||Museums and Intangible Heritage
<h3>1. Kyoung-Mann CHO (Korea): From the Fetishism of Cultural Artifacts to the Reflexive Field of Human Being. </h3>
Up to now in most of all museum presentations of Korea, people have to be accustomed to appreciate 'treasures', apparent habits or techniques of artisans's production, alienated from the total, real context of culture. This type of appreciation has happened in the area of presentation which deals with intangible culture as well as in that which deals with tangible materials. It is quite difficult to discover 'human beings and their lives' in the presentations.
Recently people's desire of cultural appreciation is changing. People are more and more inclined to make comparative interpretations between themselves and the displayed objects. Beyond retrospective remembering of past, reflexive interpretations of people's human existence occur. Now it is needed that the displays of museum offer the instances for the people to appreciate human lives and to discover 'themselves', instead of mere rendering of 'past informations' and relative entertainment.
Kyoung-Mann CHO, Professor of Anthropology, MokPo National University, Korea
<h3>2. Jang-hyuk IM (Korea): A Prospective and Retrospective Evaluation of the Protective Policy on Intangible Cultural Properties.</h3>
All countries of the world are adopting policies appropriate for the environment of their own countries in order to protect cultural heritage and the arts. Korea enacted the Cultural Properties Protection Law in 1962, and it has been designating cultural properties with historical, artistic and scientific value as important intangible cultural properties, which are part of national intangible cultural properties. It has been 40 years since the country started designating important intangible properties in 1964. The preservation policy on intangible cultural properties brought about policy changes based on the social and cultural environment. The stages for the policy development are currently in operation via a 3-phase process. The first phase places importance on excavating and recording intangible cultural properties scattered throughout the country and designating those having preservation value as important intangible cultural properties. In the second phase, systematic provision is arranged to continue the spirit of designated important intangible cultural properties without letting it die out. Namely, training of fostering successors is being implemented as the obligation of those possessing important intangible cultural properties to hand down their own skills or techniques to their successors. Training is a form of apprenticeship education for the traditional artists that has been systematized, which is a special feature of the system for important intangible cultural properties in Korea. The Cultural Properties Administration is providing the holders and the transmitters of skills and techniques with various supports on the training grounds. The support can be classified into financial support and systematic support. Financial support provides grants to the holders so that they can conduct training and art activities under stable livelihood. Systematic support refers to providing support by managing various systems in cooperation with relevant government ministries. Establishing the policy on such support falls under the second phase. The third phase places importance on the propagation policy for developing importance intangible cultural properties as popular cultural properties. Undesignated intangible cultural properties were designated as important intangible cultural properties, and training was begun in order for the holders to teach many successors. In addition, as the first generation holders passed away and their successors became second generation holders, a dispute over the original form had arisen on occasion. Accordingly, scientific documentation of skills and techniques concerning important intangible cultural properties was urgently demanded. The National Research Institute of Cultural Properties is making efforts to preserve the original form of important intangible cultural properties by producing documentary films and publications.
The policy on the intangible cultural properties should be converted from a protection-oriented policy to a propagation-oriented policy in order to be developed as popular culture properties rather than cultural properties of the successors only. In order to do so, above all, a link with education-related policies is necessary. The value of intangible cultural properties should be included in a regular curriculum and dispersed to a social education program. In order to make such measures possible, a function of the Foundation for the Preservation of Cultural Properties, Korea should be strengthened. Materials related to activities of the holders should be managed systematically since the modern history of traditional arts has been led by them. Therefore, a resource center for important intangible cultural properties should be established.
Jang-hyuk IM, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, ChungAng University, Korea
<h3>3. Silvia Singer (Mexico): One More Challenge for Museums: Intangible Heritage. Reflections from a Mexican Perspective</h3>
ICOM Mexico organized, in response to ICOM International’s call for reflection and discussion around the topic of Museums and Intangible Heritage, a colloquium that assembled a remarkable group of Mexican academics, who delivered (from the academic perspective) their thought and theories on Heritage and its intangible expressions. As part of the same event, an interesting group of colleagues, who are currently responsible for the mise-en-scène of contemporary expressions of Intangible Heritage in Mexican museums, presented their experiences.
During the Seoul session, we will present the central preoccupations that academics and museum professional expressed on the preservation, meaning and continuity of Mexican intangible heritage.
The most relevant aspects discussed during the colloquium included the importance of restoring the meanings attributed to intangible heritage by Mexicans, its relevance in relation to historical memory and identity, its links with tangible heritage, the need to safeguard endangered intangible expressions, the current interaction conditions between intangible heritage and globalization processes.
From the museum perspective, we wanted to highlight the splendid studies existing on intangible heritage, the fact that they remain unknown, and the meager connection existing with museums. The problems we, as institutions, face in order to contribute to the preservation and revitalization of this invaluable heritage, the relations that museums establish with the communities that generate intangible wealth, and the challenges that its documentation implies are also commented. Finally, the contributions that some Mexican museums have done to document, divulge, promote and revalue intangible heritage from the 80’s onwards, have been of the greatest importance for interpretation and knowledge of our valuable Mexican intangible heritage.
Silvia Singer, Director of Betlemitas Museum, Mexico City, President of ICOM Mexico
<h3>4. Jong-sung YANG (Korea): "Comprehensive Countermeasures of Protection for Non-Government Designated Intangible Cultural Heritages and Digital Archiving for Future Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritages": Context for Korean Shamanism. </h3>
This study is dealing with the future comprehensive countermeasures of protection policy for intangible cultural heritages, specifically discussing non-government designated intangible cultural heritages and digital archiving in the context of Korean Shamanic ritual. In the world, government protection policy for intangible cultural heritages has been promulgated extensively only in Japan and Korea. This study is focusing on the Korean model, which is perhaps the most developed of these systems globally. The data will come from Korean shamanic ritual, which is one category of intangible cultural heritages.
In Korea, the intangible cultural heritages have been protected only as designated intangible cultural heritage forms under cultural property protection law of Korean government. Therefore, non-designated intangible cultural heritages have been excluded and are disappearing. This study is more focused on the non-designated forms and alternative ideas for its protection. This study identifies current methods of recording and cataloging intangible cultural heritages, which have been wontedly recorded with analogue systems for protected and transmitted materials. Today, we need the intangible cultural heritages to be recorded with digital systems and digital archiving for the future protection of intangible cultural heritages. Therefore, this study addresses new techniques (including digitalization) for recording of intangible cultural heritages.
Jong-sung YANG, Senior Curator of the National Folk Museum of Korea
<h3>5. Leif Pareli (Norway): Sami Shamanism: From Prohibition and Persecution to Expression of National Identity </h3>
The Sami, indigenous people of Northern Scandinavia, were from the Middle Ages on gradually made subjects of their neighbours states: Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. As part of the subjugation process, the Christian religion of these states was imposed on the Sami. Their old animistic beliefs were suppressed, shamanistic practices were forbidden and objects associated with these practices were confiscated. Most important among such objects were the magic drums, which the shaman would use for divination or to achieve a state of trance, so that his soul could "travel" out of the body. Some drums were destroyed, others ended up in royal collections and eventually in museums far away from Samiland. Among the Sami themselves, a particularly strict variety of Lutheran Protestantism became widespread, condemning all expressions of "paganism"; as a consequence, shamanistic beliefs and practices were generally considered extinct by the early 20th century.
During the last decades, a growing movement of political and cultural self-expression among the Sami has contributed to a renewed interest in ancient religious traditions and practices. Some claim to have inherited esoteric knowledge from relatives or elders, others have systematically explored the spiritual power of "soul journeys" achieved through the use of magic drums, and some have sought inspiration from similar movements in other parts of the world, such as new-age schools inspired by Native American traditions. The presentation will discuss these new shamanistic expressions and their relation to Sami traditions as well as their function in contemporary society. The exploration of suppressed and revived religious practices will have great relevance for the study of the immaterial aspects of human culture which has lately become a topic of interest to museum scholars around the world.
In addition to the discussion of immaterial practices and belief systems, the paper will include a power-point presentation of objects associated with Sami shamanism, notably a number of drums preserved in major museum collections in Scandinavian capitals and other European cities.
Leif Pareli, curator, The Norwegian Folk Museum, Oslo, Norway; board member of ICOM Norway
<h3>6. Kolokesa Mahina (New Zealand): Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa: The Case of the Intangible Heritage </h3>
This paper will critically examine the concept and practice of "Museums and Intangible Heritage" with reference to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, in Aotearoa New Zealand. Particular focus will be on Te Papa’s approach to the intangible heritage of Pacific peoples as reflected in its Pacific collections and permanent Pacific exhibition, Mana Pasifika. Te Papa’s current Pacific collection does not account for the intangible elements of Pacific cultures. This is highlighted in the current Pacific collection development strategy where emphasis is placed on the tangible rather than the intangible. A brief description of Mana Pasifika, will illustrate that although the intangible is not accounted for in the collection, there is the awareness and acknowledgement of the importance of intangible heritage. While the tangible and intangible can be regarded individually they are closely interconnected and the separate but equal representation of both is an important factor in the successful merging of the theory and praxis of "museums and intangible heritage". To remedy this current imbalance there is a proposal for a collection development strategy that will involve a more structured and active role in collecting the intangible. This proposal will be outlined with reference to the approach taken by the Vanuatu Culture Centre in regards to their fieldworkers network system and significant film and audio collection, which are examples of the successful fusion of the concept and practice of "museums and intangible heritage." Pacific cultures are "living cultures" and this can only be reflected in a Pacific collection that conceptually and practically encompasses both the tangible and the intangible in mutually inclusive and holistic ways.
Kolokesa Mahina, Curator Pacific Cultures, Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand
<h3>7. Han-Bum SUH (Korea): Considerations on the Preservation and Development of Intangible Heritage, Concentrated on Korean Traditional Music. </h3>
Museum is not a big box to store the things that we do not use these days. It reflects who we are, represents the strength of the nation, and guides to the future of next generations. The purpose of this study is to find out potential functions of museum to implement the effective system that preserves and develops our intangible heritage. The author proposes five aspects of museum for the improvement and preservation cultural assets.
1) It is necessary for people to modify the concept of cultural heritage. People tend to regard museum as a place where we preserve and display only tangible objects from the past. Knowing that heritage of nation includes not only visible assets, but also intangible heritage such as music, dance, drama, and rites will encourage people to redefine what cultural heritage is.
2) The extensive traditional music archive should be facilitated. It is to conserve and maintain the original forms of traditional music. The archive also includes relevant historical resources, costume, traditional instruments, and transcription of treatises. It also extends resources of the field of traditional music and services to the community, students, faculty, collectors, scholars and public researchers. There is no doubt that the continuous investigation of traditional music with tangible objects, would contribute to the preservation and development of intangible heritage.
3) Museum can be the right place to provide people with opportunities where they can experience hereditary habits and behaviors from the past. For instance, participating in the process of producing traditional instruments or demonstrating traditional play, which requires certain level of order, structure, and combined efforts of participants, would contribute to increase group cohesion. These kinds of simulation based on abundant visual, auditory, and tactile aids allow people to trace back to the real life of our ancestor and to be connected with the philosophy that has been a significant foundation of this nation.
4) Performing arts demonstrated by living human treasures and lecture series on the aesthetic quality of traditional music will encourage people to validate the uniqueness of intangible heritage and help people increase patriotism.
5) Museum can function as a MuseUniversity (Museum+University). It may create lecture series about cultural heritage with its extensive and valuable items and provide people with life-long learning opportunities.
Han-Bum SUH, Professor, DanKook University, Korea
<h3>8. Daniel Winfree Papuga (Norway): A Taste of Intangible Heritage: Food Traditions Inside and Outside of the Museum </h3>
As nourishment, food consists of tangible, material substances which humans consume. But the knowledge and practice of food preparation, etiquette of eating and symbolic meanings tied to various foods are all intangible. As intangible substances, food can mediate social relations, and be imbued with power far beyond its nourishment value. Using examples from Korea, the USA, Norway and Croatia, this paper will discuss how museums have integrated food traditions into their collections, exhibitions and activities. How does food relate to visitor/museum interactivity, ideas of authenticity and the dynamics between tangibility and intangibility?
Daniel Winfree Papuga, Editor for the Pedagogical section of the Norwegian Museum Association; Secretary of ICME.
<h3>9. Henry C Bredekamp (South Africa): Transforming representations of Intangible Heritage at Iziko Museums, South-Africa </h3>
The key question the paper wishes to address is the extent to which a national museum institution in a country like South Africa, with a wide range of autonomous locally based and/or community museums should incorporate the management and promotion of intangible heritage as part of its core business. Within this context, the proposed paper would be an attempt to give some insight into the dilemma of transforming five national museum institutions based at the southern tip of Africa into a single amalgamated national heritage institution subscribing to UNESCO’s broad definition of intangible heritage.
By way of introduction the paper will situate the intangible heritage discourse in South Africa against the backdrop of a transformation process after 1994, which led to the formation of the three national heritage institutions, namely the South African Heritage Resources Agency, the Northern Flagship Institution and Iziko Museums.
The larger part of the paper will be devoted to the question of the extent to which Iziko Museums can regard its inherited collections (from 1825) in Art, Social History and even Natural History - representing the various domains of expressions of living cultural heritage - as genuinely representations of intangible heritage from Cape to Cairo.
Henry C. Bredekamp, professor, chief executive officer, Iziko Museums (national museum group), Cape Town, Republic of South Africa
<h3>10. Ana Maria Theresa P. Labrador (Philippines): Colonial Legacies, Memory And Display: The Museum as Space for Representations of Choice</h3>
As we adopt the theme for the ICOM 2004 General Conference into our committee meetings, the notion of "Museums and Intangible Cultural Heritage" becomes bigger than a trendy catchphrase. The theme reminds us that we may have taken for granted an important aspect of our work as museum ethnographers, sometimes forgetting to make explicit embedded intangible cultural heritage in the course of our museum practice. Since most museum work focus on the tangible parts of tradition, ICOM may now feel that it is time to redress the imbalance and perhaps find a middle ground between caring for material culture and documenting knowledge, oral history and literature, myths, and performances among others. This will complement our work in object-based museums by providing living, social contexts that are not bound by an ethnographic present.
My paper will tell the story of our preparations for an exhibition at the Vargas Museum, the university museum in the Philippines, which I head. A colleague whose field area also focuses on the Philippine highlands and I developed a project based on the highland groups’ reckoning of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904 where their ancestors lived for a few months in a reservation in Missouri, and were displayed among other groups (including Native Americans and Ainus) as well as goods from the new US American colonies. "The Igorot: 100 Years after St. Louis" refer to the group of people called Igorot (or from the mountain) who were perceived by visitors of the World’s Fair as lacking in culture. Their prominence in the Fair was used to justify the American’s presence in the Philippines as part of the government’s "manifest destiny" and "white man’s burden" to help civilise the natives.
My work for this recent project involved training local curators who are Bontok (one of the groups from the Cordillera). For the exhibition, they chose objects and images that refer to home, residence and relocation. The outcome constructed a picture of many highland people who no longer fit into stereotypes of being part of an isolated, pristine culture yet still very much attached to practices that are important to them and those that they distinguish as enduring. Today the Bontok, especially the women, seek better opportunities as domestic helpers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Saudi Arabia, triggering a different perspective of how they wish to represent themselves and how others perceive them.
Ana Maria Theresa P. Labrador, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Art Studies and Curator, Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, The Philippines; Board member of ICTOP
<h3>11. Margaret Hart Robertson (Spain): The Difficulties of Interpreting ‘Mediterranean Voices’: Exhibiting Intangibles</h3>
If researching intangible heritage is all of a challenge in itself, even more so is the task of exhibiting the results of the research, using the new technologies of communication and multi-media. Mediterranean Voices is a EuroMed heritage II project, partially funded by the EU, and involving thirteen partners under the supervision and coordination of London Metropolitan University to initially build up a database on Intangible Heritage in the various cosmopolitan centres to be used in the framework of regenerated cultural tourism to promote greater community participation in the same. The contents of the database are presented in both the original language of the country/region and in English, thus presenting the first problem of translation of culturally embedded terms into another language and at the simple user-friendly level required by the database. Although the contents of the database and the exhibition/s arising from the same are identical, the means of presentation are not. The database is for individual use and may, or may not be interactive. The person who consults a database will either be interested in Intangible Heritage or will merely be browsing. The person who visits an exhibition on Intangible Heritage does so to understand what Intangible Heritage is all about and the task of the exhibitor is not only to inform but to engage and involve, using all the means at his/her disposal. The exhibition of intangible Heritage should be designed to produce feedback and should be susceptible to becoming a virtual exhibition once its period of physical exposure has finished. The author looks at the difficulties of using synaesthesia, kinaesthesia, association and memory triggers in the museum, plus those of presenting the locally intangible to outsiders, using a combination of exhibition, catalogue, database and further education tools/games or stimuli.
Margaret Hart Robertson, Dra. , Director of the Doctorate Programme in Tourism, Intercultural Relations and Sustainable Development, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
<h3>12. Patrick Boylan (United Kingdom): The ICOM Curricula Guidelines for Museum Professional Development and the extension of ICOM's official role into the Living Intangible Heritage</h3>
Soon after the new ICOM Training Committee (ICTOP) was established in 1968 it began work with the ICOM Training Unit (Georges-Henri Riviere and Yvonne Oddon) preparing the first detailed curriculum guidance for programmes of study and professional training in museology/museum studies. Supported and adopted also by UNESCO, this was first published in 1971 as the UNESCO-ICOM "Programme-Type" (translated as "Basic Syllabus").
Responsibility for maintaining and reviewing this has ever since rested with ICTOP, and following several previous more minor revisions, between 1996 and 1998 a complete re-writing was undertaken. The new version was adopted by the ICOM Executive Couoncil in 2000 under the title "ICOM Curricula Guidelines for Professional Museum Development".
The team who developed this new document were already at least partly aware of the rapidly growing importance for museums of the living intangible heritage, and included a section on "community museology". However, the 2001 changes in the official ICOM definition of a museum, and the likely new role for the museum sector in relation to the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Intangible Heritage, means that changes in the ICOM Curricula Guidelines are now needed to refer more explicitly to the intangible heritage.
Patrick Boylan, Professor Emeritus of Heritage Policy and Management, City University London, and President of the ICOM Training of Personnel Committee (ICTOP)
<h2>II. Tuesday October 5 </h2>
Visit to the National Folk Museum of Korea.
<h2>III. Wednesday October 6 </h2> <h3>1. Tom G. Svensson (Norway): Knowledge and Context - the Social Life of Objects</h3>
In collecting and managing objects, museums have an additional mission, i.e. to focus also on intangible heritage. Referring to artefacts as a point of departure traditional knowledge reflecting cultural distinctiveness can be discerned. In this way objects are contextualized, mirroring their social life not only their materiality. To observe and record relevant knowledge systems and life-ways relating to specific artefacts, objects can speak for a culture, which will make presentation/representation in terms of exhibition more adequate and complete. The problem remains, however, not all intangible heritage is equally suitable for exhibition presentation. Referring to the aspect of kinskip as a guideline for collecting, two cases emphasizing handicraft/ethnic art (Hopi, Sámi) will illustrate my argument.
Tom G. Svensson, PhD, Professor emeritus, University Museum of Cultural Heritage, Oslo, Norway
<h3>2. Annette B. Fromm (USA): Transforming the Intangible into the Tangible; Expositions of Ethnic Culture in the United States</h3>
The United States has been characterized as a veritable melting pot of immigrant cultures. This paper will explore 20th century presentations of immigrant/ethnic culture in the museum and other contexts. It will look at ways in which intangible expressions of traditional culture have been transformed from fluid performance displays to static exhibitions of material culture. Also discussed will be the outdated concept that these cultural expressions were in the process of disappearing.
Annette B. Fromm, Ph.D., The Deering Estate at Cutler, Florida, USA
<h3> Philip Scher (USA): The Politics of Preservation: An Anthropological Perspective</h3>
The focus of this paper is the investigation of the political use of anthropological research in the global definition, protection and preservation of cultural heritage. Over the last 15 years a dramatic transformation has occurred in the politics of culture. Evolving as a marginal cry from the left in the 1960s and 1970s, the call for the recognition, preservation and protection of cultural heritage has emerged as a fundamental goal of nation-states, ethno-nationalist political movements and embattled minorities (Coombe 1998, Ziff &Rao 1997). In fact, some scholars have determined that the politics of cultural recognition and multiculturalism have emerged as the most important political ideologies of our time (Fraser 1997, Taylor 1991, 1992,1994, Goldberg 1994, Honneth 1996). The general acceptance of a multicultural, relativist perspective by such national and international bodies as UNESCO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the Smithsonian Institution has created a full-scale global development industry in the name of "culture"(Appadurai 1996). The work of cultural anthropologists, archaeologists and folklorists is often called upon in preservationist projects by these organizations and is used not only to catalogue and document select traditions, but is also put in the position of legitimizing certain cultural practices as worthy of protection. This sort of anthropological legitimation as well as the potential conflicts that have arisen between anthropologists and "natives" has been most thoroughly explored in Native American cases (Brown 1998, Mihesuah, 2000, Messenger 1989, Briggs 1996), yet it is pervasive. The resources and attention allocated to these specific endeavors make such recognition enormously important to groups seeking various political goals. Strictly in terms of financial resources, heritage preservation is big business. For example, the Lebanon Cultural Heritage and Tourism Development Project sponsored by UNESCO and funded in part by the World Bank will cost approximately $50 million. Such a project will involve not only the preservation of archaeological sites, but the protection and preservation of "intangible heritage" as well. The recognition of an "intangible heritage," by UNESCO may help make the bearers of that culture more legitimate within their society or may help strengthen the power of a specific state in determining the authentic culture of their nation to the exclusion of other cultural forms and practices. There is, however, an unexplored irony in the policy of protecting "intangible heritage" (defined by UNESCO on their website as "all forms of traditional and popular or folk culture, i.e. collective works originating in a given community and based on tradition"). That irony is that in defining which practices, traditions, or art forms need to be protected, organizations such as UNESCO contribute to making such forms thoroughly "tangible." Using ethnographic and archaeological evidence can be a very important part of this objectification of culture. The purpose of my investigation into the institutional use of anthropological research is to illustrate the connections between academic anthropology and its real world political application via institutional juggernauts such as the World Bank, and UNESCO. My goal is to foster an understanding between anthropologists, archaeologists and folklorists and the world of international lending, state building, and industrial development. One key strategy for the project will be to shed light on the nascent process of developing copyright legislation to protect various forms of cultural heritage.
Philip W. Scher, Asst. Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA
<h3>4. Lidija Nikocevic (Croatia) : The Intangibility of Multiculturalism</h3>
The paper will deal with the notion of "heritage" as commonly understood in Istria and various activities that have been introduced in order to safeguard intangible cultural expressions in the region. The experiences of the regional Ethnographic museum will be commented. Thanks to the participation of the Museum in the project, i. e. national candidature of Croatia in 2003, named "Istrian Ethnomusicological Microcosm", many questions have arisen concerning multiculturalism, national boundaries and the delineation of cultural areas. Istria is a multicultural border area where for centuries various cultures (Croat, Slovenian, Italian and other) have intermixed, shaping specific cultural expressions. Should such candidature be treated as an international one? Do UNESCO's criteria fit to the specific border areas? And when minorities are in question (as in the Istrian case), does their (intangible) heritage fit to national criteria which are, in most cases, based on the national level of representation?
Lidija Nikocevic, Director, Ethnographic Museum of Istria, Pazin, Croatia; Board member of ICME.
<h3>5. William Westerman (USA): The Queen City Manifesto: The Potential for Civic Engagement in Local Folklife Museums</h3>
This paper begins from the premise that oral history and local folklife are forms of intangible cultural heritage, and that they are valuable not just to tourists but to local residents. Even if such examples of cultural heritage are more representative than extraordinary they offer great potential for education, civic discussion, even social change. The challenge for local museums is to break down "the fourth wall" (to use the theatrical metaphor) and to dare to think of themselves as sites of civic interactions, adult education, even community organizing.
The case study for this paper concerns an oral history exhibit at a local history/historic house museum in a small New Jersey urban area. The author was Executive Director there during the preparation and installation of an exhibit commemorating the 1963 March on Washington, which featured photos of and interviews with twelve local residents who had participated in the March. The author trained as a folklorist (ethnologist) and had curated several exhibits in history and ethnological/folklife museums. The "March" exhibit was part of a larger vision to develop adult reading groups and educational programs around town (the Mayor and his wife served on the planning committee), and to foster a discussion on history and race relations in a city that had witnessed devastating racial rioting four years after the March, and was only beginning to recover economically 35 years later.
As the only museum in the town, run by the local historical society in a city-owned structure, there was a particular mission to be an educational recourse to the community, especially children in the local school district. Thus, local heritage— history, and in a more expansive view, local culture, folkways, and arts—rested at the core of the museum’s work. The question posed implicitly by the exhibit was to what extent local heritage can matter in current times, and how can a local history museum become a relevant cultural institution in an economically impoverished area. The larger questions have to do with civic engagement and action. Though recognized as cultural institutions, museums are rarely considered a component of community life as essential as decent housing, a strong educational system, basic healthcare, social services, and safe streets, although they do figure in "quality of life" calculations (but even then, those are usually art museums, rarely history or local folklife). Even in state funding in most of the U.S., history is seldom it ever considered as cost-effective an investment as the arts, its better-off cousin. By examining the successes and failures of this exhibit in its own historical context, the paper will address contemporary theories of civic engagement, and offer a collaborative vision to encourage ethnological and historical museums to enter fully as active, even activist, participants in the dynamics of local community life.
William Westerman, Ph.D., Art Knows No Borders, Inc., Newark, NJ, U.S.A.
<h3>6. Ngaire Blankenberg and Wonderboy Peters (South Africa): Constructing Community and Trading in Memory: The Experience of the Kliptown Open Air Museum.</h3>
In post-apartheid South Africa, communities which have historically been in a state of engineered flux, are in the process of reinventing themselves, re-defining their allegiances, and defining their inheritances from a position of an imagined future. When the national policy makers put the cultural and heritage industries at the core of the reconstruction and development agenda, communities which have emerged out of the accidents of history are presented with the funding and the spaces to create marketable master narratives about their past and identity. In 2004, when Kliptown, the hometown of the Freedom Charter, is being positioned as a national heritage site and international tourist destination, the debate of who is a Kliptonian has resurfaced. The paper problematises the notion of a true Kliptown and asks the question of who is represented in the Kliptown Open Air Museum. In the process of developing a community archive, largely from the gathering of oral histories - which memories are valued and celebrated, and which ones may be in the process of being obliterated?.How are community tensions mediated, particularly in a context where memory has become a commodity?
Ngaire Blankenberg and Wonderboy Peters, Ochre Communications, Parkwood, Republic of South Africa
<h3>7. Dr Matilda Burden (South Africa) : Museums and intangible heritage: The Afrikaans Language Museum</h3>
What I plan to do is to give a presentation of concepts how language as subject of study (not language as assisting tool) can be handled by a museum.
I want to illustrate these concepts with the exhibition/presentation in the Afrikaans Language Museum, which is situated in the town Paarl, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. A brand new exhibition has been opened only two weeks ago, and I am very excited about the effect of the various aspects of the exhibition on visitors and academics.
Matilda Burden, Dr., Dept of History and University Museum, University of Stellenbosch, Republic of South Africa
<h3>8. Viv Golding (UK) : Inspiration Africa! Using Tangible and Intangible Heritage to Promote Social Inclusion Amongst Young People With Disabilities.</h3>
How can meaningful connections between new museum audiences, tangible artefacts and the cultural traditions from which they emerge be progressed? Do the ethnographic museum and the anthropology collection have a productive role in the UK government agenda on social inclusion? What is the value of employing new theoretical perspectives and partnerships at the frontiers between museums and schools? This paper explores these questions and the deeper issues surrounding them through Inspiration Africa! a 2-year £72,000 DfEE funded project involving 12 schools and 12 key themes inspired by 12 key objects objects in the newly displayed African Worlds Gallery of the Horniman Museum in South East London; an area of rich cultural diversity but one suffering from extreme levels of economic deprivation. A special feature of Inspiration Africa! was the collaborative approach by a multi-racial team of artists, website designers and educators, to the feminist-hermeneutic research at a region theorised as the museum frontiers or clearing to facilitate an imaginative exploration of the museum collection and to challenge racist or stereotypical views of Africa. Specifically, tangible objects and the intangible evidence gathered through video performances and oral history provided a wealth of knowledge and ideas at the museum to use as the inspiration and starting point for personal artwork and a creative interrogation of students' own Diaspora heritage back at school. This both and approach at the levels of museum research and displayed culture as well as curriculum development and delivery proved extremely valuable to the school children with special educational needs who experience multiple levels of social exclusion.
Viv Golding, PhD, Lecturer, Museum Studies, University of Leicester, United Kingdom
<h3>9. Martin Skrydstrup (Denmark/USA): Repatriation between Rhetoric and Reality</h3>
How can an informed debate about repatriation possibly advance without the empirical knowledge to assess systematically and on a global scale what has already been done and the lessons, if any, to be learned from this? Departing from this simple question I suggest that the format of a collaborative database would be ideal to collect and systematize information about already conducted transactions in cultural property. In my presentation I will sketch and discuss the justification, scope, limitations, type of information to include and implementation of such a database.
Martin Skrydstrup, Ph.D. student in Anthropology at Columbia University, New York.