Cross-border governance instruments for the safeguarding and valorization of the Living Intangible Cultural Heritage
20.10.2020 - 20.10.2022
‘Living ICH’ focuses on the intangible, agro-alimentary cultural heritage in the Italian-Swiss border region. Over the centuries, similar or common heritage practices have evolved here. Until today, they strongly account for the identity of the local communities.
However, currently there is little awareness about this heritage, and no transboundary governance structures for its preservation exist. This is where ‘Living ICH’ comes into play: The project aims at raising awareness about the role and importance of the intangible cultural heritage of these regions, thereby preserving and revitalising certain traditions, customs and practices and strengthening their resilience in the long term.
Both the individual practitioners in the local communities and the local public administrators play a decisive role in the preservation of intangible cultural heritage: They keep it alive, transmit and enhance it, or have the potential to do so. However, currently there is a lack of awareness regarding the existence, the local peculiarities, and the general potential of intangible cultural heritage. Consequently, no common and inclusive governance approach has been developed so far – neither on the local nor on the transboundary scale. This situation may increasingly threaten the vitality of the intangible cultural heritage and potentially lead to its degradation and loss.
The ‘Living ICH’ project therefore aims at:
raising awareness about the importance and potential of intangible cultural heritage;
outlining efficient transboundary governance scenarios and establishing permanent policy tools;
stimulating an enhanced and continued international cooperation on the field of cultural heritage.
The project partners have agreed upon a bottom-up approach which will allow local stakeholders to be at the forefront with regard to the identification of their cultural heritage.