There will be 10 symposia open to communications that are related to the topics that each one raises.

SIMPOSIUM 1. Cultural Sustainability: ICH Creating Wellbeing

Michael Atwood Mason:
Meritxell Martin-Pardo:

In recent years, cultural sustainability has emerged as an alternative to more standardized forms of Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) safeguarding. Cultural sustainability is a reciprocal research practice that fosters relationships, engenders knowledge about the sociocultural context, and guides diverse ethical interventions that enhance the vitality of specific communities and/or cherished aspects of their cultural heritage. A key difference in this innovative approach is a focus not only on the vitality of the forms of ICH, but also on the wellbeing of the communities that value that ICH. How have various practitioners used ICH to increase a sense of different kinds of wellbeing?

Many efforts have focused on developing ICH to support sustainable tourism and other forms of community development, and in the United States, several organizations have focused on the health benefits of participation in community-based forms of art. In fact, research has shown a direct correlation between the use of inherited languages and mental and physical health. Similarly, some organizations have embraced ICH as a mechanism to support social justice efforts. And others have focused on forced migration as a process in which to imbue new meanings on ICH. Whether through economic development and social cohesion or improved health outcomes for senior citizens and social justice for marginalized groups, communities can use ICH to increase wellbeing as they seek to shape their present and their futures.

Presentations related to experiences of cultural sustainability, experiences of using the ICH for social welfare, the interrelationship with sustainable tourism and the use of the ICH as an element of social cohesion, among other topics, will be accepted.

SYMPOSIUM 3: Good practices in socialization of intangible cultural heritage

Antoni Rojas Rabaneda (Institut Català de Recerca en Patrimoni Cultural, Universitat de Girona):
Jordi Montlló Bolart (Institut Català de Recerca en Patrimoni Cultural, Universitat de Girona):

UNESCO’s 2003 Paris Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has placed communities as the main protagonists of its manifestations. It has linked the concept of safeguarding to social, economic and cultural sustainability. The implementation of the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices responds to the need to enhance programmes, projects and activities that better reflect the principles and objectives of the Convention. The recognition of the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) as a tool for cultural and economic activation has increased in these 18 years, but there is still a long way to go towards the conceptualization of creative and innovative proposals for the enhancement of its value. The objective of this symposium is to share actions for safeguarding and socializing the ICH, according to the broad concept defined in the Convention, to make these actions visible and to generate scientific debate among the participants and attendees of the symposium.

Presentations about examples of good practices and innovative actions to enhance and safeguard the ICH will be accepted.


SYMPOSIUM 5: Digital strategies for the enhancement of the ICH: social networks, virtual museums, e-inventories

Marta Rico Iñigo (Universitat de Barcelona):
María Royuela Maldonado (Universitat de Barcelona):

Digitalization is part of the social reality, also reaching the field of museums and the management of Intangible Cultural Heritage. In this symposium we want to establish a dialogue between different experiences that show the use of digital tools such as social networks, the virtualization of museums or digital inventories to share and express this ICH. In this sense, the aim is to share initiatives that develop experiences around virtual reality, citizen participation through digital media, the development of collaborative initiatives, etc., always taking into account the digital medium.

We will accept communications about experiences of use of digital tools for the preservation and dissemination of ICP: social networks, virtual museums, virtual reality experiences, etc. Especially significant will be the experiences that relate to the use of these elements as substitutions during the lockdown period of the pandemic.


SYMPOSIUM 7: The musealization of intangible heritage

Iñaki Arrieta- Urtizberea (Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitea):
Yadur González (CETT-Universitat de Barcelona)

In recent years there has been a growing interest in safeguarding the ICH, derived from cultural homogenization and the patrimonial processes of activation and reinvention that have been taking place in these times of globalization. Academia, international organizations and public and private institutions have developed practices and methodologies to address this heritage and point out the great importance of its cultural value. This symposium aims to open a debate on the uses and representation of ICH within museums, taking into account the degree of abstraction and the constant evolution of meanings posed by this heritage:  how to exhibit? ,  what museographic techniques? , with which collections? ; What technical resources can be used? How can museums contribute to the management of intangible heritage?

We will accept presentations that explain experiences related to the musealization of the ICH, both in its museological and museographic aspects, uses of various technologies, narratives and objects used.


SYMPOSIUM 9: Biocultural heritage: strategies for enhancement in the face of emerging crises

Claudia Ranaboldo (Diversidad &Desarrollo / Plataforma Diversidad Biocultural y Territorios):
Isidro Soloaga (Universidad Iberoamericana, México):

The Symposium will focus on presenting innovative and virtuous responses to the valorization of biocultural heritage in the face of crises linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. It will seek to discuss resilience and adaptation strategies based on biodiversity and cultural heritage in relation to these major disruptors. The approach will include several actors and levels, from territorial and citizen collective action to the areas of public policies, through corporate-business bets and the new challenges of academia. Special attention will be paid to initiatives that could be reproduced and the mobilizing and cohesive role of intangible heritage in these scenarios and processes.

We will accept presentations that narrate or reflect on experiences related to biocultural heritage and its uses during the pandemic, and its capacities for territorial and community action.


SYMPOSIUM 2: Tourism 3.0. Intangible cultural heritage at the heart of the tourist experience

Alexandra Georgescu Paquin (Universitat de Barcelona):
Jordi Arcos Pumarola (CETT-Universitat de Barcelona):
Maria del Pilar Leal Londoño (CETT-Universitat de Barcelona): 

The close relationship between tourism and culture generates a dynamic that consists in identifying and finding more and more elements of attraction in cultural expressions for inclusion in the logic of tourism. In this way, cultural tourism was initially based on material resources such as built heritage or art, elements that generate a contemplative relationship with the visitor. Yet, now  it has integrated experiences where the visitor lives the culture first-hand thanks to the creation of new tourism products. Thus, intangible heritage is becoming increasingly important in the proposal of tourism. This has been accentuated because of the pandemic, as it has provoked a movement towards local cultures and proximity tourism. In this sense, it is necessary to consider issues such as tourism management, the use of new technologies and the perception of authenticity, among others, to ensure a sustainable future for tourist destinations.

Presentations about experiences of interrelation of the ICH with tourism, the tourism management of the ICH and the challenges and problems of the ICH in its tourist use will be accepted.


SYMPOSIUM 4: Decolonial Approaches to Intangible Heritage

Ángeles Castaño Madroñal (Universidad de Sevilla):
Fabien Van Geert (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle): fabien.van-geert@sorbonne-
Omar Guzmán Ralat (Universitat de Barcelona):

The “decolonial turn” in the field of cultural heritage is a challenge for the conception, management and interpretation of heritage. It is an opportunity for epistemological renewal that has been built on two fundamental axes of debate about the nature of movable and immovable material heritage: processes of restitution of museum pieces and the questioning of monuments in public spaces. Intangible cultural heritage constructs sensitive meanings that jeopardize the processes of institutionalization, challenging critical positions -including decolonial ones- to overcome the limits of coloniality and its forms. The selection process, dominated by (self)representations of exclusivity/exclusion in the positions of indigenization vs. national hegemony, centers a discursive game that fails to alter it, to the detriment of diversity. Analyzing and reflecting on the ICH that reinforces coloniality or challenges the theoretical paradigm, as well as on the decolonization of the processes of patrimonialization itself is a prevailing need.

Presentations about experiences or debates of decolonization in museums, associations and indigenous societies will be accepted.


SYMPOSIUM 6: ICH from an intersectional approach: gender, ethnicity and class

Camila del Mármol Cartaña (Universitat de Barcelona):
Fabiola Mancinelli (Universitat de Barcelona):

This symposium seeks to explore the different intersections of gender, ethnicity, class, and other possible sources of inequality and oppression that go through the processes of heritagization in our contemporary world. With an eye on the contexts of economic and political production, but also on cultural and affective ones that determine the selection of heritages, we are interested in creating a space for discussion that allows us to contrast how the different systems of exploitation and oppression produce patrimonial configurations and diverse alignments of the uses of the local past, giving rise to a historical distillation of the social dynamics of inequality in each context. Heritage, from this perspective, can be complicit in complex naturalizations of racism, gender violence or the exploitation of large sectors of the population that have historically taken place in the context of the different nation states, immersed in turn in the complex configurations of colonial domination developed over the centuries. Likewise, the complex contemporary heritage assemblages can become battlefields for the struggle of different groups that demand the subversion of the canons of exploitation and inequality.

We will accept presentations about debates in relation to the dynamics of gender, ethnicity and class inequality, showing the various configurations and conflicts related to the ICH.


SYMPOSIUM 8: Impact of Covid-19 on the ICH

Lluís Bellas Melgosa (Universitat de Barcelona):
Guillermo Soler de Oteyza (Limonium SL ):

The impact of Covid-19 worldwide has generated one of the largest social, political and economic crises in recent history and these are affecting multiple dimensions of life, including the intangible cultural heritage (ICH). Health restrictions have put in check a heritage such as the ICH, deeply linked to people and communities who transmit it and give it continuity. Communities have suffered economic losses, suspension of their rituals and profound psychological effects leading to open social conflicts. Paradoxically, this global crisis is also generating a great boost to creativity with the reinvention of cultural practices by communities. It should also be noted that communities have promoted the use of digital technologies as tools to transmit their knowledge, disseminate their practices through virtual museums, sell their crafts in e-commerce formats or broadcast their rituals through social networks. Virtuality has thus allowed a new form of continuity for the transmission, awareness and recreation of the ICH. This symposium aims to reflect on the multiple responses of communities to the impact of Covid-19 on intangible cultural heritage (conflicts, adaptations, reinventions, resilience, etc.) and proposals for its future sustainability.

We will accept communications that explain or reflect on experiences related to the effects of COVID during the pandemic period, its resilience and transformation capacity, as well as the challenges that could arise for the ICH in the future.


SYMPOSIUM 10: Intangible heritage management policies: public policies, role of associations, governance and participation

Alejandra Canals Ossul (Universitat de Barcelona):
Mireia Guil Egea (Universitat de Barcelona):
Elodia Hernández León (Universidad Pablo Olavide):

The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) inaugurates a new paradigm in relation to public policies applied to the management of this “new” heritage. The ratification of this document implies that the States parties agree to adopt a series of measures to manage and safeguard their intangible cultural heritage (ICH). This entails, on the one hand, a normativization in terms of what is meant by safeguarding knowledge and practices now recognized as ICH, and on the other, a series of tensions resulting from the diverse interpretations and translations that States carry out with respect to the postulates and actions stipulated in the Convention. One of the key concepts of the Convention is that of participation, from which emerges a strategy that aims at political decentralization and governance around the identification and safeguarding of ICH. This, however, poses significant challenges in terms of the creation of structures and methodologies that are implemented for this purpose, the effective inclusion of the diversity of agents involved in binding processes, the emergence of conflicts and different visions and the risk that the bureaucratization of these processes excludes those actors that are not part of the authorized heritage discourse.

We will accept presentations that carry out analysis of the participation processes that are articulated in the different patrimonial regimes around the identification and safeguarding of the ICH, the roles and relationships that are established between the various actors (institutions, technicians, associations, among others) that participate in these and the results that emanate from these initiatives in terms of the enhancement and safeguarding of the PCI.