Intangible Cultural Heritage

UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has drawn the attention of the world to the value of traditional cultural practices, which define communities and connect them with specific locations, both urban and rural. More than 300 elements are included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and range from the Mediterranean Diet and Turkish Coffee Culture to the Chhau Dance of West Bengal, earthenware pottery making skills in Botswana, and the tradition of falconry extending from Korea to western Europe via Mongolia, the eastern Mediterranean and north Africa.

Recognition of ICH calls for different skills and methodologies from those required in conventional heritage conservation – working with communities to create the conditions in which cultural expressions can continue to thrive, outside of the archive and the museum. Listing is only the first step in the process of safeguarding, but even currently unlisted expressions can play a vital role in sustainable development, from community based tourism initiatives, to geoparks, urban regeneration, and community development projects.

At Touch TD we have been working since 2002 with communities from the Mediterranean to Georgia, Iran and India, and closer to home in the UK and Channel Islands. Touch TD have been involved in the recording and safeguarding oral history and cultural practices, and finding innovative applications in schools, museums, tourism and cultural events. We can help you with:

  • Developing community tools for inventorying & mapping ICH
  • Devising participative, innovative recording and safeguarding strategies
  • Creating interactive exhibitions and performance-based events as dynamic alternatives to the static archive
  • Developing ICH based products and routes to distribute visitation and extend tourist stay and spend
  • Training and capacity building
  • Communication

Have a look at these links for some of our previous examples:

  1. Cultural mapping – definition
  2. Cultural mapping – experiences
  3. Cultural mapping – an exercise

Contact us to discuss how we can work with you.