at the moment take place in Guinea and Lebanon, where the team is closely working with the local communities in order to help them with the safeguarding measures: how to submit a proposal under the Convention for the Safeguarding of the ICH, how to identify elements of ICH, how to protect and promote them, sharing good practices of transmission and revitalization…
Île du Monde also promotes and enhances ICH through various other initiatives:
– The creation of an intercultural programme, “Rencontres Île du Monde” (‘Île du Monde Gatherings’): such programme aims to invite Parisians in the homes of people who have migrated to Paris, in order to organize intercultural workshops. The concept is to exchange about a certain traditional know-how and to be taught the skills a great variety of activities. At the moment, culinary workshops are taking place, but later on, the ambition is to have a lot of different themes: well-being, music, sing, games, visual arts…
– The regular update of a digital platform and its Social media channels, where the NGO promotes a great variety of cultural activities carried out by the communities
Île du Monde also plays a key role when it comes to the revitalization of ICH. Indeed, especially when it comes to translocal ICH, the ICH runs the great risk of disapearing for the sake of ‘integration’ in the migrants’ host societies. In order to bring an answer to both challenges, safeguarding the ICH and social inclusion, the NGO has designed an Intercultural Professional Integration Programme, based on the migrants traditional know-how and technical skills. The concept is simple: migrants build on their existing strong interest and skills for a certain field, related to their traditional know-how, and the NGO supports them to develop the professional skills, in order to start an economic activity later on. The first tangible application of the concept has been under the theme of gastronomy: based on strong profiles of migrants in terms of motivation and traditional skills, Île du Monde has created an Intercultural Catering Service, where the individuals would be able to become professionals in restoration, and consider opening their own business.
Main countries where the NGO works: France, Spain, French Guiana, Guinea, Lebanon, Mexico
Local, national or international level of the NGO: International