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Messages to the UNESCO 2003 Convention

Central Institute for Intangible Heritage (Ministry of Culture) – State Party – Italy

By November 3, 2023December 3rd, 2023No Comments

“Kaleidoscope of the Intangible Heritage” – produced by Istituto Centrale Patrimonio Immateriale (ICPI- Italian Ministry of Culture


“(In)visible Tales. Between Heaven and Earth.” Itinerant exhibition project for the promotion of Italian living heritages in the world. From 2019 in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Bulgaria, Armenia, Spain…

The video “Kaleidoscope of the Intangible Heritage” has been produced by the Central Institute for the Intangible Heritage, the organization of the Italian Ministry of Culture deputed to the preservation and enhancement of living heritages, as part of the project of dissemination of Italian intangible heritage in the world “(In)visible Tales. Between Heaven and Earth.” The 2023 edition of this project, which started as a project back in 2018, coincides with the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO 2023 Convention, and its main intent, beyond the promotion and valorization of Italian intangible heritage, is to contribute to the strengthening of the perception of many “intangible” aspects of everyday cultural living expressions, as elements of cultural heritage.

Skills and techniques of manual labor and traditional craftsmanship, social customs, knowledge concerning nature, food preparation, awareness of the environment and the universe, practices and perspectives still fundamental in the life of communities, such as the time of ritual and festivities, orality, music, song and dance, find their place within a narrative architecture with an “immersive” character, which puts ethnographic research expressed through film and photographic reportage in dialogue with the works of fourteen contemporary Italian artists.

The exhibition project is carried out in collaboration with Italian diplomatic missions, the Italian Institutes of Culture, the Dante Alighieri Society, and heritage communities, among which some refer to elements inscribed in the 2003 UNESCO Convention lists, such as the Italian network of celebrations of big shoulder-borne processional structures and the Truffle hunting and extraction in Italy, traditional knowledge and practice.

The video “Kaleidoscope of Intangible Heritage” offers a visual perception that is slow and swirling at the same time: a kind of dance of traditions that – as we would say in musical terms – alternates between adagio and prestissimo on the visual plane. Ritual performances chase and intersect in a swirling myriad of configurations and speeds, even marching backwards.

You will be able to witness many traditional Italian festivals chasing each other and, finally, clasping each other in a tight embrace: the Celebrations of big shoulder-borne processional structures of Nola, Palmi, Sassari and Viterbo, along with the Palio dell’Assunta of Fermo, the Madonna del Soccorso of Sciacca, the Corsa dei Ceri of Gubbio, the Bove Finto Carnival of Offida and many others.

Moreover, the extraordinary dimension of festivals is joined by the daily dimension of crafts, and the frenzy of ritual dives musically into the energy of work, which in turn generates the rhythm of repeated gestures against the backdrop of ancient knowledge and practices that are still alive, such as Transhumance and Truffle hunting.

The “Kaleidoscope of Intangible Heritage” is the human image of Italy’s living heritages.