What can Intangible Cultural Heritage Nomination Videos tell us about the 2003 Convention?

Since the implementation of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, State Parties have been sending in nomination videos to add Intangible Cultural Heritage to the lists. These videos help the evaluation body to have a better understanding of the cultural element in question. They are also available on YouTube to the general public. It is a communication tool and a global opportunity to enhance the visibility of the cultural element and the communities, groups and individuals in question. These audiovisual files offer an opportunity to analyze cultural politics as reflected by these videos.

The research of June Zhang sets out to construct a comparative model based on qualitative analysis of ICH nomination videos submitted by 3 active State Parties to the 2003 Convention, Belgium, Turkey and China. This research has developed a visual methodology and a basic pattern based on the preliminary result of analyzing the 42 videos that were submitted by China and presented during Intergovernmental committee from 2008 to 2020. It accesses UNESCO’s instructions and indications on audiovisual interpretation and representation within the framework of the 2003 convention, and how these indications affect the following audiovisual presentations by State Parties. It also reflects the transformative understanding of the 2003 Convention and the development of safeguarding mechanism over time. This ultimately contributes to a critical understanding of UNESCO, its 2003 Conventions and its 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the UN 2030 Agenda, as some major global experimental cultural niche construction projects.

We will keep you posted on the results! To learn more about the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, visit this website.