Embhaire: Traditional Xylophone Making (Uganda)
© UNESCO / James Muriuki

It is our human nature to want to understand who we are, what unites us and what make us different from those around us. What notions of differences and commonalities form our diversity? What knowledge and skills do we want to transmit to our future generations?

With these questions in mind, Kenyan photographer James Muriuki visited Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, and Uganda to meet communities who had implemented UNESCO training in recent years for enhancing capacities to safeguard their intangible cultural heritage.

His work resulted in the exhibition “Passing it on: Inventorying living heritage in Africa” – an illustration of a set of living heritage elements identified by communities themselves as crucial for their identity.

Presented for the first time in December 2015 during the tenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Namibia, the photo exhibition “Passing it on” will be exhibited this time on the fence outside UNESCO Headquarters from 30 May to 14 June 2016.

The capacity-building activities in Malawi and Uganda were generously financed by the Government of Flanders and those in Sao Tome and Principe were made possible thanks to a generous contribution from the Government of Norway to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.