Under the bauhinia tree: lessons from South East Asia on ICH and the intersection between people place and practice

McIntyre-Tamwoy, Susan, and O'Rourke, Katie (2017) Under the bauhinia tree: lessons from South East Asia on ICH and the intersection between people place and practice. Historic Environment, 29 (2). pp. 12-31.

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The UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was conceived as a harmonizing tool that would work to mitigate the negative impacts of globalisation while also creating opportunities for renewed dialogue amongst communities within and across national borders and to maintain the world’s cultural diversity. Australia, like most of the major western nations, is not a signatory to this Convention, although cultural heritage practitioners within Australia have for some years been incorporating a consideration of intangible values into understandings of heritage places in Australia. Meanwhile, many of our neighbours in the Asia- Pacific have enthusiastically embraced the Convention and embarked on a range of activities from research and documentation of ICH through to the enactment of legislation specifically protecting ICH. The adoption in 2015 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which specifically reference cultural heritage for the first time will potentially provide an added impetus for consideration of cultural heritage in Southeast Asia and the Pacific although the impact of this latest initiative has for the most part yet to filter down into development planning. Given the activity around the safeguarding of ICH and the increased attention to cultural heritage in regional development activities, if we do not ratify the Convention it is possible that Australian will find itself increasingly out of step with its neighbours in the region.

While there are many similarities in the approaches to safeguarding ICH by nations across Asia and the Pacific there are also some interesting differences. In some countries, ICH and TCH have developed into separate silos and in others, they are more entwined. This paper will consider approaches to ICH in the region and consider some of the lessons that we can learn from our neighbours to the north who are engaged in the protection of ICH.

Item ID: 52386
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0726-6715
Keywords: intangible heritage, Australia, South East Asia, UNESCO
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Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2018 02:50
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430199 Archaeology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950304 Conserving Intangible Cultural Heritage @ 100%
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