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International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF)

The International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) is a pluridisciplinary organization centered in the twin fields of ethnology and folklore in their various denominations, within the larger family of anthropological and cultural-historical disciplines. The principal mission is to gather scholars from its fields; to provide platforms for critical debate, networking, and exchange; to build infrastructures for intellectual cooperation; to publish and promote excellent scholarship; and to move forward the fields that it represents. SIEF facilitates scholarly exchange in the community of ethnology, folklore and neighboring disciplines. It also serves as a forum for different professional worlds, bringing together researchers, teachers, students, archivists, as well as museum and heritage professionals. The society helps to raise public awareness of the scholarship they bring together and its societal relevance. It encourages the use of ethnological knowledge, skills, and perspectives in society at large to inform public opinion and inspire innovative solutions in a rapidly transforming world. SIEF promotes academic freedom and the critical role of scholarship in society. SIEF members are active in critical heritage studies on the one hand. On the other hand they work in daily practice closely together with governmental bodies for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) as well as with the communities of ICH in its various domains. SIEF gives form to an intensive interaction between academia, ICH brokers or mediators and practitioners in daily life. SIEF also fosters academic debate on the impact of ICH and other policies on the ICH safeguarding processes, relying on research work carried out by its members and, through the platform of scholarly debates as well as larger public outreach, is encouraging exchange of various experiences and lessons learned in this regard.

SIEF’s international board and the international membership, currently having about 800 members, have been actively taking part in the implementation of the ICH Convention and the reflection over the practical implementation of it all over Europe, and also on the ICH policies in the countries of North America who have not yet joined the Convention. SIEF members contribute to the implementation of the Convention at various levels. As members of national delegations, they have contributed to the work of the Committee, including serving for the work of its Subsidiary Bodies. SIEF members work for national ICH committees on a regular basis, and also, responding to calls of national governments, lead research projects on the impact of the Convention and nominations to its international lists.

Many SIEF members are involved in the dissemination of knowledge on know-how on the documentation and investigation of ICH, for instance by providing courses in fieldwork, archival and documentation methodologies, and publishing scientific and popular publications on ICH related topics. Members of the working group ‘Cultural Heritage and Property’ have taken part in the international discussions on ethical issues for ICH safeguarding, as well as on the future monitoring of the implementation of the 2003 Convention.

Year of accreditation: 2018

Main domain(s) of the ngo’s activities: oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, traditional craftsmanship

Main country where the NGO works: Europe, North America

Local, national or international level of the NGO: International

1 Comment

  • thank you so much for this great article.

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