Benefitting country(ies): Togo
Implemented by the National Commission for Cultural Heritage, the project mainly aims to inventory, safeguard and promote knowledge related to the manufacture and practice of traditional musical instruments in Togo. It builds on lessons learned from the first phase of the project, which took place in the Maritime region (south Togo) between January 2016 and February 2017. The last general inventory of intangible cultural heritage, conducted in 2011, revealed that a number of elements and skills are insufficiently documented, and that long-term safeguarding strategies are required. This primarily concerns skills relating to the making and playing of traditional musical instruments and associated dances, whose viability is threatened by several factors including the rural exodus of young people, modern music and the influence of certain churches opposed to such practices. Faced with this situation, the proposed project aims to improve the viability of such instruments and ensure the transmission of associated practices by: drawing up an inventory of the related skills in the remaining five regions of the country; strengthening the capacities of the teams of researchers involved; raising awareness among community members about the need to safeguard this knowledge; revitalizing the intergenerational chain of transmission; and ensuring the revival and sustainable safeguarding of these practices. Training workshops will be organized for young people and musicians in the communities, and exhibitions and cultural events will also be held to sensitize communities in each region.