Training civil society in documenting and safeguarding intangible cultural heritage

Project title

Protecting Intangible Heritage in the Upper Tigris Valley, Turkey





Project aim

Funded by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, the aim of the project was to train people in the Upper Tigris Valley to document and safeguard intangible cultural heritage expressions in a region of south-eastern Turkey where the richness and diversity of its culture and traditions face considerable pressures.

Who we worked with

Social History Foundation (Tarih Vakfı) Turkey, Tigris Development Agency, Mardin Museum

What we did

We designed and delivered a two-day training workshop for 80 volunteers in the Upper Tigris Valley exploring with them the nature of, and pressures on, living cultural heritage in the region, and methods for its documentation and safeguarding. We further conducted a rapid needs analysis for cultural tourism in the region, and the scope for integrating ICH into a cultural tourism offer, as part of the process of safeguarding.


The training workshop launched the cultural protection project in the Upper Tigris Valley, raising awareness and understanding of ICH amongst civil society stakeholders, and training trainers and project participants in the issues and methods of ICH safeguarding. The workshop guided and supported participants in developing criteria for the selection of twenty ICH expressions which would be the focus of documentation and safeguarding efforts in the next phase of the project.