Birthplace of Egyptian civilization, the Nile is still a lifeline for many communities living along its banks. The encounter between man and the river’s ecosystem has uncovered a rich and diversified intangible cultural heritage. Over the next six months, between July and December 2012, this heritage will be the focus of a pilot inventorying activity in the governorate of Damietta.
This initiative is part of Phase III of the MedLiHer -Mediterranean Living Heritage – project co-financed by the European Union and UNESCO, which aims at promoting the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
Community members and others responsible for culture at the national and local level, including researchers and NGOs will benefit from extensive training on the concept of community-based inventorying under the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage; the training will cover the role of different stakeholders in the process and the tools and techniques of participatory documentation.
The workshop is intended primarily for field researchers and communities whose intangible heritage will be inventoried. It will start with a “theoretical” component in which the methodological framework for the inventory will be collectively developed, followed by a field practicum.
This inventory work will concentrate on identifying and involving bearers (individuals, groups or communities) of intangible heritage, focusing significantly on its present social functions and challenges for transmission to future generations.
The workshop will be facilitated jointly by Mr Mostafa Gad and Mr Ismail Ali El Fihail, both belonging to the network of facilitators trained by UNESCO as part of its strategy of capacity building for the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The methodologies developed during this pilot exercise could then be applied on a wider scale to other regions of the Nile.
All data collected will be systematized and digitized. Moreover, a film and a photographic exhibition will make this inventory experience available to the Egyptian and international public.