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The webinar series “Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development”

By October 7, 2022No Comments

As a reservoir of experiences, developed across different cultures, Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) offers inspiring examples of alternative ways of understanding the relationship with the nature and the environment, of healing and taking care of each other, of strengthening social bonds and sustaining livelihoods. In this sense, ICH can be an agent for change and a resource for imagining alternative ways of living on an endangered planet, what is conventionally referred to as “sustainable development”.

brings together the UNESCO Chairs on Intangible Cultural Heritage to tackle the concept of “sustainable development” from the particular perspectives and field of expertise of each Chair (i.e. cultural diversity, education, comparative law, policy and law, applied studies, critical heritage studies etc.). Discussants from a variety of disciplines will join the sessions with the aim of decompartmentalizing the debate following each presentation.

For further infomration: chaire-unesco-pcidd[at]


  • 14/10/ 2022 14.00-16.00 CET

Kristin Kuutma, UNESCO Chair on Applied Studies of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Graduate School for Culture Studies and Arts, Institute of Cultural Research, University of Tartu

Ownership and rights: Sustainable Development ideals with inequalities of recognition and resource command

The UNESCO-defined ICH or living heritage domain and its management is fundamentally retrospective, and yet by its political alignment suggests to pursue the UN futurist Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals. This discussion will particularly engage with the goal to reduce inequalities. My critical inquiry unpacks the entangled socioeconomic implications and resource command in relation to designated heritage practices. For minority groups there emerge remarkable sites of meaning that project the dismissed rights for self-determination. Alongside resource command, these reflections analyse inequalities in the politics of recognition. My ethnographic material is based on long-term fieldwork at ICH-related targeted meetings.

Discussant: Cléa Hance, PhD student ENS-Paris Saclay

  • 15/12/2022 14.00-16.00 CET

Crsitina Amescua, UNESCO Chair in research on intangible cultural heritage and cultural diversity
Centro Regional de Investigaciones Multidisciplinarias. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Ancestral Barter in Contemporary Morelos: sustainable practices that build regional development

There are multiple ways in which sustainable development is understood and enacted at the local and regional levels. I will discuss these issues drawing from a case in a region in central Mexico, where a barter market (along with the commercial market) is held every Sunday in the town of Zacualpan de Amilpas, Morelos, interconnecting people from the highlands and the lowlands of the Popocatepetl Volcano. As the grand parents of their grandparents did, today people from this region collect natural (not cultivated) products from their lands (fruits, vegetables, wood) as well as other products they manufacture (cloths, pottery, coal) and go to Zacualpan to trade what they have for what they need or want. In doing so, they take care of their environment, they create social bonds, exchange knowledges and skills, and ensure a healthier and more varied diet for their families during the week. A wide variety of non monetary transactions are carried out as negotiations take place in nahuatl and spanish to agree on the value of the elements to be exchanged. Barter is a very complete example of how Intangible cultural heritage is at the same time a reservoir of local knowledges and a mechanism to constantly build solid and cohesive communities and groups.

Discussant: Regina Bendix, Institute for Cultural Anthropology / European Ethnology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

  • 09/02/2023 14.00-16.00 CET

Marc Jacobs, UNESCO Chair on Critical Heritage Studies and Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage
Vrije Universiteit, Brussel

  • 30/03/2023 14.00-16.00 CET

Pier Luigi Petrillo, UNESCO Chair on Intangible Culturale Heritage and Comparative Law
Department of Law and Economic, University of Rome Unitelma Sapienza

Discussant: Anita Vaivade, UNESCO Chair on Intangible Cultural Heritage Policy and Law at the Latvian Academy of Culture

  • 11/05/2023 14.00-16.00 CET

Tiago de Oliveira Pinto, UNESCO Chair on Transcultural Music Studies
Musicology Department University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar & Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Discussant: Ahmet Erman Aral, Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University, Department of Turkish Folklore and UNESCO Chair on Intangible Cultural Heritage in Formal and Informal Education

  • 06/06/2023 14.00-16.00 CET

Students session: presentation of ongoing PhD and MA research and discussion