Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 10.COM 10.B.4

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Argentina has nominated Filete porteño in Buenos Aires, a traditional painting technique (No. 01069) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Filete porteño from Buenos Aires is a traditional painting technique used for ornamental design that combines brilliant colours with specific lettering styles. It can be seen as a form of decoration on urban buses and trucks and is also used for store signage and increasingly, home decoration. Images used relate back to the city’s heritage incorporating social and religious elements, acting as a form of collective memory. Popular designs include icons representing saints, admired politicians, music and sports idols. Sayings and proverbs are sometimes also incorporated in the designs. The technique begins with a drawing, which is then transferred to a support. Synthetic paint, coloured varnish and special longhaired brushes are then used to complete the work. Filete craftsmen transmit this technique to anyone who wants to learn it. Formal education is not required to develop the skills needed, which represents an opportunity for some young people in the community who are at risk of social exclusion. In the last few decades, a new generation of craftswomen have participated in Filete workshops and the practice in general, producing a new aesthetic for the artform.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria:

R.1:   The painting technique Filete porteño conveys the shared values, collective memory and visual tastes of the inhabitants of Buenos Aires; the community of its bearers and practitioners today comprises both men and women who acquire their knowledge and skills non-formally through apprenticeship; a recent revival of the element has brought new opportunities and creative responses to the changing fabric of contemporary urban life;

R.2:   The nomination testifies in its entirety to an interplay of continuity and creativity in the enactment of intangible cultural heritage in general, along with explaining how the inscription could contribute to dialogue, mutual respect and cooperation among various generations, communities of different origins and those that share similar artistic expressions, although it could have better described how the inscription of the element could contribute to the visibility of the intangible cultural heritage in general and raise awareness of its significance;

R.3:   Complementing existing safeguarding efforts, the proposed measures are directed towards further research and documentation, strengthening of a practitioners’ association and its cooperation with governmental bodies, the growth and diversification of promotional activities, and various other actions that may foster a new momentum of revitalization; partnership between Filete craftspeople and public agencies reduces the risk of possible unintended results of the inscription;

R.4:   The nomination is the result of collaboration between members belonging to different segments of the community and a team of experts; free, prior and informed consent is given in the form of video and audio clips depicting bearers of the element, as well as un-named citizens of Buenos Aires who express their support to the nomination;

R.5:   The element was included in 2006 in an inventory called Cultural Heritage of the City of Buenos Aires through a process conducted in accordance with Articles 11 and 12 of the Convention.

  1. Inscribes Filete porteño in Buenos Aires, a traditional painting technique on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Commends the submitting State for proposing an element that reveals the capacity of intangible cultural heritage to integrate tradition and innovation in the context of a modern metropolis;
  3. Further commends the submitting State for a well-designed video delineating Filete painters, their actual work, concepts and identification with the element;
  4. Encourages the submitting State to continue deliberating how the element could further contribute to ensuring visibility of the intangible cultural heritage in general and raise awareness of its significance at local, national and international levels.